How Eagle Community CU harnessed the power of social media for good

by CO-OP Financial Services

Eagle Community Credit Union decided to participate in the CO-OP Financial Services-Yoobi 2018 National Back-to-School Backpack Drive to give back to their community – but discovered they also received on many levels.

This is the second year CO-OP has partnered with Yoobi to offer the Back-to-School drive, and the second year Eagle Community CU has participated. For every $1,500 a credit union invests in the program, the cooperative receives 50 Yoobi backpacks and school supplies for students in need to donate to a school or organization of their choice.

Eagle Community CU, based in Foothill Ranch, California, began their participation in July. The credit union added a unique element to the program – during August, they held a vote among their 20,000 members to determine what school or organization would receive the backpacks.

“On August 1 we started by asking our members to nominate a worthy institution, and at mid-month we conducted a vote on the recipient,” said Erica W. Beach, Vice President of Marketing for Eagle Community CU. A total of 10 organizations were submitted to members for voting. By September 1 they had an overwhelming winner – Connecting Hands, of Placentia, receiving more than 2,500 votes, all through online and social media sharing.

Connecting Hands was nominated by a member of the credit union who works for Goodwill and refers families to them. The non-profit organization helps financially distressed families with life necessities and counseling, serving about 1,500 families throughout Orange County.   

The credit union promoted the August vote through emails to members, branch flyers and their social media channels – and the latter provided an unexpected benefit to the campaign. “We had a great deal of social media engagement during the Back-to-School drive,” said Beach. “We added to our following, we had a great deal of positive comments to our posts and many were forwarded by our members.”

The campaign came to a conclusion on September 12 with two very gratifying team building exercises. First, credit union employees held a pizza party at their office to stuff the school supplies into the backpacks. Then, five employees – including President/CEO Scott Rains – delivered the backpacks to the children at Connecting Hands. The credit union also donated a $250 gift card so more supplies could be ordered.

“We had a great time stuffing the backpacks and delivering them to Connecting Hands,” said Beach. “We met some of the kids and families who got to pick out their new backpack for school, and they were very cute and gracious.”

“The CO-OP program is so well organized, and was very simple for us to give back in this way,” said Beach. “The campaign worked for us in several important respects – it added to our own ‘Helping Hands/Give Back Initiative,’ built team comradery and helped us to engage with members.”

Consumers today are looking to do business with companies that not only provide good service, but also exhibit good corporate citizenship. The CO-OP-Yoobi Back to School Backpack Drive is part of CO-OP Purpose, a social responsibility program for credit unions that provides turnkey, impactful community initiatives to help credit unions advance their mission of people helping people. Under the CO-OP Purpose umbrella, CO-OP also offers CO-OP Miracle Match, a $1 million-annually philanthropic matching program that encourages credit unions to hold fundraisers for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  

Gain unique access to carefully crafted partnerships that align with the credit union mission of “people helping people” through CO-OP Purpose. Learn more here.

The delivery of 50 backpacks with school supplies took place at Connecting Hands in Placentia, California, on September 12. In addition to the students, a total of six adults are pictured, left to right (Eagle Community CU employees) Albert Herrera, Jessica Mares, Scott Rains, Tammy Perez and Karla Davis and (Connecting Hands Founder) Roxanne Day.

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