The President's Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy Tuesday!

I trust that you had a restful and relaxing Labor Day weekend. The annual holiday generally means the end of summer and the ushering in of the fall season. Speaking of which, our fall education and networking events continue and I’m looking forward to seeing some of you in Fargo later this week for the Small Credit Union CEO Roundtable. Put simply, small, community-based credit unions and small SEG based credit unions are the lifeblood our movement. Small credit unions have a distinct purpose, and that is to serve their members and help them succeed financially. Yet the challenges in today’s financial service environment are on-going. How do small credit unions compete and remain relevant to their members? That’s where our Small CU CEO Roundtable comes in.

For this year’s event, we are extremely excited to have Tom Sakash, Manager of CUNA’s Small Credit Union Initiatives, join us in Fargo later this week. Tom is leading CUNA’s new efforts to serve small credit unions. At our event, Tom will share specific case studies of small credit unions that are thriving because they found their niche in today’s competitive financial service marketplace. Participants will work through exercises that will help their respective credit union find their own niche in their individual markets.

It’s not too late to register for this exclusive opportunity for credit unions $100M and under.

Dakota “Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union®” is exceeding expectations.

The latest awareness campaign metrics for the Dakotas are in and we are seeing fantastic consumer engagement numbers here in the Dakotas.  Over the last two months, the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® (or known externally to consumers as “Your Money Further”) consumer consideration campaign results indicate that the campaign is exceeding objectives in our markets. More importantly, the results reveal that the campaign is gaining momentum as it reached 1.48 million impressions here in the Dakotas just in August. Which was an increase of nearly 200 thousand more impressions than in July. Also, nearly 825,000 Dakota consumers viewed the “Your Money Further” videos in August, bringing our two-month total to 1.4 million videos fully viewed by Dakotans since we launched.

So, how do we know we’re exceeding objectives? We know because our “click-through rate” (CTR) is at 38 percent, well above the benchmark rate of 25 percent. Plus, our Video Fully (Played) Rate (VFR) is at 66 percent. Which is leaps and bounds above the benchmark of 5 to 10 percent. Facebook is clearly the popular platform for Dakotans over Instagram. Impressions on Facebook are nearly 90 percent and our videos fully played rate on Facebook are near 69 percent.

Nationally, momentum is continuing to grow as we have 186 million impressions gained, while 27.6 million prospective members have watched our “Your Money Further” videos from start to finish.

Social media platforms have reached 5.1 million (Facebook and Instagram) and 3.2 million have found “Your Money Further” on YouTube, while we have made 6.7 connections through on-line (programmatic) advertising. 

We’re continuing to bring contributors into the fold, as more than 640 credit unions across the country have committed over $42 million to the three-year initiative.

The number of states running Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® is hitting double-digits following the addition of five states in July! CUNA is set to launch in another five states this month – California (Orange County and LA region), Arizona, Nebraska, West Virginia, and Vermont are all coming online. Targeted consumers from coast to coast will soon see what makes credit unions different and why they should become a member. Our September launches are yet another milestone in this initiative. From one launched state in January to fourteen in September, the campaign is making phenomenal progress – all thanks to our supporters like YOU!  Great Job Dakota’s! Let’s keep the momentum and get prospective members to improve their financial health with a credit union. 

3rd Annual Foundation Golf Outing a FUNd Success!

I want to personally thank everyone that participated and sponsored the Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas 3rd Annual Golf outing in Bismarck last week.  The weather was perfect and the conditions at the Apple Creek Country Club were terrific.  It was a great day of golf, networking and credit union comradery. 

Congratulations to the Brady Martz & Associates team of Ryan Bakke, Troy, Hill, and Alex Kalliokoski for taking the top team honors. And, I would like to give a special a shout out to the team from LaMoure Credit Union of Eric Musland, Art Hageock, Mitch Carlson, Brad Nogosch, for taking home the “most fun” team award.

Be sure to keep your calendar open for August in 2020 for our 4th Annual Golf fundraising outing. 

Save the Date.

Things that should be on your CU Networking and Education Radar:

  1. CUAD New Ideas, October 7-9, Rapid City, SD
  2. ULend Academy, Registration is open for Bismarck, October 29-30 (limited availability)
  3. CUPAC/CULAC Holiday Raffle, November 1-30
  4. SD Legislative Social / CEO/ CU Leadership Roundtable, January 29, 2020, Ramkota
  5. MONDAK CEO-Volunteer Roundtable, Las Vegas, NV, February 10-12, 2020, Planet Hollywood.
  6. CUNA GAC, February 23-27, 2020, Washington, DC
  7. CUAD Annual Summit, May 4-6, 2020, Sioux Falls, SD, Sanford Center.

Have a great week,


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