Impact Strategies From January 2023

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

When it comes to leading with purpose and making an impact, a little can go a long way. Whether it’s taking steps to keep staff engaged, focusing on financial wellness, or partnering to support sponsor groups, the following impact strategies were among the most popular highlighted throughout January.

An Extra Mile For Employee Retention

Recruitment and retention is an ongoing problem for employers nationwide. That’s why Advancial Federal Credit Union ($2.2B, Dallas, TX) has taken steps to ensure its staff members are happy and healthy. The credit union offers an 8% contribution to employees’ 401(k) accounts and competitive benefits that include a minimum of three weeks of vacation. What’s more, staff have access to a benefits program that offers up to $750 in the event of an unexpected expense, such as car repairs, home goods, or other eligible expenses.

“Advancial has a long track record of being named one of the best companies to work for both nationally and locally, and our benefits are a factor in driving that recognition,” says Olivia Mitchell, Advancial’s vice president of human resources.

Read more in “Flexible Benefits Attract – And Keep – Top Talent.”

Financial Wellness At The Forefront

How seriously does Financial Center First ($846.4M, Indianapolis, IN) take financial wellness? Seriously enough that the credit union devotes an executive-level position to the topic. The credit union provides classes on the topic each week, and more than 2,000 people have taken part online and in person during the past few years.

“The credit card bills are coming in and people are saying, ‘What have I done?’” says James Davidson, vice president of financial wellness. “That’s a good time for our class on 10 steps for financial success, which includes such things as budgeting and credit use as well as checking on beneficiaries and rising rates for things like insurance.

Read more in “Financial Center First Rallies Around Financial Wellness.”

Why Do You Exist?

Does your credit union serve its members and community in ways that set it apart from other financial choices? Rethink your role and responsibility to members, employees, communities, and the environment with Sustainable Business Strategy, a learning experience Callahan & Associates offers in collaboration with Harvard Business School Online.

Small Credit Unions Can Make A Big Difference

A population boom in Upstate South Carolina has contributed to substantial growth at Carolina Foothills Federal Credit Union ($188.5M, Spartanburg, SC), but the cooperative is not relying solely on new residents. Carolina Foothills has whole-heartedly embraced DEI internally and externally and has gone so far as to put together programs to make homeownership more inclusive. The small credit union also uses CDFI funding to help fuel loan loss reserves for loans that many institutions might have turned down, and it has trained nearly half of its employees as certified financial coaches.

Read more in “Low Income, Big Opportunity.

A Cold One In Colorado

Fitting its roots in the brewing industry, On Tap Credit Union ($365.4M, Golden, CO) earned marketing accolades for a clever promotion that outfitted a local bus shelter to resemble a six pack of beer. Determined to do more, the credit union added signage about Pink Boots Society, an association benefitting women in the beer community, and allowed users to scan a QR code to receive a coupon for local breweries in exchange for donations to the association. Thanks to community donations and the credit union’s own funding, On Tap donated more than $1,500 to the cause.

Read more in “Beers + Bus Stops = A Winning Combination For On Tap Credit Union.”

Revisiting The Rebrand

What’s a credit union to do when its name no longer matches its membership or its mission? For the institution formerly known as SC Telco FCU, the answer was simple. In 2018, it became Spero Financial FCU ($630.9M, Greenville, SC). But the rebrand was about much more than a new name or logo. Management worked to measure brand equity and perception in local markets and carefully crafted new branding that better reflects who the credit union is and how it hopes to serve members and the wider community.

Read more in “Time For A Rebrand? Spero Financial Knew Why, When, And How.”

January 30, 2023

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