We want to hear from our members. Please share insights and experiences about your organization, credit union, and/or community. To submit a blog, simply log in and click on "Add New Blog Post". Remember to select the corresponding category to help members find entries that are most relevant to them.

Learn the ins and outs of credit union regulation!

No one has a crystal ball — but we can foresee what credit union regulations might be coming down the pipeline. To better prepare ourselves I’d like to invite you to an exclusive World Council of Credit Unions webinar designed to keep you at the forefront of global regulatory compliance issues. The Basel III Capital Accord and CU Regulation Webinar will be offered on Feb. 1, 2012, from 9 to 11 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST) in English and on Feb. 2, 2012, from 9 to 11 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST) in Spanish. The cost is • US$100 for World Council members with developed CU movements (Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Poland, USA) • US$50 for World Council members with developing CU movements • US$200 for non-members You’ll hear from regulatory expert Glenn Westley and learn about the most influential regulatory guidelines in the world — the Basel III Capital Accord. Find out what changes may be coming and how they could directly or indirectly affect your credit union. Plus, you will have the opportunity to ask your most pressing questions. To sign up visit www.woccu.org/webinars.
CU Boards / Volunteers, Events, Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide, Financial/Risk Management, Member Discussions, Regulatory Issues

Health and wealth over time - BBC makes it interesting!

Prof Hans Rosling has a 4-minute video using 3-D graphics showing how health, the economy and poverty relate over time in different countries.  It has some lessons that may interest our network members as we all try to improve our communities through credit unions.  And I'd love to learn how to use those graphics in my presentations!  Check it out if you have a minute: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo


Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, Community Outreach, Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members, Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide, Financial/Risk Management, Growing CU Market Share, Marketing, Member Discussions, Member Service, Networking, Regulatory Issues, Technology

Leadershp Traits: Women Outshine Men in Almost Every Trait

Attending a recent leadership seminar, I found this Business Week article that compared women's leadership traits with those of men. Women scored better on almost every trait.  Read the full article here to learn more:





Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, Community Outreach, Impact of Women in Society, Networking

International Credit Union Day

International Credit Union (ICU) Day® is celebrated globally throughout the movement.  This year's ICU Day theme, "Credit Unions Build a Better World", celebrates the important economic and social contributions credit unions make to their communities worldwide. Financial cooperatives around the globe will celebrate their heritage and contributions today, Oct. 20.

CU Currency's Tim McAlpine shared three unique ICU Day videos this morning on his blog "Credit Unions Matter".  You should check it out - http://www.currencymarketing.ca/blog/introducing-three-epic-music-videos-that-all-credit-unions-c.html.

How are you celebrating ICU Day?

Community Outreach, Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members, Events, Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide, Networking

Working with Social Service Providers?

Have any of you worked in collaboration (or in partnership) with government-funded Social Service Providers? Our credit union colleagues from Aotearoa Credit Union in New Zealand would like to hear about your experiences. They have strategic goals to create partnerships in communities and with various Maori tribal groups, but these relationships take time to develop and they are wary of how to be involved while at the same time maintaining the independence of our organisation. Please comment on this blog and share you experiences with us!
Community Outreach, CU Boards / Volunteers, Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members, Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide, Member Discussions, Member Service, Networking

Making a difference with your job

Yesterday I received an email from a colleague who works at a university in Nairobi, Kenya. The one line email had a link to a talk given by the COO of Facebook - Sheryl Sandberg in December, 2010. You can hear the talk by clicking on this link Sheryl Sandberg Talk. For those of you who don't have the 15 minutes to listen to the talk (which I can appreciate), I thought that it was worth sharing Sandberg's three points:

1: Sit at the table.

2. Make your partner a partner

3. Don't leave before you leave

Are you curious about what those three points mean? If yes, go ahead and listen to her talk. I put it on in the "background" as I did other tasks and at minute 11 (of 15), I realized that her points were carefully thought out and insightful. 

Hope to see many of you at the Forum coming up in Glasgow in a few weeks! 

