Last November I had the privilege of crashing Big.Bright.Minds, and since then I’ve been a huge fan of Filene and The Cooperative Trust, so when I’m out and about I make it a point to stop in and see what else I can learn. So the joint CUNA and WOCCU conference in Denver was no exception.
This particular conference I stepped into session called “Banking is Boring” and I wish I had been able to hear it all, but there is a huge opportunity for credit unions here, and while we’ve had tons of conversations about why the millennial member is crucial, I’m not sure anyone really knows how to entice them. While listening to this presentation I started to realize that so many of the points that were made were applicable to my life and yet, I’ve been given very little in terms of help navigating transitions or educating me on achieving long term goals.
I’m not going to give away James Marshall’s presentation (you can reference it here), but I’m going to point out 2 key facts. A whooping 90% of millennials stated they had concerns about saving… 90%! Add to that many of them said they would trade a $100,000 salary for a $40,000 salary if it gave them a better quality of life. See a problem here? For many of us, the world doesn’t revolve around making money, but we don’t know how to save the money we do make to allow us to live out our dreams long-term.
I started to think about how credit unions could reach this group of people in particular, and the solution seems so simple. Through volunteering. A key difference for credit unions is community involvement, but what if you went about it differently than just spending a day helping at one event? Maybe you partner with non-profit organizations or small specialty businesses in your area and offer budgeting courses to new employees. You’re likely to run across either people who are just entering the workforce, or employees who are changing careers and might need help adjusting to a new lifestyle. I said earlier this week and I’m sticking by it, if you can provide someone peace of mind when it comes to their finances they will be a champion for you in turn.
You don’t need a fancy promotion or bells and whistles to win over the millennial crowd, you simply need to show them they don’t have to be stuck somewhere just to pay off their student loans. You don’t need to help them save up to buy multiple houses or a big boat, you simply need to show them how it’s possible to work for the next 50 years doing something they really love even if it means sacrificing something else. They fully admit they need help and are willing to accept it, but they aren’t going to go wandering around from place to place searching for it, so get out of your office and find them.