OSU Federal Recognized for Innovative CULAC Fundraiser

The number of credit unions offering payroll deductions for contributions to the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) has doubled in the past two years to 428, the CULAC board of trustees learned during its annual meeting Sunday.

In 2012, more than 7,000 credit union employees made voluntary contributions, with the average employee contributing $2.24 per check.

“That’s so do-able,” said CULAC Treasurer Patricia Sowick.

“The results speak for themselves,” said Bill Cheney, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) president and CEO.  “It’s not just about picking winners, it‘s about picking people who support credit unions.”

The CULAC meeting was held as part of this week’s CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. Thousands of credit union advocates—including 200 from the Northwest—are attending strategy meetings and gathering face-to-face with their U.S. Senators and Congressional Representatives to share details of the benefits credit unions give to their 96 million members.

CULAC trustees specifically celebrated the success of OSU Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Corvallis, Ore., for a win-win initiative in which the credit union grew CULAC fundraising year over year while providing matching funds for Credit Unions for Kids.

OSU Federal President and CEO Richard Hein said the CULAC fundraising season began in May 2012 and ran for 11 weeks. But “in the first four days,” dramatic growth was evident after he announced a matching fund allocation would be given to Credit Unions for Kids.  His staff is enthusiastic about the charity benefiting children’s hospitals in part because it was founded in Oregon in 1986.

Hein said the double fundraising effort present him the opportunity to educate staff about the importance of growing CULAC participation and he did so at staff meetings, in emails and during campaign kickoff meetings.

Hein said once the campaign kicked off, department leaders and branch captains continue to promote the benefits to staff.  Weekly updates and convenient payroll deductions helped, Hein noted.  What really caused a spike in donates, he said, was the Credit Unions for Kids announcement.

Awareness at OSU FCU is high, with 85 percent of staff and 100 percent of volunteer directors contributing.

Last year’s campaign exceeded its goal and netted $15,000 for CULAC. OSU Federal then leveraged its matching funds with a $10,000 matching grant from CO-OP Financial Services, resulting in a $25,000 check for Credit Unions for Kids.


Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor

Posted in Advocacy News, Around the NW, Events, Federal.