SPC Credit Union leadership credits Capital Club success to education, encouragement
Monday, April 16, 2018
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.
SPC Credit Union has always been highly involved in League advocacy initiatives: hosting legislators, participating in Hike the Hill, and consistently supporting the Carolinas Capital Club.
Achieving a whopping 255% of their goal in 2017 and reaching 55% of their 2018 goal in only three months, active credit unions like SPC are the root of the Capital Club's success.
League PAC/Grassroots Specialist Maggie Ambrose asked SPC Credit Union's President and CEO Linda Weatherford what drives their success.
Maggie: Why has SPC has made advocacy involvement a priority? Mainly, why is it important for SPC to be involved in the Capital Club and other advocacy initiatives such as Hike the Hill?
Linda: Even though we are the largest state-chartered credit union in South Carolina, we remain a mid-sized credit union relative to other institutions. As a result, we rely heavily on the strength of the PAC to advocate on our behalf regarding issues affecting our industry. Our participation in Hike the Hill and GAC acts a reminder to legislators that we represent a large piece of their constituency who care deeply about the preservation of our tax exempt status and all other issues related to the ability of SPC to better serve them.
Maggie: What was the process you took to incorporate advocacy participation into SPC’s culture? What were some of the challenges you faced while doing so?
Linda: The leadership of SPC constantly communicates the value of political advocacy to employees. We keep them regularly updated on the status of credit union-related legislation and encourage them to personally contact their representatives. Whenever we achieve a legislative victory, such as the recent passing of the SC Credit Union Act in the Senate, we draw a direct correlation between their efforts and support and that victory. Whenever opportunities arise to attend a legislative hearing, legislative night, or a league-sponsored drop-in, we encourage employees to get involved and represent SPC at these events.
Maggie: How do you make employees aware of the Capital Club? Is there a special incentive day or message SPC uses to spread awareness and increase involvement?
Linda: During our new employee orientation process, each employee is educated on the work of the PAC, the importance of advocacy, and is given the opportunity to contribute through payroll deduction.
Maggie: Out of the various ways to contribute to the Capital Club, which have you found to work best at SPC?
Linda: Offering payroll deduction as a means of giving to the Capital Club has been, by far, the most convenient way to contribute, and offers the highest likelihood of participation among employees.
Maggie: What recommendations do you have for credit unions who are struggling to get their employees involved in the Capital Club and understand the significance of advocacy? What piece of advice would you share so they can reach their Capital Club yearly goal?
Linda: Asking for financial support, no matter how worthy the cause, always has its challenges. If you can clearly communicate the value of advocacy and the important role each employee plays in ensuring equitable representation with lawmakers, meeting your Capital Club yearly goal will simply be a natural byproduct of those efforts.
The Carolinas Capital Club supports credit unions' advocacy in North and South Carolina and in DC. To learn more about the Carolinas Capital Club, please contact a member of our advocacy team.