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Navigating Organizational Growth | Strategies From the Field

By Matt Royles, Director, Partner Sales, CNote
August 29, 2023

In the ever-evolving financial services landscape, credit unions find themselves at the forefront of a new era in member engagement. As we work to drive deposits from corporate impact investors to credit unions, CNote is privileged to speak every day with credit unions that are breaking new ground in organizational growth and community service. Leveraging insights gained from these conversations, we are excited to share innovative strategies that credit unions are using to 1) foster robust relationships with tech-savvy members, 2) amplify visibility and 3) drive deposits.

Create Digital Ambassadors

In conversations with credit unions across our network, we often hear about the importance of digital innovation to growth and success. One CNote partner, New Covenant Dominion Credit Union, shared with us its story about recent investments in technology, a shift to digital banking – and a quadrupling in lending volume.

Gallup’s Vibhas Ratanjee and Dipak Sundaram wrote recently about the importance of digital transformation to credit unions’ ability to attract younger members, at a time when the age of the average credit union member is 14.5 years greater than the median American’s age. The authors propose leveraging credit union employees to educate members about the array of digital tools available and cite Gallup research showing that “human channels are three times more effective in driving digital adoption than any other communication form.”

By empowering staff to serve as digital ambassadors, credit unions can not only showcase the convenience and security of digital transactions, but also provide step-by-step guidance for members in transitioning to online platforms.

Win Hearts and Minds With Impact Stories and Impact Data

Amid the industry’s technological evolution, a timeless truth still holds: the power of storytelling. By sharing the stories of individuals and families whose lives have been impacted through their services, credit unions are attracting attention and resources. From affordable auto-loans, which provide freedom and flexibility, to loan consolidations that save members thousands of dollars, member stories paint a vivid picture of the advantages membership brings and the positive impact on society that credit unions make every day.

Credit unions can also tell the story of their positive impact through data. Each quarter, CNote measures the impact of the credit unions in our network. In Q1 2023, CNote’s network institutions reported that 70% of their lending was in low- and moderate-income communities and 54% was to borrowers that are Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC).

Ultimately, data-driven insights like these can align with impact stories to form a comprehensive and compelling narrative to help credit unions effectively tell their stories to diverse audiences.

Work Together With Corporate Impact Investors

According to Just Capital, 51% of America's largest companies are actively engaging in community investments. Credit unions can leverage this trend to increase deposits, support local economic development, and drive brand awareness and visibility.

Apple is a prime example of a corporation that is actively making a difference with its cash. In 2022, Apple utilized CNote’s Impact Cash® platform to move $25 million in deposits into CNote network institutions across the country as part of its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, an effort to address systemic racism in America and expand opportunities for communities of color.

In addition to receiving deposits from Apple, credit union partners like ANECA Federal Credit Union and Education Credit Union had their responsive and reliable community work spotlighted in Apple’s corporate communications.

In this new era of member engagement, credit unions are not only adapting – they're thriving. Through the synergy of digital transformation, impactful borrower stories and strategic corporate connections, credit unions are forging a new path forward that magnifies engagement, fosters trust and fuels remarkable growth.

Connect with CNote to learn more.

About CNote

CNote is a technology platform that provides a sustainable flow of non-member deposits that are low-cost and deliver consistent value. This service is available at no cost to CUNA member credit unions as arranged by CUNA Strategic Services.