How to Become a Volunteer
Becoming A Volunteer
Volunteering to serve on your credit union's Board of Directors can be an extremely rewarding experience. You may find that representing your fellow credit union members not only benefits them but will provide you with valuable knowledge for years to come.
About Credit Unions
Credit Unions are a not-for-profit cooperative that helps its members to realize their financial goals and dreams. Members are considered to be "owners" of the credit union and as such elect other members to serve on the Board of Directors. It is the Directors responsibility to set credit union policies, objectives and long term goals which are considered vital in the health and well being of FEDCOM Credit Union. Once elected, Directors have the opportunity to share their business experiences, leadership skills and management capabilities in a team effort.
Who Is Eligible To Become A Credit Union Volunteer?
When running for a vacant Board position all that is required of you is to be a member in good standing and to file a nominations petition when asked to do so.
Each year the Board will appoint a nominating committee who will review a list of nominees for the office of Director and select the individual(s) who possess the skills and experience necessary for this position.
If Elected, How Long Do I Serve?
Directors are elected to a three (3) year term and may run for re-election should they so desire; the credit union does not impose term limits.
The primary meeting of the Board of Directors is once per month. The meeting is held on the 3rd Thursday in the evening hours after 5:30 p.m. and often takes one (1) to two (2) hours. There are times however when special meetings are necessary and can be called during the day or evening.
Director meetings are extremely important and must be taken seriously and as such must be given a high priority in one's schedule. Critical information is shared at each and every meeting and only through your attendance can you expect to make intelligent decisions for the credit union.
The credit union stresses the importance and relevance of education to our volunteers. Every year the credit union provides each director with several opportunities to attend educational forums. These opportunities however may require some overnight travel as participants learn about new trends and developments that are occurring throughout the credit union movement.
There is no compensation given, thus the literal meaning of "VOLUNTEER". There can be minimal traveling involved while conducting credit union business and as such the Board has authorized reimbursement on such items as: hotel, meals, mileage and other travel related expenses to those participants in attendance.
What Responsibilities Would I Have?
The primary responsibility of a Director is to safeguard the members financial assets and to meet our members needs in terms of product and services. Directors develop a road map of priorities (strategic planning) for management and staff to follow. Directors set policy in such areas as: lending, collections, and investments just to name a few.
Are There Potential Liabilities For My Service?
Serving as a volunteer carries certain legal responsibilities. Failing to follow organization procedures and sound business principals has resulted in lawsuits being filed. The following are just a few areas one should avoid: 1) The approval of self-serving, improvident or excessive loans and 2) non-compliance with regulatory directives.
It is important to note that incidents of Directors being sued are rare and only occur in extreme circumstances. Attending scheduled meetings, staying informed on industry developments and evaluating credit union financial performance are keys to success.
Would I Make A Good Credit Union Volunteer?
Volunteers must maintain a balanced focus on serving member needs while preserving the financial strength of the credit union. Below are some important factors to consider "prior" to becoming a credit union volunteer:
- Be familiar with credit union products and services.
- Understand the economics and social conditions affecting the credit union.
- Be committed to attending both scheduled meetings and educational programs offered by the credit union.
- Be a member in good standing and utilize FEDCOM Credit Union for your primary financial accounts.
- Act as an ambassador for your credit union. Pay attention to the needs and wants of fellow members as well as the community at large, and report your findings to credit union management.
- Always put the credit union first. The safety and soundness of FEDCOM Credit Union should come before any personal agendas.
O.K. How Do I Volunteer?
Serving as a credit union volunteer is a highly responsible and challenging position, which brings about tremendous satisfaction in the helping of others. To volunteer for your credit union simply call (616) 364-7283 and ask for the President/CEO, Anna Marie Zielinski or complete our Volunteer Application Form and return it to the credit union.