Last week, we shared an op-ed article distributed across the Dakotas that talked about how credit unions can help members and consumers navigate through the financial struggles brought on by the current rising inflation. Our ultimate objective is to promote awareness of how not-for-profit financial cooperatives are better positioned to help families who are suffering today as prices continue to skyrocket. Specifically, we focused on the benefits of being a credit union member, and the services Dakota credit unions can provide consumers during these trying times.
Our efforts are gaining traction, as our article has already been featured in several news outlets in the Dakotas, and even in one of the online trade magazines. We know that credit unions are always helping members and their communities, but this is a good time to proactively share your stories about how you are helping via social media, through paid or earned advertisements, and member communications.
Why is this important, and why now? Because inflation is going to continue to rise. In his testimony in front of the Senate Banking committee last week, Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman, shared that the inflation increase is result of the high influx of government spending and stimulus packages. We also know that there are billions of more stimulus dollars in the pipeline that have yet to be distributed to the states and disbursed into the economy.
Well-known economist and expert on inflationary trends, Milton Friedman said, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.” This says to me that the cost of everyday items will continue to rise, and we should expect things to worsen. The Nobel prize-winning economist also said that “inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.”
Here's where our article has appeared so far: Fargo Forum; Minot Daily News; CUToday.
Dakotas’ State Capitol ad campaign successfully reaches lawmakers in Bismarck and Pierre.
As we prepare for the general election this November, educating state lawmakers on the credit union difference is crucial in our efforts to protect and promote our special tax status. The CUNA-League systems have partnered on a robust campaign to reach and educate state lawmakers on how credit unions are serving and advancing their communities.
Overall, our efforts to drive state lawmakers and staff to the Advancing Communities website has resulted in 5,000,000 pageviews, a 32 percent increase in followers, and a 2,000 percent increase in site traffic! The campaign was part of our Financial Literacy Month promotion that targeted mobile devices based on how frequently they entered state capitols over the last two years; our main audience was legislators and their staff.
Here in the Dakotas, the campaign ran for one week (April 19-25) and achieved nearly 112,000 impressions, and 480 Advancing Communities web link clicks across three platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and network displays such as Google Chrome). The click-through rate in our two capitals was 42 percent (higher than the national rate of 37 percent) and lawmakers and staff members spent an average of 5 minutes per page.
Breaking it down even further, results saw over 62,000 impressions and 205 website visits in Bismarck, and nearly 50,000 impressions and 131 website visits in Pierre.
Ads relating to current events, such as inflation and housing, performed the best. However, there was no significant difference between these and the “credit union difference” messaging.
In the coming months, as part of the broader strategy, geofenced ads will be deployed during the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to enhance America's credit unions' presence and priorities at each conference. (Shown right was the top performing ad during the campaign.)
Credit unions foster financial well-being for members.
A recent interview with CUNA Chief Economist Mike Schenk on CUBroadast focused on how credit union members generally fare better than non-members in terms of financial resilience. In fact, credit union members fare better across the board on four key components of financial health: spending, saving, borrowing, and planning, according to the Financial Health Network. A CUNA white paper further revealed that 90 percent of all credit union members say their institution makes it easy for them to manage their finances; credit union members are half as likely as their non-member counterparts to say they don’t have ready access to $500 for an emergency expense; 86 percent of credit union members say that their institution makes it easy for them to get loans; 86 percent of credit union members have access to financial education/literacy programs at their credit union, and 79 percent of members have access to formal financial counseling services at their credit union. You can see the entire interview here.
Two Dakota credit unions make Forbes “Best” list.
Forbes recently released their list of “Best in State” credit unions, and congratulations are in order for two of our Dakota credit unions: Dakotaland FCU (Huron, SD) and Town & Country CU (Minot, ND). Credit unions were ranked based on survey responses from members, which covered topics from mobile banking to fees and accessibility. Congratulations to our “Best in State!” You can find the Forbes article here.
Reminder: Dakota Credit Union Foundation financial education grants available!
Do not forget – the Dakota Credit Union Foundation is awarding five $1,000 grants to support financial wellness and education. These grants can be used for either the Zogo financial education app or towards the CUNA Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP). Both of these programs support the mission of “Financial Well-Being for All. If you are interested in applying for one of the foundation’s grants, be sure to start here by submitting an application by June 30, 2022, and feel free to contact me with any questions.
Registration open for our August events!
I hope you can make it to Fargo in August when we are hosting two annual events in conjunction: Tuesday, August 16 is the DakCU Professionals Forum, and Wednesday, August 17 is the 6th Annual Foundation Golf Scramble, which will be held at the Rose Creek Golf Course. See the related Memo story today for additional information and registration!
Kudos to Western Cooperative CU!
I want to send a grateful “shout out” to Western Cooperative Credit Union for their recent donation to the Dakota Credit Union Foundation. During our Summit in Rapid City, attendees had the opportunity to listen in on presentations from NetGiver and to also visit their booth during the Vendor Showcase. NetGiver then drew for a $100 prize donation to go to a charity of the winner’s choice. Western Cooperative CU was the winner, and they are paying it forward to our foundation. Thank you once again for your support!
Condolences to Kelly Heyer family.
Finally, I want to express my sincere condolences to the family of Kelly Heyer and his friends at First Community CU. Kelly worked at the Jamestown, ND credit union for 23 years; he was a strong credit union advocate and a leader in every way. He made several trips with our GAC group to Washington, DC, where I had the opportunity to become acquainted with him and his passion for credit unions. He will be sadly missed. His obituary can be found here.
Today, I will be making a memorial contribution on his behalf to the Dakota Credit Union Foundation. Anyone can contribute to our foundation at any time, but a memorial donation to continue the legacy of our credit union leaders is another way to honor those who have passed. You can find the link to make those memorial donations here.
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