Community Charter

"Growth is important. But diversification is essential."

This phrase is the foundation of the Dollar Associates, LLC approach to field of membership consultation. We are convinced that the future of many credit unions is directly tied to the ability to diversify their product offerings and potential membership.

No one knows the process better for converting to a community charter than our team at Dollar Associates. Likewise, no one knows the questions you must be prepared to answer to make sure that you "do it right" when it comes to evaluating and applying for a FOM expansion.

Even though significant efforts have been made in recent years to streamline the rules and regulations pertaining to field of membership expansion requests, the process involved to convert to a community charter can, in many cases, become complex and cumbersome without clear direction and guidance. As shown in the chart below, the number of federal community charters approved has diminished greatly in recent years, indicating the complexity involved with gaining approval.

While the numbers have decreased in recent years, the benefit of adding potential members through a community charter continues to be a valuable diversification strategy for many credit unions, and we are here to make the process easier.

The Dollar Associates process in assisting our credit union clients in identifying potential field of membership expansion options begins with an initial consultation. This consultation allows us to strategize with you, your management team, and board to identify the field of membership opportunities available for your credit union. This initial consultation has proven to be invaluable for us and the credit union based on our experience in working with many credit unions considering field of membership expansion options.

During the consultation process, we generally do the following:

  • Discuss and evaluate current need for diversification
  • Review current field of membership as well as geographic area covered by the credit union
  • Discuss the current regulatory, statutory and political environment associated with field of membership expansions
  • Discuss and evaluate available options (community charter, underserved area expansion, TIP charter) in an effort to identify the best solution to your diversification needs
  • Review current financial condition of the credit union
  • Discuss the NCUA or state regulatory agency submission and approval process for field of membership expansions
  • Provide an overview of our services specific to the field of membership option best suited to your needs
  • Answer any questions staff may have regarding any of the available expansion options, process or our services

If you feel the strategic goals of your credit union could best be met by a community charter or other field of membership expansion, we would value the opportunity to discuss this matter with you.

Comments from Community Charter Clients:

"Having used a different consultant on our first FOM expansion request that wasn't successful, I reached out to a colleague that I knew recently had been successful for a recommendation.  He said to contact Dollar Associates.  From that moment on, I knew we were in good hands as Dollar Associates responded right away, talked me through the process and then followed up with written information.  At every step, we were provided professional advice and direction.  I was surprised at how quickly our application was approved from the date it was submitted until we received NCUA approval.  I highly recommend Dollar Associates."

Tommy Smith, Central Oklahoma FCU

"Excellent partnership. Extremely helpful. Always available. Offered tremendous insight and direction throughout the entire process. We couldn't imagine pursuing our charter change without the assistance of Dollar Associates."

John Faust, CEO, Diamond Credit Union, Pottstown, PA

"The quick thinking and timing from Dollar Associates at a point when NCUA guidelines changed in regard to community charters enabled us to continue going forward and gain approval. For this we are extremely grateful. Many thanks to Dennis, Kirk, and Chris for their hard work."

Pam Vaughan, Bronco FCU, VA

"We felt like Dollar Associates was a true partner and guided us every step of the way."

Mike Parsons, CEO, First Source FCU, Utica, NY

"I do not like surprises - I was informed of what to expect and what to provide up front and Dollar Associates delievered as expected with no surprises. Excellent work."

Ken Bordelon, CEO, E FCU, Baton Rouge, LA

"From start to finish, Chris Dollar was helping us and keeping us informed. And by the end when NCUA was contacting us directly we felt comfortable and knew what was expected. Being a small/mid size credit unio having this support is greatly appreciated!"

Evelyn Dowdy, CEO, Connects FCU, Richmond, VA

"Dollar Associates was there for us every step of the way from the first thought of applying for a community charter to the minute we found out of the approval. They stayed in constant contact and were always available when I needed them. They made the process seamless and easy. I cannot imagine anyone that could have done a better job for us."

Debbie Jones, CEO, UTFCU, Knoxville, TN

"Very professional and accomodating and knowledgeable. They delivereed what they promised throughout the process."

David Barton, CEO, Gateway Metro FCU, St. Louis, MO

"Dollar Associates did an excellent job of working through the red tape."

Kevin Ryan, Finance Center FCU, Indianapolis, IN