How To Act Like A Credit Union

As credit union leaders, members, and advocates pause and reflect during this season of thanks, shares a few examples of credit unions paying it forward and giving back.

The credit union philosophy of people helping people can be witnessed daily in communities everywhere, and credit unions are leading that charge across the nation. As credit union leaders, members, and advocates pause and reflect during this season of thanks, shares a few examples of credit unions paying it forward and giving back.

To celebrate International Credit Union Day this past Oct. 15, Abri Credit Union offered members a chance to win one of seven $100 Visa Gift Cards by participating in community-building events, such as donating canned foods or paying a good deed forward. More than 800 members seized the people-helping-people concept to enter the credit union’s 7 Ways to Win drawing. Two days later, Suncoast Credit Union employee and family volunteers contributed 1,140 hours valued at $24,635.40 during the credit union’s second annual Pay It Forward Day.And on Nov. 13, 26 credit unions in the East Tennessee Credit Union Coalition gave away $2,500 in free gas as part of a community support initiative it called Free Gas Friday.

That’s a lot of community support for 30 days. To learn more about these events, read Credit Unions Pay It Forward In More Ways Than One by Callahan contributor Sharon Simpson.

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, and for giving back. One Iowa credit union has taken the movement’s mantra of people helping people to heart through a program that empowers people of limited means to save toward the purchase of a wealth-building asset and achieve self-sufficiency.

Dupaco Community Credit Union established the Dupaco MoneyMatch program with the support and funding of both the Iowa Credit Union Foundation and the Dupaco R.W. Hoefer Foundation. To learn more about how the credit union helps participants in the program set up special savings accounts, set a specific funding goal, and support them through regular financial education and coaching, read Dupaco’s MoneyMatch Program Gives Iowans A Leg Up On Financial Independence by Callahan contributor Ted Goldwyn.

State Employees’ Credit Union is the nation’s second-largest credit union. Its 254-branch network stretches across the state and touches all 100 Tar Heel counties. The credit union is based in the state capital of Raleigh, but it offers good jobs in rural communities such as Kinston, Swan Quarter, Snow Hill, Yadkinville, and Robbinsville.

These jobs, however, extend beyond the traditional branch-based positions. That’s because more than 50 of those 254 branches also host call center activities. To learn how this operational strategy allows SECU to maximize its existing resources and footprint as well as provide employment in economically struggling parts of North Carolina, read A Staffing Strategy With Social Benefits by Callahan senior writer and editor Marc Rapport.

New Hampshire is the fifth smallest state by land area and the ninth least populous of the United States. Its affluent population base coupled with its high rate of homeownership make it a competitive housing market. Add to that some of the highest average real estate taxes in the country, and the cost of homeownership can be challenging for credit union members.

To help its membership achieve homeownership, St. Mary’s Bank Credit Union takes advantage of grants provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston for down payment, closing costs, homebuyer counseling, and rehabilitation assistance. Read more in A Strategy To Grant First-Time Homebuyers Down Payment Assistance by Callahan writer Erik Payne.

And finally, in the’s Graphic Of The Week, Grant Funding In 2015, Callahan analyst Sam Taft shows that credit unions received more than $50 million in funding over the past 12 months. But where did it come from? And where is it going?

Happy Reading.

November 23, 2015

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