Credit unions and corporate social responsibility

What’s wrong with credit unions and CSR

During one of our credit union brand development projects, the topic of corporate social responsibility arose, and I got push back from the CEO.

“It seems like every organization says they are giving back to some charitable cause,” he said. “I don’t see the value in it. We’ve tried that before. We don’t get anything out of it. Sure, it may do some good for the community, but people are not loyal to us because of it.”

I have to admit, he’s partially right.

According to Aflac’s National Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility, 66% of people say companies that pursue responsibility efforts do it only for good public relations. Another 49% believe a company is bragging when it talks about its responsibility initiatives.

Should we just pack it all in? Not exactly.

The credit union CEO’s pessimism mirrors that of the general public. When it comes to corporate social responsibly – even branding, advertising and marketing – we are all skeptics. When we interact with a brand, there’s always the question of, “Why should we care?”


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