Questions? Glad you asked.
What is a credit union?
A credit union is the socially responsible alternative to big banking. Credit unions are like a bank, except they’re owned by the people who use them. This means everything they do and every bit of interest they earn goes back into the community.
Here’s a great illustration created by Alex Mallis and SolidarityNYC:
How can I get involved?
If you’re under-35, entrepreneurial, hungry, and love cooperatives and credit unions, you should apply for membership! We will immediately consider your application and let you know if we need more information.
If you’re over 35, learn about being a mentor. If you’re an organization, let’s talk about collaborating.
What is a Crash Event?
Crash Events are meetups for young professionals designed to spark new ways of thinking, build lasting relationships, and send attendees home hungry to help their communities and the credit union system.
Learn more about our national, regional, and state-level events here.
How does The Cooperative Trust support itself?
We’re supported for the next 3 years by generous seed funding from CUNA Mutual Group to grow this into a self-sustaining thing.
Where does the money go?
Support goes to fund technology and design (like that behind this website), people and time (James Marshall & Chris Fraenza), speakers and event costs, hard costs for certain Crasher travel opportunities, gear (like T-shirts, posters, gifts for speakers), and an increasing amount of opportunities for the community.
Why the brand change from The Crash Network to The Cooperative Trust?
The Crash Network was an experiment in giving young people who love credit unions a voice and access to opportunities. “Crash” speaks for showing up uninvited. Fortunately for us, the leaders of the cooperative and credit union movements have welcomed young professionals in. As this realization was made, we decided to turn that access, voice, and the relationships they create into real change for the future of the cooperative financial system. We want to help push credit unions to make our communities a better place. On January 25, 2012, the Crash Network became the Cooperative Trust. This new brand does a much better job of describing what we do, why we do it, and why you should be a part of it.
Besides, there’s another Crash Network for people who engineer Crash Test Dummies. They probably deserve that name more than we do.
I don’t work for a credit union or cooperative, how can I get involved?
There are many different ways people outside the credit union system can be involved in the Cooperative Trust. A few examples include:
- Share your expertise. We’re always looking for unique insights that will help young professionals succeed. Help us understand more about your cooperative, business, or career path, and the associated lessons that can develop our members.
- Share your space. Trust.coop is an amazing place for connecting members of the Cooperative Trust, their mentors, and other interested parties. As much as we love the virtual world, we also know that physical meetups are sometimes more valuable. If you have meeting space that could be used for impromptu or planned out meetups, please let us know. We’ll clean up after ourselves, I promise.
- Spread the word. In an age of hyperconnectivity, it’s amazing how many great opportunities can remain well-kept secrets. Help us grow the Cooperative Trust by reaching out to young people, mentors, cooperatives, and anyone else who might help us reach our mission.
Other questions? Drop a us line and we’ll add them to the list