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BURNSVILLE, Minn. – Credit unions interested in a creative fundraising campaign may want to consider getting into the water business. US Federal Credit Union has tapped “specialty” water among other fun internal campaigns to help raise over $10,000 for Minnesota’s food shelves during the month of March. To meet a 2004 goal of 4,500 pounds of food and/or dollars donated to local food bank Minnesota Food Share, a committee made up of staff from a variety of departments dreamt up all kinds of creative internal fundraisers, including jeans days, luncheons, employee massages, silent auctions and a miniature golf tournament. “Well this year the marketing/business development team came up with the idea of selling bottled water relabeled with the faces of the “USFCU senior management team and it was a ton of fun,” said USFCU VP Marketing/Business Development Marty Kelly. “We linked their positions and personalities to their labels and it became quite a heated but friendly competition.” Once his older brother and the US FCU Marketing team came up with the copy, Phoenix freelance designer Ryan Kelly designed the water bottle labels. Individual bottles were sold for $1 and Kelly says now you can see staffers enjoying Director of Asset Protection Jeff Olsen’s “Hot Water” with the description When Jeff Calls, You’re In It. Drink fast-we’re coming back for the bottle; SVP/Chief Technology Officer Joanne Johnson’s “H2.0 Water Upgraded” or some of the other remaining nine bottles. Initially USFCU SEG Haferman Water Conditioning, Inc. donated the first 240 bottles, which Kelly says he thought would be a two-week supply. “The water lasted less than two days so we started to purchase water in bulk from a nearby wholesaler,” said Kelly. “I didn’t count on ego. Supervisors were buying cases of their own water to hand out at dinner parties while employees saw it as a way to support their bosses.” Opting to play up the idea of “feeding supervisor egos” by quenching thirst, the marketing department posted a sales chart display with the pictures of all 11 supervisors and kept track of which senior staff’s face sold more bottles. In addition, weekly sales updates were sent to employees and e-mails were sent out during the promotion with managers pushing their water as a “healthier alternative to the rest” or an “antidote” to another manager’s water. “In the end the big winner turned out to be Minnesota Food Share,” said Kelly. “We doubled our annual goal in just one month.” According to Minnesota FoodShare, Minnesota food shelf use is nearing an all-time record high during just the first nine months of 2003 there were 1,095,020 visits – a 15% increase from 2002. As for the internal senior staff competition, Kelly says in the end US FCU VP of Research and Development Greg Berry (Wet Dawg Water Make an Impression-Put the Dawg Out From the makers of Big Dawg Chili) beat out Olsen’s “Hot Water” for the most bottles sold. Creative fundraisers for Food Share are nothing new to USFCU. In February, the credit union was awarded a National Honorable Mention Dora Maxwell Award for Social Responsibility for their 2003 Food Share effort. [email protected]

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