Charitable Donation Accounts Boost Partnerships with Credit Unions for Kids

“Cause marketing” combines fundraising, employee participation, and publicity to create a charitable program that’s meaningful and sustainable. This strategy benefits the giver and the receiver of charitable donations. A perfect example of cause marketing is the partnership between credit unions, CUNA Mutual Group, and the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals.

The credit union industry has long been involved in fundraising for CMN Hospitals, with events such as the annual Credit Union for Kids Auction, which raised $900,000 at MAXX last year in Spokane, and the Northwest Classic golf tournament, which raised nearly $1.5 million in 2019.

Credit Unions for Kids offers credit unions fundraising guidance and turnkey campaigns for donations from employees and the community. Credit union employees enthusiastically volunteer to staff Credit Unions for Kids fundraising events.

In addition to its corporate and employee donations to Credit Unions for Kids, CUNA Mutual Group has introduced credit unions to a relatively new funding mechanism, the charitable donation account (CDA).

The National Credit Union Administration allows certain investments within a CDA that have the potential to earn higher returns, with additional risks, than certificates of deposit and other typical credit union investments. CUNA Mutual Group helps credit unions analyze the different risks these investments present and closely track the CDA’s performance.

CUNA Mutual Group has seen many credit unions use CDAs to help boost their donations to Credit Unions for Kids. In 2018 alone, more than half of the credit unions with CDA accounts through CUNA Mutual Group made contributions to Credit Unions for Kids in 2018, totaling more than $350,000.*

It bodes well for Credit Unions for Kids and other credit union causes that CDAs are growing quickly. According to NCUA Call Report data, taking into account additional account deposits as well as market returns, CDA balances increased 128% from the end of 2016 through 2018.**

Credit unions’ charitable donations can work much harder if they follow some basic cause marketing strategies.

  1. Believe wholeheartedly in the cause.
    Connect with a cause that your board, management, and employees can all get behind. Give everyone a reason to be enthusiastic about participating in fundraising and volunteering.
  2. Align with a nonprofit that supports your mission.
    Know your community’s greatest social concerns and build partnerships, perhaps even branch by branch (as long as the overall campaign is coordinated centrally).
  3. Forge a formal partnership, including marketing.
    Make your cause marketing a formal partnership — as with Credit Unions for Kids — and work together with the nonprofit on specific goals. Share one another’s marketing platforms to increase awareness of what you’re doing together. Focus on social media to tap into those who are active in the cause you’ve chosen, and prompt other organizations to add their weight and credibility to your cause marketing efforts.
  4. Do more than donate money.
    Differentiate your credit union from other donors by engaging your staff in volunteer activities. This shows that your interest in the charity is sincere. It also leverages your best asset — your employees — as goodwill ambassadors.
  5. Show a clear impact.
    Document and communicate the results of your fundraising and volunteering. This can be the cornerstone of your cause marketing efforts. Nothing speaks more eloquently or persuasively than positive results.

To learn more about partnering with CUNA Mutual Group, visit its Strategic Link partner page or contact Jason Smith, Vice President of Strategic Resources, at 208.286.6794.

*CUNA Mutual Group statistics, 2018

**National Credit Union Administration Call Report statistics, 2016-2018