As credit unions increasingly embrace the idea of leading with purpose, more and more are coming up with distinct ways to make a difference in their communities. Plenty of shops still make monetary donations to support community efforts, but many cooperatives also are creating a more lasting impact.
Read on for a look back at some of the strategies featured in the past month on CreditUnions.com.
Helping Small Businesses Get Bigger
More cooperatives than ever are looking for innovative ways to support local businesses, and incubators are becoming an increasingly popular avenue for that. CreditUnions.com has already featured stories on incubator efforts in Michigan, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. In November, institutions in three more states have joined the ranks. Those efforts include everything from annual competitions for budding entrepreneurs to mentoring fledgling business leaders and collaborative projects to help the industry keep pace with fintechs.
Fighting Back Against Economic Uncertainty
With economic uncertainty riding high along with inflation, Illinois-based BCU ($5.4B, Vernon Hills, IL) is taking steps to reduce stress levels for employees, members, and non-members alike. Along with a new CUSO offering financial wellbeing services for anyone — but particularly those in underserved communities, regardless of membership — the cooperative also has reduced fees for those facing hardships and created a fund that allows employees to make small donations to help struggling coworkers.
“Just like we want to help people find financial peace, we want to help our employees thrive,” says Jill Sammons, BCU’s senior vice president of marketing and strategic communications.
Read more in “Why Did BCU Reduce Fees And Form A Financial Wellbeing CUSO?”
Lead With Purpose
Rethink your credit union’s role and responsibility to members, employees, communities, and the environment with Sustainable Business Strategy , a virtual learning experience that Callahan & Associates offers in collaboration with Harvard Business School Online. Registration is now open for the January 2023 cohort.
Making Every Saturday #SmallBusinessSaturday
Every Saturday can be #SmallBusinessSaturday if credit unions have any say. From passport programs that encourage community members to patronize local establishments to promoting businesses under the care of diverse owners, these four shops are taking strides to ensure local businesses don’t just survive but thrive.
Read more in “4 Ways To Support Small Businesses Every Saturday.”
Going Beyond #GivingTuesday
California’s Golden 1 Credit Union ($18.B, Sacramento, CA) embraced GivingTuesday from the start, but the credit union’s efforts to support the community go beyond a single day of the year. Golden 1 also partners with the Sacramento Community Foundation for its annual Big Day of Giving. In the past, the credit union has directed donations to food banks, but this year Golden 1 plans to also support basic needs pantries at Cal State University campuses in major markets it serves.
“We encourage our members to take this opportunity to give where they live,” says Erica Taylor, vice president of communications and community relations. “It’s a neat opportunity to promote philanthropy with members who don’t live in the Sacramento region.”
Read more in “A Big Day Of Giving For Golden 1 Credit Union.”
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