WASHINGTON -- Last year proved to be a record setting one for contributions to the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, CUNA's political action committee. According to Richard Gose, CUNA's senior vice president for political affairs, CULAC brought in more than $2 million.
Gose attributed the solid increase to a shift in attitudes about the necessity of contributing to credit union causes among credit union members and a growing number of different tools to make contributing easier to do.
Speaking to reporters about CULAC's performance, Gose particularly noted that the increased contributions came in a non-election year, when fundraising efforts in the past have generally yielded lower results. CULAC's previous record overall came last year, $1.98 million. CULAC's previous record for non-election year came in 2005 with $1.77 million. CULAC is no on track to beat the 2005 -- 2006 election cycle total of $3.75 million.
CULAC also reported having $700,000 on hand as of January 1, 2008, which Gose said was especially good since this year political spending in general will be elevated on account of the election cycle.
"Having that much money on hand helps us by allowing us greater flexibility in what we support," Gose said, adding that there will be direct spending on candidate's campaigns but also possible spending on independent spending of different types of candidate support like direct mail or other sorts of advertising.
Gose said the shift in attitude toward credit union giving had turned up among credit union members who, he said, appeared to be taking more responsibility for supporting their credit unions. He also said the growth in payroll deductions to fund the political and legislative efforts has helped to boost donations and to even out the money flow.
"Of course there can never be complete predictability in political fundraising," he said, "but payroll deductions can help us have a better sense of what the donations are likely to be."