Vermont Credit Union successfully engages embers in charitable giving
(March 27, 2014) — VSECU, a $625M credit union with statewide membership open to all Vermonters, has successfully engaged their membership in charitable contribution decision making. Furthermore, VSECU has integrated this charitable giving with their Annual Meeting and balloting to bringing additional value and excitement for members attending the business meeting in person.
VSECU’s member giving program, We Care 2, began in 2011 as a CUNA Diamond Award winning social media experiment. The Contributions Committee allotted $5,000 from its donation budget to the staff at VSECU and asked them to decide how to donate it. With assistance from the marketing department, staff reached out through the company Facebook page and Twitter account asking members to make recommendations and help them decide where the funds should go. In one month the credit union’s Facebook following grew by 639 people and accumulated over 32,300 post views for the We Care 2 program organically, with no paid-for advertising.
With such success the VSECU Board of Directors expanded the program over the next 2 years to engage the membership in the voting process and increased the amount of donation funds to $23,000. In 2014 members of VSECU helped direct this giving budget by voting for their top two out of the five finalist organizations selected by the Contributions Committee. More than 7,000 members cast votes to direct the $23,000 in charitable donations as part of the Annual Meeting election.
“The engagement of credit union members in this year’s program was incredible and inspiring,” said Kate Paine, chair of the Contributions Committee at VSECU. “Although the committee vetted the five finalists, it was meaningful that our membership had the final vote. Our membership has always embraced the Vermont mentality of helping one another. This program is a great way for them to express that conviction.”
VSECU received 49 applications from charities around the state of Vermont who were interested in being considered for the We Care 2 program. Representatives from the final five charities attended VSECU’s Annual Meeting on March 11, 2014 to mingle with members and answer questions about the valuable services they provide to Vermonters. A check for $10,000 was awarded to each of the two winners and the three runners-up were each presented with a $1,000 donation to recognize the benefit these organizations also have to Vermonters.
VSECU is a not for profit banking alternative for all Vermonters, which offers a full range of affordable financial products and services to its member owners. People eligible to join the credit union include everybody who lives or works in Vermont. For more information about VSECU, call 802/800 371-5162 or visit www.vsecu.com.