Building a culture of impact

“How are we making an impact in people’s lives?” is a question asked daily at credit unions, and one that drove two State Foundations to develop Financial Well-being Task Forces.

Heartland Credit Union Charitable Foundation’s Executive Director, Andrea Robinson Fuentes, was frustrated. As the philanthropic arm of a multi-state league, her organization had a remit to improve the lives of millions of consumers—but she was struggling to find alignment.

“Our member credit unions are very diverse,” Fuentes said. “Geography, demographics, asset size, resources, financial need indicators. Often the only common denominator is mission.

“In that environment, talking to credit unions one at a time doesn’t deliver the insights necessary to tackle the giant elephant we’re all committed to: improving financial well-being for all.”

The solution, Fuentes realized, was relatively straightforward: “We felt if we could bring people together who are already making financial health inroads and focus on tackling an issue cooperatively, we could make some real progress. What we needed was a task force.”


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