Principle #5: Education, Training and Information

The fifth of the 7 Cooperative Principles for Credit Unions is the principle of education, training, and information.

Credit unions are committed to providing financial education and training for members and employees for the betterment of the whole cooperative.  This is a great selling point!  Finances can be intimidating for many people, and in some ways banks seem to reinforce this feeling.  Providing education is a way for credit unions to help members overcome any trepidation, understand their finances, make better decisions, and become more financially secure – something that benefits everybody thanks to the principle of member participation. Many credit unions provide financial literacy training for children and special interest groups such as immigrants or veterans.

In keeping with the idea that people from all walks of life deserve reliable financial service, credit unions around the world also continue to make a difference by offering financial education and opportunities for underserved populations in places like Africa, India, and Afghanistan. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) devotes a small percentage of every dollar collected in dues from affiliated credit unions to assist with the international credit union development activities of the World Council of Credit Unions.

This is a great principle to both reinforce within your internal culture and communicate externally, because everyone benefits when both employees and members are well-educated on financial topics.  When your employees truly feel like they are part of a learning organization, they are more likely to seek opportunities to educate your members as well.

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