The Proof is In: Members Do Respond When We Ask for Their Grassroots Help
in Political & Legislative
By: Chris Abeel, NJCUL Vice President, Corporate & Governmental Affairs

Our strength has always been in our numbers. We’ve never been able to compete with the bankers’ deep pockets but, then again, they’ve never been able to compete with our grassroots numbers. After all, how many customers love their bank enough to contact their elected officials for them? My guess is not many. Well that’s not the case when it comes to credit unions, and the proof is in!

We just launched another Call-to-Action on the important regulatory relief legislation (S. 2155) making its way through Congress. The Senate passed the bill in March and the House is poised to vote on it next week. We’re on the threshold of an historic legislative victory, and credit union professionals and volunteers across New Jersey have been stepping up to the plate.

We also encouraged our member credit unions to reach out to their members using CUNA’s Member Activation Program (MAP). Aspire FCU, Credit Union of New Jersey, and XCEL answered the call, and the response has been impressive.

The open-rate on emails to their members averaged 25%, with click rates approaching 10%. And, out of more than 89,189 emails, there were zero complaints and only 31 unsubscribes.

Ok, it may be a pipe dream, but imagine this - every New Jersey credit union goes out to its members, a quarter of those members open the email, and 10% of those send an email to Capitol Hill. Our 14-member delegation would be hit with a tsunami of some 25,000 emails!

Imagine the impact that would have. Imagine what we could accomplish if we could mobilize the more than one-million credit union members. This is the stuff lobbyists dream off!

Dreams aside, in addition to thanking all those individuals who responded to our Call-to-Action, we all owe a special debt of gratitude to Aspire, CUNJ, and XCEL for going the extra mile, for taking a special leadership role in this effort.

We’d love to broaden the effort - please contact me a cabeel@njcul.org for information on mobilizing your credit union’s members.