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Collaboration·Community Development

A Need for Story-Telling

Blessed with an opportunity to present on Internal Culture as part of a panel on Building Loyalty at the Co-Op Network’s THiNK11 Conference, I soaked up inspiration like a sponge.

Did you know that Credit Unions for Kids raised more than $80 million for Children’s Miracle Network since 1996? Or that we’re the third largest fundraiser for them? No? Neither did I, at least until last night. (Among attendees and valued partners, we raised more than $50k yesterday alone. WOW!) As Nancy Lublin, Founder of Dress for Success and told our assembled crowd at THiNK11… Credit unions are too humble.

Here’s what I believe: We *need* to be telling more of our stories and engaging with our communities. We’ve been continuing with our good works again and again, as though hoping that our life-changing actions would speak for themselves… and the end result is that we are surprised to learn the ways that we’re making a difference. How can we expect our members (and non-members) to know the CU Difference if we’re not standing on rooftops with bullhorns, spreading the good word?

THiNK11 has been eye-opening, really. Why are we not telling more of these truths? We’re all struggling to highlight our relevance to our communities, and I keep thinking about our founding principles… specifically the sixth principle, Cooperation among Cooperatives. Perhaps we feel shy about tooting our own organization’s horn… but that shouldn’t stop us from talking about one another’s accomplishments. Together, we can not only make a difference, but also ensure that the difference is known.

As we begin to do that, attempting to touch our communities through as many channels as possible, we need to remember that it’s also more than just broadcasting… we *need* to make this a conversation. We need to engage with members and non-members alike who are willing to talk to us. We need to not only live our values, but we need to talk about the ways that we demonstrate them. As we raise our individual voices, as we sing one another’s praises, our voices will combine in harmony, and that chorus will be heard not just locally, but globally.

Nothing will bring me greater pleasure than to sing with you. And while we’re at it… let’s dance!

Originally posted on May 18th from

Leave a Comment


  1. I’ll gladly dance with you! <3

  2. Signed, sealed, delivered. I’m yours! :)

  3. I couldn’t agree more. Who’s doing a good job of telling their story? Someone we can look to for inspiration?

  4. I like Vancity’s idea:

    I knew that they are awesome in terms of being accepting of all the different communities that make up their community, but I didn’t know they had an actual *story* story until just now. Way cool!

    But I think we also need to tell one another’s stories, too.

  5. Okay, now that I’ve had more time to read through their story… :)

    I think they’re really on to something. Within our CUs/organizations, we need to know our own story. If we don’t know our own story, then it’s harder to help ourselves moving forward. If you’re looking at a map, and you don’t know where you’re coming from, how will you get to where you’d like to go?

    As a movement, we should begin braiding our individual stories together. Through that, we’ll experience more unity of purpose, and we’ll be helping one another to get the word out.

    • Mulle ei nyt täysin aukea minkä vuoksi Mindy pitää tasolle hyppäämistä niin vaikeana tehtävänä. Omistajana kuitenkin kehotan siihen, että helpottaa mielettömästi jos kissa ei hypi pöydille tai esim. keitsiöntatolle. Joten älä missään nimessä "opeta" Mindyä ns. pahoille tavoille. Sallitut rehut ja ruohot vähän matalammalle ettei uusia oppeja tarvittaisi lainkaan.

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