Nine Tips for Totally Rad Youth Programs

Don’t wait to reach out to tomorrow’s members.

Today’s youth are tomorrow’s borrowers. Credit unions shouldn’t wait to build relationships with them.

Financial education can be the cornerstone of your youth-outreach program. Consider these nine tips for running a successful youth program:

1. Keep things fresh. That means regular updates to websites and timely, trendy prizes to get kids into branches on a regular basis.

2. Make it personal. Directions Credit Union, a $560 million asset credit union serving Toledo and northwest Ohio, for example, allows children to personalize their savings accounts, tying them to that special item they want, like an Xbox or an iPad.

3. Get in schools and stay in schools. State Employees Credit Union’s Leigh Brady says credit unions need to go back year after year and keep offering fresh curricula. Skip a year and a different financial institution might take your spot. Many districts lack financial education expertise, so they will welcome the partnerships.

4. Market to existing members. Parents hugely influence the early financial behaviors of their children, and their children form a captive audience—at the moment.

5. Don’t recreate the wheel. You can modify and rebrand many existing products and services to suit young adults.

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