Whether promoting community service, financial literacy or special loan rates, some credit unions really know how to talk turkey.
Annual holiday traditions such as food drives with local charities, sharing shopping tips, and offering holiday rate specials are becoming increasingly popular at financial co-ops as effective ways to serve the community and members.
To promote holiday-related events, products and services, a growing number of credit unions are rolling out television commercials, social media campaigns and YouTube videos.
Video messages have also become a popular way for executives and other staff members to express their gratitude to members during the Thanksgiving season.
The power of video speaks volumes and many credit unions have discovered that delivering a message on film is an effective way to engage members, especially younger members.
Take a moment before you enjoy these Thanksgiving videos and imagine what Pilgrims would have thought about YouTube. Perhaps, like many consumers, they would have flocked to it.
Here are some video goodies to gobble up:
Next Page: Bethpage Gives Back
Giving Back to Community
In what has become an annual tradition, Bethpage Federal Credit Union is proving its commitment to community service again this year by helping to provide Thanksgiving meals and more to hundreds of Long Island families in need.
Since 2009, the Bethpage Turkey Drive has collected a total of more than 20,000 turkeys and 35,000 pounds of other food for local families in need, the credit union said.
“Each year the turkey drive has grown to what is now considered the largest on-site food drive on Long Island and so we are thrilled this year to expand even more by partnering with Stony Brook University to offer a drop-off location for Suffolk County residents,” said Linda Armyn, senior vice president of corporate strategy at the $5.5 billion financial co-op in Bethpage, N.Y.
Credit union staff, along with hundreds of Long Island residents, businesses and volunteers, helps collect and distribute the food each year.
Highlights from last year’s campaign included a donation of more than 8,000 pounds of canned goods and shelf-stable products from Bethpage-based Goya Foods, the credit union said.
Next Page: Connecting with Connex
Don't Go in the Red on Black Friday
As part of its ongoing campaign to promote financial literacy and to connect with Gen Y members, Connex Credit Union shared helpful shopping tips with members last holiday season.
The video was created by Lauren Dufour, a Quinnipiac University public relations major who served a one-year internship with Connex. As vice president of unbanking, a title created four years ago when the internship program was launched, Dufour worked within the credit union’s corporate marketing department to help spread the word about Connex CU and its “unbank” message.
"The holidays are a good time of year to remind people how they can better manage their personal finances," said Carl Casper, vice president of customer advocacy with the $377 million institution in North Haven, Conn.
"However, we look at providing our members and the communities we serve with a series of financial literacy programs year-round,” Casper said. “For example, we recently participated in a financial reality fair to teach high school students the fundamentals of financial responsibilities, and we regularly host seminars at our branches on a variety of financial topics as part of our member advocacy promise."
Connex CU is also utilizing technology, such as a new mobile applications and personal teller machines in branches, to provide even more financial tips to serve members, Casper said.
Next Page: MACU Pays It Forward
Paying It Forward
In a continuing commitment to support the community, Mountain America Credit Union helped hundreds of needy Utah families have Thanksgiving meals last year.
As part of its “Pay it Forward” program, Mountain America donated $500 to Tiana Smart, a Salt Lake City student and founder of Teens for Turkeys, a non-profit organization that has raised enough money to buy more than 34,000 pounds of turkey for the Utah Food Bank during the past few years.
Mountain America launched the Pay It Forward program in 2011 by partnering with local television station KUTV.
"In our 'Pay It Forward' program, we find people that are doing great things in the community and we help them fund the good work. We saw there was a great need to help those who were contributing so much of their time and personal resources,” says Sterling Nielsen, president/CEO of the $3.6 billion financial cooperative in West Jordan, Utah. “It’s been overwhelming to witness the goodness of people as they give of themselves to help others."
Through the program, Mountain America has given more than $45,000 to support causes such as enhancing cancer awareness, mentoring refugees adjusting to life in America, creating instructional videos for amputees and teaching the importance of seat belts, the credit union said.
The Pay It Forward segments air during the Wednesday KUTV newscast, the credit union said, and all segments can be viewed on Mountain America’s YouTube Channel.
Next Page: Commonwealth Comes Through
Paying for the Turkey
Commonwealth Credit Union recently unveiled a new animated commercial that allows viewers to quickly see how handy a MY Card could be during the holiday season.
A similar animated video with a Halloween theme aired last month and another holiday-themed commercial is on the way in December.
“A larger number of MY Cards were opened for October, which contributed to several special opportunities focusing entirely on MY Card, including giving cardholders 0% on purchases and additional bonus points with the purchase of electronic items,” said Alan Davis vice president of lending for the $950 million institution in Frankfort, Ky.
Oculus Studios in Lexington, Ky., created about a dozen commercials, animations and general marketing videos for Commonwealth CU.
As a result, the credit union said, it now has powerful tools to help keep members informed, and to promote products and services.
The entertaining, catchy TV spots centered around the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays, in addition to a fun, animated video educating people on MY Card were definitely an enhancement to the program,” Davis added.
Next Page: Turkey Trot With Bellco
Turkey Trotting for the Cause
More than 10,000 people are expected to converge in Denver’s Washington
Park on Nov. 28 for the 40th annual Mile High United Way Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, sponsored by Bellco Credit Union.
“Bellco is excited to once again serve as the presenting sponsor for this 40th annual event, which brings together families and friends to take part in a Denver Thanksgiving tradition,” said Sandra Sagehorn-Elliott, senior vice president and COO of the $2.5 billion financial co-op in Greenwood Village, Colo.
“We’re committed to giving back to the community, and United Way’s focus on adult self-sufficiency aligns perfectly with Bellco’s support of financial education for our members and the communities we serve,” she added.
The credit union’s support enables the Mile High United Way to continue its mission, which focuses on school readiness, youth success and adult self-sufficiency, the organization said.
“We’re honored that Bellco is supporting our efforts to improve the lives of people in the Denver metro area,” said Christine Benero, president and CEO of Mile High United Way. “According to the Forbes Travel Blog, the Mile High United Way Turkey Trot is among the top 10 best Thanksgiving events around the country.