As we prepare for the August Annual Meeting, our members are encouraged to consider volunteering to serve on the Board of Directors or Supervisory Committee. There is a lot of helpful information on our website that describes opportunities that are unique to financial institutions.
NorthPark Community Credit Union is a co-operative owned and controlled by the people who use its financial services. These people are members, and they all own shares in the credit union. As shareholders, members of many credit unions share in the benefits of membership, as well as its products and services.
As a co-operative, NorthPark is dedicated to the people and community we serve. As a member-owner of this co-operative, who may be interested in volunteering to serve as one of its leaders, you may be interested in learning about the Seven International Co-operative Principles that guides NorthPark’s leadership values.
1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership
Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control
Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operatives. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operatives. They usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operatives; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence
Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operatives autonomy.
5th Principle: Education, Training and Information
Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public - particularly young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation.
6th Principle: Co-operation among Co-operatives
Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7th Principle: Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.
In today’s world of self-serving big banks and multi-national corporations, it is good to know that there is a “not for profit” organization like NorthPark in our community, a true cooperative guided by real values, that serves its members first and foremost. As we approach the Annual Meeting, I hope that you can appreciate what was started here in May, 1933 during the depths of the Great Depression. Call me at 317-733-2200 ext. 138 if you want to know more about volunteer leadership opportunities or what values guide your credit union.
Dan Robbins, President/CEO
NorthPark Community Credit Union