Credit Unions are the REAL DealTM
An Outreach Framework for America’s Credit Unions
What is Outreach?
Credit unions perform outreach well, although activity levels vary by credit union. What is outreach? Outreach includes providing services and products that meet the ongoing financial needs of members – as well as non-members. Outreach is reaching, as well as reaching out, to those communities who need access to financial services the most while being a partner in the communities we serve.
Outreach can encompass, but is not limited to:
» Access to services – promoted and encouraged to all
» Education – fostering good financial choices/decisions
» Programs and products – affordable and beneficial
» Partnerships that extend outreach efforts further
» Active participation in communities we serve and in charitable activities.
With a collective focus on outreach, we can multiply our efforts and catalog and communicate the full measure of outreach achievements by credit unions and leagues. Information on outreach efforts has been largely anecdotal. More quantitative information will support our objectives in a couple of ways:
An increased emphasis on outreach will translate to successful future member growth; and
A more comprehensive and robust picture of our outreach activities will position us favorably with federal and state lawmakers and demonstrate to the public that credit unions invest heavily in our communities.
The REAL DealTM
Many credit unions and leagues acknowledge the need for a common brand when it comes to outreach. This brand must be flexible enough to engage optimum local creativity while maximizing and consolidating national impact. The REAL DealTM brand accomplishes this for our national outreach initiative.
Credit union leaders like you and your peers agree…now is the time to initiate and/or expand your credit union’s and league’s outreach efforts. The REAL DealTM provides the platform for this endeavor.
Initiate and Expand Your Credit Union’s and League’s Outreach Efforts
Credit unions and leagues are currently engaged at many different levels in a variety of outreach activities. The options for your participation in outreach are broad – with many of you already performing outstanding outreach activities.
Call to Action: The REAL DealTM outreach goal, as supported by the Credit Union National Association, the National Credit Union Foundation, and the state leagues, is that EVERY credit union and league is engaged at a high level in at least two of the four REAL Deal™ outreach pillars:
REAL Programs – Products and services promoting a “good deal” for members geared toward achieving individual financial success. Examples might include:
» REAL Solutions® products and services designed to reach consumers with low wealth
» Lending Solutions/Products
- Loans earmarked to rebuild creditworthiness or made as an alternative to payday lenders
- HLPR (Home Loan Payment Relief) Loans
REAL Sources – Consumer information to members and available to non-members on credit union services, financial education and smart choices for daily finances:
» Education tools for adults and youth
» Financial literacy programs
- CUNA tools: MyMoney.com, GoogolPlex, etc.
- brass|Student Program
- Opening/operating a credit union student branch
- Offering free financial workshops and seminars on personal finance and/or financial tools
- Offer “Get Checking” classes
» Credit counseling services
- NEFE (National Endowment for Financial Education)
- High School Financial Planning Program
- Biz Kid$ national PBS TV series and curriculum
REAL Community Help/Commitment – Community involvement and charitable initiatives/donations, and contribution(s) of resources to charitable programs, for example:
» Children’s Miracle Network
» National Credit Union Foundation and state credit union foundations
» Other national or local charities
REAL Partnerships – Encompasses state league programs that already have traction under other names (credit unions and leagues have the option of utilizing the REAL DealTM brand or promoting their own comparable programs):
» Partnering with community development credit unions
» Shared branching initiatives in low-income and minority communities
» Programs similar to Getting Ahead Association, Community Reinvestment Initiative, Montana Credit Unions for Community Development
Credit unions and leagues are reaching out to millions of Americans today, through numerous different programs. Let’s continue to demonstrate our value proposition to consumers, to policymakers and to our members. It’s time to get REAL with The REAL DealTM.
Measuring Our Success
How will we know if our outreach initiative is successful?
» A meaningful number of people are touched by outreach efforts
» A significant number of credit unions participate in two or more of the activities in the categories noted above
» Measurable data can be reported on a statewide and nationwide basis on outreach activities.
REAL Story: Resources and Next Steps...
A critical component to the REAL DealTM uutreach initiative will be attaining the “REAL Story” on existing and future outreach efforts. This will incorporate and complement the efforts already underway with NCUF’s REAL Solutions® and be responsive to inquiries regarding credit unions and the fulfillment of our social mission.
For participating credit unions and leagues, a system of goals and measurements to appropriately convey the impact of outreach efforts will be developed to recognize those leagues and credit unions who have successfully undertaken this initiative. Each state league has named a REAL Deal/Outreach contact person. These individuals will be working closely with CUNA and NCUF staff in developing and encouraging outreach efforts on a broad scale and making available model program examples.
Look for additional information on how your credit union and league can participate and spread the news about getting REAL with The REAL DealTM!
Credit Unions are The REAL DealTM
For additional information, please contact your state league outreach contact or Richard Dines, with CUNA, 800-356-9655 ext. 6721 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The REAL DealTM is supported by the Credit Union National Association, the National Credit Union Foundation, the American Association of Credit Union Leagues and the state leagues.