Impact Strategies From December 2022

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

As 2022 comes to a close and the holidays approach, here’s a gift that keeps on giving: another round of impact strategies from credit unions across the country.

Small Change? Not So Much.

A new checking product at St. Mary’s Bank ($1.5B, Manchester, NH) is pumping up membership numbers and supporting local community organizations. The 603 account — named for the state’s area code — allows members to select a charity they want to support from four different categories. For each debit card purchase users make, the credit union plans to donate 6.03 cents to selected nonprofits, with a commitment of up to $5,000 each to four organizations in its first year.

“This account is a great extension of what we already do as an organization,” says executive vice president and incoming CEO Ken Senus. “Giving our members the power to give to a charity that’s important to them.”

Since launching in August, the 603 account has already garnered 254 new member accounts and an additional $600,000 in deposits at St. Mary’s.

Read more in “Small Change Makes A Big Difference At St. Mary’s.”

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Ampersand

Enlisting Former Military Members In The Credit Union Movement

Many credit unions focus on serving the armed forces, but AmeriCU ($2.6B, Rome, NY) is giving former service members an opportunity to serve the credit union movement once their time in military ends. The credit union created a 90-day internship program to help transitioning solders better understand what a career in banking has to offer.

“We were already helping transitioning soldiers with resumes and mock interviews,” explains Tina Thornton, assistant vice president of financial services. “An internship program gave us an opportunity to not only give on-the-job career experience to soldiers leaving the military but also to recruit them into full-time positions and transition them into the local community.”

The program has already resulted in two full-time hires for the credit union. Both stayed approximately one year, and one of those hires moved to a position at another credit union after relocating.

Read more in “Soldiers Sample A Credit Union Career At AmeriCU.”

Stopping Elderly Financial Abuse In Its Tracks

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — but not for everyone. According to a report from AARP, elderly financial exploitation (EFE) has doubled since the start of the pandemic. Fortunately, credit unions are stepping up to make a difference. The National Credit Union Administration has highlighted EFE as an initiative for the industry to keep an eye on, and institutions of all sizes can make an impact.

Atomic Credit Union ($532.5M, Piketon, OH) and AgFed Federal Credit Union ($351.2M, Washington, DC) have both identified the issue as an area of concern. The Ohio cooperative has in part relied on close connections with its membership — particularly aging baby boomers — to help monitor for potential risks. AgFed has instituted training around how to spot abuse and has procedures in place around how to respond when concerns arise.

Read more in “Elderly Financial Exploitation Is A Growing Problem. Here’s How To Help.”

 

December 19, 2022

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