To mark its 75th anniversary next year, Heartland Credit Union of Madison, Wis., has opted to raise awareness of the valuable services local nonprofits provide. The campaign gives locals a chance to nominate a worthy nonprofit organization for a chance to win $10,000.
"As we were thinking about how to celebrate 75 years beyond stickers on outgoing mail, we kept coming back to the fact that our members are why we are still here," said Robin Marohn, vice president of marketing/business development of the $165 million credit union.
"Times are hard for everyone so it's even more important to think and buy local and what better way to celebrate the local community than helping out area nonprofits?"
Heartland CU created a "Go Local" community page at www.heartlandcu.org/golocal where locals can nominate worthy nonprofits through Nov. 29. The site also features links to the latest community events and provides information on how to get involved. According to Marohn, the Go Local initiative has also helped demonstrate just how active the credit union is in the community.
"Like many credit unions, our staff has always not only helped raise funds but also donated their time and talent, but we haven't always done a good job of sharing that with the communities we serve," said Marohn. "There are others way to give besides donating money. So internally this also helps us get organized in the sense of keeping track of what we do in terms of volunteering and identifying where we can provide more assistance."
A committee made up of staffers and local leaders will help narrow the community picks down to 10 semifinalists, which will be featured on the site for locals to place their votes for the grand prize winner. Nominee updates will be shared via Twitter and Facebook. Marohn said that before the contest wraps up next May, more than $75,000 in products, services, employee time and sponsorships will be donated to local organizations and causes in the communities surrounding Heartland CU branches.
"So far the community reaction has been positive, and my phone has been ringing off the hook as we hear from nonprofits wanting to learn more," said Marohn. "They've been spreading the word, and that's really what we wanted to do-something focused on increasing the exposure of the area nonprofits that are out there helping people and making a real difference in local communities."