Flexible Trade Association Membership Expands Reach
An executive with the American Society of Association Executives said more flexible trade association membership policies would benefit credit unions.
“The key word of the last five years has been choice,” Greg Melia, chief member relations officer for ASAE, explained. “In much the same way that people individually like to have choices in how they interact with and join things like associations, organizations do too. A flexible membership structure can help an association engage a wide variety of members with very different needs.”
Melia declined to comment on the controversy over the rule that linked CUNA membership with membership in the state leagues, noting that he lacked knowledge of the situation. However, he observed that a one-size-fits-all approach to membership rules had largely lost their appeal among associations.
Both the $764 million Self-Help Credit Union and the $29 billion State Employees’ Credit Union have disaffiliated with CUNA in the last year, and each has cited the requirement that they had to join CUNA if they wanted to belong to their state league as one reason, among others, that they did so.
CUNA’s System Structure and Governance Task Force has been tasked with looking at the question, according to CUNA Vice President for Member Relations Jeff Carpenter.
Carpenter said that a number of credit unions disaffiliated during the Great Recession, but that many had come back in the years since. He added that roughly 90% of credit unions are members of CUNA.
Our latest poll explores whether credit unions should be able to join CUNA or the state league independent of each other.