Catherine (WOCCU)

It takes the commitment of a family and a community to give a girl a chance.

Take a few minutes to listen to this podcast created in Northern Ghana. Sweeping Away Old Attitudes is the first step to creating opportunities for girls, women and leaders of the future. Sweeping Away Old Attitudes in Rural Ghana may be heard at: http://www.coopscanada.coop/en/orphan/ghana-radio-2011. Hope you enjoy Jo-Anne Ferguson Canadian Co-operative Association

Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members

Time Travelers

If you're like me, you probably have a few tricks and tips that you rely on for what I like to call "time travel." What do I mean by time travel you might ask? Well, I am referring to how we do business today across different time zones, countries, languages, currencies and social norms.

For me, I always want to make sure that meeting times are correct - that the time I am planning to be on the phone, on a skype call or in a physical meeting room corresponds with the rest of the meeting. For the remote meetings we have across time zones, my "go to" website is TimeandDate (Edit: another site that is more accessible can be found at TheTimeNow.com)

Second, when work takes me on a plane to another country, a couple of things I do before heading to the airport:

  1. Register with my country's Embassy website (for US citizens - go to Travel US State Dept)
  2. Consult website of the CIA WorldFactbook for a brief overview of the place(s) that I'm going to visit to get a brief overview of history, economy, politics, and other vital statistics, etc. World Factbook

For language translation (remotely, not in person) - Google has a fast translation site (see Translate). You can plug text right into the website and there is an instant translation into the selected language (often best to consider this translation a rough approximation.)

For money - and figuring out money equivalencies, a quick currency converter website we use is Currency Converter . You can conduct historical currency calculations as well as today's rates.

Finally, social norms are covered in books like Lonely Planet, Rough Guide or best of all, meeting a GWLN member and finding out from her a real perspective of the social norms for the country/place you are headed.

Catherine (WOCCU)

Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, Community Outreach

Savings-linked Conditional Cash Transfer programs (CCTs)

A few years ago, I read an article about government social protection programs and conditional cash transfer programs (CCTs) that provide funds to qualified households or individuals if they fulfill certain requirements (i.e., visiting health clinics or sending their children to school regularly). I was struck by the number of people who receive these government payments—estimated at 124 million in 33 countries—and that the majority of these payments are made outside of the financial system (around 75%). What an opportunity for using these payments as a vehicle for bringing more unbanked people into the financial system.

Today, this idea seems to be gaining traction. In May, the Ford Foundation, United Nations Development Programme, New America Foundation, Citi Foundation and Proyecto Capital released a report and hosted an event on linking CCTs to savings accounts through financial institutions to promote financial inclusion, asset building and poverty reduction. Inter-American Development Bank is also focusing on this topic.

For those of you with CCT programs in your country, you may find the report and webinar interesting.

Link to report: http://gap.newamerica.net/slcct

Link to webinar: http://newamerica.net/events/2011/next_generation_antipoverty

The report covers examples of current programs that enable, encourage or require savings behavior through CCTs as well as design, operational and policy considerations for linking CCTs to savings accounts. It also highlights the potential of savings-linked CCTs to empower women (as has been the case with women connected to financial institutions through microfinance products) and how scope and scale could lead to a business case for financial institutions to manage small-balance deposit accounts.

Credit unions in Ecuador already offer government payments, including CCTs, through the WOCCU WSG investment office in Ecuador, Red Transaccional Cooperativa (RTC). Are others offering these payment services as well?

Stephanie (WOCCU)

Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions

International Women's Day

Today, March 8 is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, which is a day globally recognized to celebrate and honor the unique achievements of women.  At the Global Women’s Leadership Network breakfast event at CUNA's GAC last week, Rep Jackie Speier, the keynote speaker of the event said, “Boards of directors of companies that have women on them have a 65% higher return on investment capital, while 53% have a higher return on equity and 42% have higher sales than those with fewer women in charge....yet women represent only 15% of the Fortune 500 executives”.   

With this in mind, what is your credit union doing this week to recognize the contributions of women staff, members and women in the community?

Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions
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