6 Ways to Engage More Members

6 Ways to Engage More Members

  1. Pay and promote a patronage dividend – One of the best ways to remind your members they are owners and not simply customers is to pay an annual dividend based on member participation. The amount of the dividend per member is less important than the act. And make a big deal about the patronage dividend by sending a personal letter from the CEO and enclose a check to every member. In the letter remind them they own their credit union and cooperative and how unique that relationship is in today’s business world.
  2. Board term limits – regular turnover at the board level will increase member awareness about the value of democratic control in your credit union/cooperative. Plus your new board members will generate fresh ideas.
  3. Lead with your WHY – It is not WHAT you do that is important to people, it is WHY you do it that people care about. Your members will have strong, warm feelings about your credit union/cooperative when they understand your WHY. If you are not sure what I mean, click this url to view Simon Sinek’s TED Talk as he describes the decision-making process all people share.
  4. Educate staff about cooperatives – Every employee is a representative of your credit union and cooperative. They should be knowledgeable about the cooperative business model and why it is important to members and the local community.
  5. Change your web site home page – Place your Why on your web site home page. The first experience a visitor to your web site should have is a heartfelt story related to your Why.
  6. Adopt technology for governance – Make it as easy as possible for interested members to get involved in your credit union/cooperative. Post and email Board meeting notes and decisions to your members following every meeting. Make it easy to vote in board elections by using printed ballots, email replies, and mobile voting apps. Use a video conferencing service to record and archive your board meetings.

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