Empower your branches: Start local

If your credit union has gotten to a certain size, it can be hard to maintain that “local” feel that often makes people choose credit unions in the first place.

At Service Credit Union, we have a long history of giving back to the communities we live and work in, which now include branches in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, North Dakota and U.S. military bases in Germany. However, with such a span of geographic areas, deciding which causes to support in what communities can be difficult. Faced with this predicament, our amazing community relations team came up with the idea of empowering branches to choose the causes that mean the most to them, and it has been a huge success!

The idea was simple, but effective: Branches were asked to choose a local nonprofit for which to host a month-long collection drive.

In 2023, 27 branches participated, collecting 4,861 items along with our members to benefit a variety of local nonprofit organizations. One of the most exciting aspects of this program was that the nonprofits truly ran the spectrum of causes, including food pantries, animal shelters, and those that help families in need.

Upon choosing their nonprofit, branches put together a list of requested items provided by the organization. We kickstart each drive by providing a $250 credit for the branch to complete an initial “pre-purchase” of items that will be donated. The branch collection drives and wish lists are promoted in the branch, on our website, and through social media. Not only have our branch staff loved being able to further foster our relationships with community changemakers, our members have really engaged with the program as well, and it has helped create a greater bond between members and branches.

“Our branch collection drives have had a tremendous impact on the Portsmouth community, especially during these uncertain economic times. We’ve witnessed how our efforts have supported local nonprofits, provided essential resources, and fostered a strong, more connected community,” shared Rashell King, manager of Service Credit Union’s Portsmouth, NH branch.

With branch drives such a success in 2023, this year we are giving branches the opportunity to host up to two branch drives throughout the year. This allows our branches to support multiple organizations in the community and spread the support across a variety of industries.

Whether your credit union has two branches or 200, or even if you’re just digital, I encourage you to think about how you can empower your frontline staff to make a difference in their communities. After all, it is the credit union way!

Anna Baskin

Anna Baskin

Anna Baskin is content manager at Service Credit Union, the largest credit union in New Hampshire, with 50 branch locations in NH, Massachusetts, North Dakota and Germany. Before joining the ... Web: www.servicecu.org Details