Advancing Communities stories shine a light on financial wellness for all | 2022-04-20
CUNA continues its call for credit unions to submit their stories to the Advancing Communities website, especially during National Credit Union Youth Month and Financial Literacy Month in April. Many credit unions have already done this, using the site to highlight the many ways they have met their members’ needs.
The campaign aims to educate lawmakers on the difference of credit unions through stories. The website also includes data on how credit unions serve their communities.
“Financial Literacy Month is a great time for credit unions to share with legislators how they are developing programs specifically designed to serve the financial well-being of their members,” said Adam Engelman, director of federal programs and premises at CUNA.
Evergreen Credit Union, South Portland, Maine, submitted their video to Advancing Communities because they wanted to share their programs, and also how they were created with attention to things that affect their members.
“It was important to Evergreen Credit Union that we invest in programs to help members improve their financial well-being. Once established, we were in the communities we serve, always looking for new ways to expand financial literacy education,” said Brenda Pollock, Membership Development and Financial Advisor at Evergreen Credit Union. .
“When an organization is truly customer-centric, they invest in these types of programs that may not provide an immediate return on investment, but the big picture looks like this: increased referrals, customer loyalty membership includes trust and word of mouth in the community is spreading,” she added.
Evergreen Credit Union launched programs to combat senior scams, created a board game titled to help high school students learn how to budget, and launched a program for employers to offer free financial services to employees.
It also has a “Your Money 101” book available to all members via electronic or hard copy.
Chris Wolgamott, director of financial wellness at Meritrust Credit Union, Wichita, Kansas, said the credit union’s efforts are aimed at ensuring members always have access to safe and affordable products and services. Meritrust submitted a video detailing their many programs and how they benefit members.
“We helped members realize the possibility of getting a home loan when they thought it was impossible, to fall back on more than payday loans in an emergency and to be able to buy transportation reliable and affordable,” he said. “It’s not just our members, but also our employees, who we’ve helped, through financial wellness classes, book clubs and one-on-one financial advice.
Mountain America Credit Union, Sandy, Utah, submitted a story highlighting the growth of its financial education programs and resources over the past year. The Mountain America Financial Guides program is a free service offered independent of membership.
Over 2,500 people have received free one-on-one financial coaching sessions since March 2021.
“We came up with the idea of offering one-on-one coaching in the midst of the pandemic because we saw a chance to innovatively approach providing help and education on a more personalized level,” Jason said. Rogers, senior vice president and chief member. service agent at Mountain America Credit Union. “Not only do they get help identifying their financial dreams, but they also learn important money management skills.”
Mountain America’s financial education team has delivered more than 350 free financial education presentations to nearly 13,000 attendees and engaged nearly one million members of the public with free financial education resources, including podcasts, blog posts, financial education games, live presentations and more.