Strategies to Help Credit Unions Thrive in Today’s Market and Beyond

Your Credit Union Partner LogoIn 2017, Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) became a Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) partner, with its services available to member credit unions through Strategic Link.

The focus of the partnership is to provide strategic/business planning and consulting for underserved markets to credit unions located in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. YCUP advises more than 140 credit unions across the country, with 25 of those located in the Northwest.

YCUP Founder and Principal Scott Butterfield believes the “people helping people” credit union mantra is critical to the industry’s success. He knows the importance of developing strategies that focus on growth, revenue, community outreach, and, most importantly, exceptional member outcomes.

“We take every opportunity we get to share credit union best practices, as well as provide insight on many current issues facing credit unions. Credit union leaders are challenged to think strategically and consider how they will thrive in a market that looks very different from today,” Butterfield said.

YCUP provides knowledge and training for credit union teams on a host of timely issues, including growth and relevance strategies, community involvement and impact, unique survival strategies for smaller credit unions, and board governance.

For example, after years of consulting with credit unions, Butterfield notes one of the key challenges common to many credit unions is recruiting for their volunteer boards of directors. One group he suggests considering is millennials. He explains millennial board members can weigh in on issues that matter to them, such as service delivery and product preferences. Additionally, he says millennials are idealists and they turn idealism into action.

“I believe credit unions need a board that closely reflects the needs, beliefs, and values of the membership (and potential membership),” Butterfield said. “Our movement was founded on serving the underserved. That was a social cause that resonated, resulting in tens of thousands of new credit union charters, and generations of committed volunteers. Credit unions that can connect to a cause millennials care about will have an easier time finding tomorrow’s volunteers.”

According to the 2016 Millennial Impact Report, this generation volunteers their time surprisingly often. Of those polled, 52 percent gave money to charity during the previous month, and 46 percent gave their time to a cause affiliated with a social issue they care about. When asked, “How much impact do you think a person like you can have in the United States to make it a better place to live?” 67 percent said they could have a moderate to big impact. The report found 70 percent of millennials spent at least an hour volunteering their time to a cause they cared about, with more than one-third volunteering 11 hours or more.

Butterfield believes the credit union legacy of volunteerism makes the industry different and better and that no other financial institution group does a better job at grassroots efforts.

“Clarity of purpose and execution of the best strategies have never been more important,” Butterfield said. “We help credit unions maximize impact for their organization, their members, and the communities they serve. It’s time we get active, and make sure we make the best decisions about how we will remain relevant tomorrow.”

For information about Your Credit Union Partner, contact NWCUA’s Strategic Partnerships Manager Corina Ruiz at cruiz@nwcua.org