A few months ago, we began sharing details with our members about changes that would be coming to The Crash Network. A group called Family Talk was kicked off where we housed conversations about the future of our community. There has been a lot of activity and sweat put in, and we’re (just about!) ready to launch our real boy: The Cooperative Trust.
A Wild Ride
When Brent started things up in February 2010 with The Crash Network, it began as an experiment. As many of you know, we’ve moved far beyond just crashing that first conference. Over the last year people from our family have started organizations in their own states, rocked at Next Top Credit Union Exec, been promoted to CEO, showed up as Trailblazers 40 Below, been cited across industry pubs, rallied more and more people around our cause: the future.
After a year and a half of building this by figuring-it-out-as-we-go, we can safely call this an extremely successful experiment. But now it’s time to take that experiment to the next level. This next step is taking us from just testing things out to building our community into a sustainable organization. Crash was the experiment. The Cooperative Trust is the result.
CUNA Mutual Group and a Sustainable Future
A huge piece of this puzzle that we’re ecstatic to announce is a 3 year funding commitment from CUNA Mutual Group. In 2010, they saw a spark and financially supported us so we could throw 6 state Crash events (Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana & California/Nevada). When we told them about the next level of The Crash Network, they were first in line for giving us seed money to help us keep moving.
Bob Trunzo, Chief Operating Officer, CUNA Mutual Group explains why:
Supporting and mentoring young professionals is key not only to their success but the credit union movement’s success as well. The Cooperative Trust has the potential to make a real difference in the credit union communities it touches.
As Bob alludes to, their support goes beyond just helping us keep the lights on. CUNA Mutual employees will also be involved by mentoring community members, speaking at meet-ups and helping to evaluate member projects. This mutually beneficial relationship will also include community involvement and advisement on products and market development topics for CUNA Mutual Group.
The key to sustainability means the community will self-fund. Once we launch the new site, on January 25th, there will be an annual fee (around $100) for each member of the community. CUNA Mutual Group’s support, along with membership fees, will allow The Cooperative Trust to develop into a self-sustaining model after 3 years.
While our community was established around a Crash (event), we are shifting from just merely showing up and gaining access to taking action and getting things done. Meetups, whether local, state or national, are intended to be a kickoff and not the finale. We’ll still use events to get wheels in motion and to focus on our main goals:
- designing an online community for connecting like-minded members
- offering mentorship opportunities between members and experienced professionals
- building opportunities for growth and development through actions
The Next Step
As we transition from The Crash Network to The Cooperative Trust, we’re launching a new website designed to make it easier for our members to collaborate and support each other. Wednesday, January 25th is the official launch of trust.coop and when we’ll flip the switch on our new home. Here’s a glimpse of what it will look like:
Thanks in advance to everyone who has helped us along the way, we can’t even begin to express how grateful we are for your support.
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Update: The Credit Union Times has put together a fantastic feature outlining the future of this thing. Check it out here. Many thanks to Sarah Snell Cooke and Myriam Digiovanni for their radness.