Impact Strategies From October 2022

A look back at strategies and ideas that help credit unions make an even bigger difference in the communities they serve.

Need some new ideas for how your credit union can make a difference as the season of giving back approaches? Throughout October, CreditUnions.com has highlighted multiple stories of credit unions making an impact in their communities. That takes place in a variety of ways, whether it be monetary giving, fighting food insecurity with financial education, shifting to a more DEI-focused mindset, or emphasizing disaster-relief efforts and college savings.

Read on for examples of how credit unions of all sizes from all corners of the country are making an impact.

 

One Foundation, Double The Impact

Excite Credit Union ($708.2M, San Jose, CA) launched a new foundation two years ago with the dual goal of aiding in disaster-relief efforts and helping boost college savings. Because the credit union has markets in both California and North Carolina, its disaster-relief work has primarily been in the aftermath of wildfires and hurricanes. Additionally, a specific college savings account offers 5.0% APY on balances up to $2,500, along with some deposit matching. In the foundation’s first year alone, it opened saving accounts for more than 600 first-grade students in San Jose.

Read more in “How 1 Foundation Tackles 2 Mandates.”

 

Food And Financial Education

More than three decades after launching its campaign against hunger, the Maine Credit Union League is adding a new component to the effort: financial education. Through its partnership with the Good Shepherd Food Bank, the league has begun distributing brochures to select food pantries in the state with information focused on financial literacy basics, including the importance of establishing banking relationships and understanding credit. The materials are available in English and four other languages, and the league has distributed them to pantries in rural and urban areas to maximize outreach efforts.

Read more in “Fighting Food Insecurity 1 Financial Lesson At A Time.”

 

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Just in time for October’s designation as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Verve, A Credit Union, ($1.5B, Oshkosh, WI) has partnered with local law enforcement agencies to bolster members’ cyber defenses. As part of its effort to prevent financial fraud, the credit union assembled a “Fraud Squad” and even created a fake movie trailer on the topic that garnered significant social media attention from members and the wider community.

Read more in “It Takes A Team To Fight Fraud.”

 

School’s Out

More than two years after rebranding from Kern Schools FCU, the institution now known as Valley Strong Credit Union ($4.0B, Bakersfield, CA) has doubled its asset size and seen membership rise by more than 50%. That’s all thanks to not only a merger but also a field-of-membership expansion and improvements in how the organization is run.

“We have improved our service to members, elevated our staff quality, and have an exciting, growth-oriented future,” says CEO Nick Ambrosini. “We are becoming that destination workplace. Short of a cataclysmic event out of our control, our trajectory is nothing short of explosive.”

Read more in “The Power Behind A ‘Strong’ Rebrand.”

 

Connex’s Commitment To Community

From achieving certification as a community development financial institution (CDFI) to expanding its efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion, Connex Credit Union ($896.8M, North Haven, CT) is serving a working-class market and outperforming much of the industry. The cooperative’s success — profiled in the latest “Anatomy Of A Credit Union” feature from Callahan’s Strategy & Performance magazine — is the result of not only balance sheet growth but also a mindset focused on doing good in the community even as the organization continues to perform well.

“We’re never going to be Bank of America with a billion dollars in loan funding,” says CEO Frank Mancini. “But we can make an impact on our community, and that’s meaningful to those folks who benefit from it.”

Read more in “A Fast-Moving Mission Propels Connex Credit Union Forward.”

 

Making An Impact Can Be As Easy As 1-2-3

When measuring success, a growing number of credit unions are looking beyond the balance to also consider the difference they make for the members and communities they serve. But where to start? There are countless ways to make an impact, but measuring impact is a simple three-step process: reframe your mindset, identify the needs, and look for partners.

Read more in “There’s No Wrong Way To Make An Impact.” 

CreditUnions.com has the inspiration you need to improve your credit union’s impact. Check out stories that highlight strategies, initiatives, products, and services of credit unions making a positive impact on the members and communities they serve. Read more today.

October 24, 2022

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