Poverty simulation inspires awareness, empathy among credit union leaders
New consumer profiles are emerging as key to the growth of credit unions, including the growing Hispanic market, immigrants, low-income households and Millennials. While the movement’s leaders may clearly see the need to adapt products, services and strategic plans to a new type of member, the resources to do it may not always be there.
Fortunately, there are programs designed to help, specifically the low income (LI) and community development financial institution (CDFI) designation programs.
This was one of several insights coming out of a collaborative round-table event we were proud to host alongside the Iowa Credit Union Foundation(ICUF) and the Iowa Credit Union League (ICUL). The topic was building understanding of the financial need of emerging markets and learning about resources available to best serve both existing and prospective members who comprise these critical consumer segments.
One of the things we discussed during the round table was that all the resources in the world will not help move the needle if credit unions don’t first understand the market they are trying to serve. To this end, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a live poverty simulation. The poverty simulation, or Life Simulation, is designed to help credit union employees, volunteers and leadership begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family, one that is trying to survive from month-to-month.continue reading »