Palmetto Citizens CEO talks tactics for Carolinas Capital Club success
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Editor's note: In this monthly series, the Carolinas Credit Union League shines a light on credit unions that exceed expectations in their support of the Carolinas Capital Club.
Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union has a renowned reputation for going above and beyond in support of the Carolinas Capital Club. As of September 1, Palmetto Citizens surpassed its annual contribution goal—almost $10,000!
League PAC/Grassroots Specialist Maggie Ambrose spoke with Palmetto Citizens CEO Nick Wodogaza about the tactics he credits for their contribution success.
Maggie: Over 200 people are employed at Palmetto Citizens. How do you remind each employee to donate to the CCC? Is there any special incentive you offer employees who donate their goal of $2 each month?
Nick: First of all, it is so important for people to recognize that credit unions were created by the government; we were founded by a piece of legislation. Palmetto Citizens has made donating to the PAC part of [our] culture, we take giving to the Capital Club very seriously. We emphasize that donating to the Capital Club is one way, one very important way, we can keep the credit union movement alive, therefore keeping Palmetto Citizens alive and all other credit unions. People are motivated to give by our incentives. We set up days every month that are "Capital Club Casual Days," on those days every Capital Club member is allowed to wear casual attire and their CCC lapel pin. We also have periodic contests for CCC participants—drawing for a day of PTO or an electronic device or $100—a fun contest. We also give recognition on our PC Internet (Editor's note: PC Internet is the credit union's internal intranet system). Our incentives create awareness of the Capital Club for people who are not giving as much...or who are not giving at all. Palmetto Citizens only recognizes you as being a Capital Club member when you are donating $5 or more each month.
Maggie: With Palmetto Citizens being a large credit union that has multiple branches and locations, what is your suggestion for keeping the Capital Club communication steady throughout all locations? Do you have any pieces of advice to other large credit unions who may struggle in keeping the PAC message strong throughout all branches?
Nick: Through PC Internet and newsletter, [we] put forth articles that give recognition to the Capital Club—PC Internet is huge in spreading awareness. The primary focus is: that people recognize that the dollars are well spent in keeping the credit union movement alive; letting people feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves; and always having good attendance at the Columbia Chapter meeting where political efforts and the PAC are always discussed.
Maggie: While there are many ways to contribute to the Carolinas Capital Club, we are aware that payroll deduction has been the most successful way for employees to give at Palmetto Citizens. What are the benefits of donating through payroll deduction and why has that method worked best?
Nick: Out of sight, out of mind. It’s easy for people to get signed up.
Maggie: What recommendation do you have for credit unions who are struggling to meet their annual CCC goal?
Nick: It comes down to having commitment. Credit unions need to be committed to giving to the Capital Club. Once you are committed and recognize the importance of the Capital Club to credit unions then it’s simple. Recognize how important this is to our future, the credit union future. Make employees aware of the importance of political action [and] the grassroots strength of credit unions. Credit unions have strength in numbers and we have to show that to shape and create a strong future for credit unions. Leadership starts at the top, get management involved.
The Carolinas Capital Club supports credit unions' advocacy in North and South Carolina and in D.C. To learn more about the Carolinas Capital Club, please contact a member of our advocacy team.