Stories from Advancing Communities Highlight Financial Wellbeing for All | 2022-04-20

CUNA continues its call for credit unions to submit their stories to the Advanced Communities website, particularly during National Credit Union Youth Month and Financial Literacy Month in April. Many credit unions have already done so and use the site to highlight the many ways in which they have responded to the needs of their members.

The campaign aims to educate lawmakers through the stories about the difference in credit unions. The site also includes data on how credit unions serve their communities.

“Financial Literacy Month is the perfect time for credit unions to engage with lawmakers as they develop programs specifically focused on the financial well-being of their members,” said Adam Engelman, director of federal and grassroots programs 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 by paying attention to things affecting their members.

“It was important to Evergreen Credit Union that we invest in programs that help members improve their financial well-being. Since founding, we have been traveling 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 is this: Increased referrals, member loyalty involves trust, and word of mouth in the community spreads,” she added.

Evergreen Credit Union launched anti-cheat programs for seniors, created a board game titled to help high school students learn budgets, 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 in electronic or printed form.

Chris Wolgamott, director of financial well-being at Meritrust Credit Union, Wichita, Kansas, said the credit union’s efforts are focused on ensuring members always have access to safe and affordable products and services. Meritrust submitted a video detailing the various programs and the benefits they provide to members.

“We’ve helped members see the opportunity to get a home loan when they thought it was impossible to resort to anything more than payday loans when they had an emergency and be able to purchase reliable and affordable transportation “, he said. “We have not only helped our members, but also our employees with financial wellness courses, book clubs and individual financial advice.

Mountain America Credit Union, of Sandy, Utah, submitted a report highlighting the growth of its financial education programs and resources over the past year. Mountain America’s Financial Guides program is a free service offered independent of membership.

More than 2,500 people have received free individual 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 an opportunity to innovatively provide help and education on a more personal level,” said Jason Rogers, senior vice president and chief member service officer 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 delivered over 350 free financial education presentations to nearly 13,000 participants and engaged nearly a million members of the public with free financial education resources including podcasts, blog posts, financial education games, live presentations and more.

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