On May 8, 1930, State Capitol Credit Union had its inaugural meeting to mark the beginning of a not-for-profit alternative to banking – a cooperative formed and owned by its members. Although it’s been 85 years and one name change (Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union!) since that day, the benefit of cooperative banking we are able to provide our members then remains. It’s truly the members who make us who we are and why we are here today. You may or may not know it, but you hold the key to the cooperative’s success. With the term “not-for-profit” and “cooperative” being thrown around a lot, what does it actually mean to be a part of a credit union?
As a member-owner of Affinity Plus, you get a say in how the cooperative operates. Our shareholders are you, the members, and your voice is heard through the member-elected, volunteer Board of Directors. Each of these Directors is a member at the credit union, so you know they are looking out for the best interest of our members, because they are one too! They ensure the decisions we make as an organization benefits the membership as a whole.
Although credit unions do need to make money to operate, being a not-for-profit organization is certainly better for members’ pockets. In fact, the majority of the profits we earn go back to our members and communities, instead of into the accounts of a few wealthy shareholders. For instance, credit unions on average offer lower interest rates on loans and charge less in fees than their bank counterparts. In true cooperative nature, the more you utilize your membership, the more you stand to get back.
It’s important to note that credit unions can only become stronger when their membership is financially healthy. We are all in this together, so naturally, we want you to meet your financial goals and feel confident with your money. To do that, we partner with our members throughout all stages of life, during the good and the bad, by means of guidance and support.
By being a member of Affinity Plus, you’re part of something bigger. Not only are you the reason we exist, you’re helping us make our communities stronger. It’s through your participation that we are able to provide impactful support to our Charities of Choice and community organizations throughout Minnesota.
So, on behalf of all of us at Affinity Plus, here’s to you! Thank you for a wonderful 85 years of cooperation!
Photo: St. Paul - Capitol branch from October 1958 "Capitolizer" newsletter publication.