By Donya Parrish, MCU VP- Risk Management
For many years credit unions have boasted about both their democratic structure and the volunteer boards and committees run by members. That is great! But in reality, it is often like trying to find out someone’s secret fishing spot to get the details on when the credit union’s annual meeting will be held.
Yes, I know, you post it in the lobby a few weeks before the event, and some of you also put it on your Facebook page. But how many of your members see either of those? If you still send a newsletter via mail maybe you also include the date and details in it. Do members read it? I hope so. The truth is that many don’t.
When NCUA released new federal credit union bylaws last year (they were effective Jan. 2 if FCUs want to adopt them), one of the real positives was that the agency is now strongly encouraging federal credit unions to post their annual meeting notice more broadly. Those adopting the new bylaws will be required to place the annual meeting notice “prominently” on their website, as well as in the office at teller windows or on the front door.
The agency also provided an option for virtual meetings while noting that an in-person meeting still needs to be held and that a “hybrid” meeting of virtual and live was acceptable. In fact, NCUA’s commentary encourages credit unions to provide a live webcast or post a video of the annual meeting on their website.
Personally, I love the idea of inviting members more broadly. It is one of our pillars, and broader attendance and participation can only be a good thing. In fact, many credit unions have complained in the last decade as the attendance has dropped, maybe not realizing how few people knew the annual meeting was even occurring!