Credit Unions – Making a Difference with your Members During COVID
2020 has hit so many of us hard. The role of Credit Union leadership has needed to be flexible, responsive, caring, strategic… generally multi-faceted. On the one hand, CU leadership has had to navigate the uncharted waters of closures, remote work, restricted access to buildings, and employee concerns about safety. At the same time, many credit unions have seen their membership affected by stay-at-home orders, school closures, and all of the life-changing events COVID has inflicted on our communities.
Between the internal leadership challenges and member-facing communication and hardship relief, it has been a busy year for Credit Union leadership across the country.
The encouraging news is that, across the US, you are making a difference during COVID.
Nearly 95% of credit unions surveyed are offering loan modifications
More than 90% of credit unions are waiving fees
86% of credit unions have created new loan products to meet members’ pressing needs
We have seen Credit Unions offering a “skip-a-pay” option on CU issued loans and lines of credit, deferred payments, extensions of existing loans, and financial counseling and guidance at no cost to members to name a few ways you and your peers across the country are helping your members.
As 2020 draws to a close, charitable drives abound, from food banks to Toys for Tots. With all this year has thrown our way, the need for charity has increase immensely. Toys for Tots is among the many charities experiencing a high demand with low donation rates. According to Local News Detroit, their Toys for Tots drive has raised about 2,300 toys this year, which falters in comparison to last year’s 15,000 toys.
Credit unions whose balance sheets are more robust than anticipated this year can show their members how their CU is contributing to the greater good. Ways to show your members how much you care include, investing in CDAs, making one-time contributions to charitable organizations, volunteering as an organization, and offering the kinds of services and additional aid mentioned above. A Charitable Donation Account (CDA) allows a credit union to give back to the community in lasting and meaningful ways.
Take a moment to think how much it would benefit your community, and your credit union, to increase donations to your chosen 501(c)(3) charity or foundation or the National Credit Union Foundation. Tis the season for giving. This year, more than ever, strategic and lasting gifts are needed.
Ways to decide where and how to donate CDA-generated funds include:
Choose a cause you and your members believe in. Ask members leadership and the Board what they are passionate about.
Donate within your community to build partnerships. When you align resources you and the charitable organization can share marketing and outreach to spread the word about their good work.
Get your hands dirty. Involve staff, leadership, and membership in volunteer activities. This shows that your chosen recipient of CDA funds is not just for show. You put your money where your mouth is.
Share the ways in which your contributions make an impact. We all want to know that we’re making a difference. Share photos and videos of your efforts on social media. Tag your members, your chosen charities, and the locations of your volunteer efforts. Add updates to the Credit Union newsletter and take time during board meetings to highlight the efforts of the leadership and individual board members in their charitable efforts.
Credit Unions are like families and, at this time of year when many are not able to gather with their far-flung families, it’s important to remind your members, employees, and volunteers how much you care.
Credit unions make a difference when they’re needed most.
For too many Americans, financial insecurity remains one of life’s greatest worries, and we see our members and communities feeling the weight of that during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are putting our mission to the test: loan relief, small business loans, food pantry support. We are people helping people – through and through.
- Nearly 95% of credit unions surveyed are offering loan modifications*
- More than 90% are waiving fees*
- 86% have created new loan products to meet members’ pressing needs*
The credit union difference
Every day, credit unions help deliver brighter financial futures to 120 million members. Founded on a not-for-profit, collaborative mission, we continue to be the only financial services partners that put the financial well-being of the people they serve ahead of the bottom line.