In the session “Grassroots Membership Growth – Boots in the Dirt” (presented by Sue Mitchell/Stankovic Associates, Brandi Stankovic Rice/BLS Consulting and Joe Schroeder/Ventura County Credit Union) the presenters discussed was to grow membership organically.

Sue Mitchell talked about the World Council of Credit Unions and its charitable work. One of her slides communicated a mission every Credit Union can get behind:

“Making a difference

We believe that we have developed one answer for a critical domestic and global issue – In the fight against poverty both here and abroad, credit unions are often on the front line, driving innovation to help millions of people who would otherwise be left behind by the financial system.

Access to affordable financial services can be life-changing for a family, providing the building block to raise healthier children, build a stronger community and forge a more stable nation.”

Joe Schroeder discussed opportunities to connect with agricultural workers in Ventura by helping them to escape the grasp of payday lenders. The Ventura Credit Union worked hard to build rapport and connection with this underserved group. By understanding their challenges, the VCCU was able to develop trusting relationships.

Brandi Standkovic Rice discussed the VCCU iphone app and learning from focus groups. She described the challenges to get boots in the dirt and how you have to adjust to your audience.

Sue Mitchell encouraged all participants to tap into their passion and collaborate with others for the better good.