As a credit union, you know that financial literacy is important. After all, credit unions exist to help people save money and make smart financial decisions.
But even though you know how important financial literacy is, successfully promoting it is a whole different story. Maybe you think it’s not relevant to your credit union’s mission. Or maybe you think financial literacy is boring and your members won’t be interested.
But the truth is, financial literacy is more important than ever–and credit unions are uniquely positioned to make a difference.
As we explore the importance of financial literacy, let’s look at ways to make smart money management in ways that are surprisingly more fun.
Financial Literacy is More Important Than Ever
With the rise of online banking and mobile payment apps, people are managing their money in new and complex ways. At the same time, there are more opportunities than ever to make bad financial decisions–think high-interest credit cards, payday loans, and subprime mortgages.
It’s no wonder that so many people are struggling to keep up. A survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 63% of adults don’t have enough savings to cover a $500 emergency. And another study by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority found that only 24% of Americans are “financially literate.”
Clearly, there’s a need for more financial education. And credit unions are uniquely positioned to provide it.
Credit Unions Have a Unique Mission
Credit unions exist to serve their members, not to make a profit. This gives you a unique perspective when it comes to financial literacy.
Unlike banks and other for-profit financial institutions, credit unions don’t have a vested interest in selling products or services that might not be in their members’ best interests. This frees you to provide unbiased information and advice that will help people make the best financial decisions.
Credit Unions Can Reach a Wide Audience
Credit unions have a widening reach, which means you can have a big impact when it comes to financial literacy.
There are 5,400 credit unions in the United States, with branches in every state. And according to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), credit unions serve more than 131 million people.
This gives you a unique opportunity to reach a large number of people with your financial literacy efforts.
Credit Unions Can Make a Difference
Credit unions have the potential to make a real difference in the lives of their members. By promoting financial literacy, you can help people make better financial decisions and improve their overall financial well-being.
And that’s something everyone can benefit from.
Credit Unions Can Make Financial Literacy More Engaging
Credit unions have a unique opportunity to make financial literacy more engaging and interesting. One way to do this is by offering classes, workshops, and other educational opportunities that are fun and interactive.
Partner with Schools and Organizations
There are many ways to make financial literacy more engaging. One way is by partnering with schools or organizations to present the workshops in an engaging way. This can help reach a wider audience and make the information more interesting and relevant.
For example, you could partner with a local school to offer a financial literacy workshop for parents. Or you could team up with a local organization to offer a workshop on budgeting for young adults.
Schools can show fun movies, offer interactive courses, and more. This is definitely good news for credit unions who are serious about growth.
By partnering with schools and organizations, you can help make financial literacy more engaging and relevant to the people you serve.
Another way to make financial literacy more engaging is by offering incentives to members who take steps to improve their financial literacy and behaviors. This could include prizes, gift cards, or even discounts on financial products and services.
Examples of incentives can include:
- A discount on auto loans to members who take a financial literacy class.
- A $25 gift card to members who open their first savings account
- A loyalty program such as Gvir, which is the only cryptocurrency in the world designed exclusively for credit unions.
By offering incentives, you can help motivate people to learn more about personal finance and to take steps toward improving their financial wellbeing.
Technology can also be used to make financial literacy more engaging. There are a number of great apps and websites that can help people learn about personal finance in a fun and interactive way.
Technology is incredibly important, especially to younger members who do want financial literacy education (and need it the most), but don’t want to spend time reading books or attending in-person activities.
Don’t be afraid to cultivate a list of online resources, either developed by your credit union or an outside company or brand, and share them with your members. Doing so will show them you care about their financial literacy in a way that is meaningful and relevant.
Host Events and Workshops
Credit unions can also make financial literacy more engaging by hosting their own events and workshops. These events can be used to educate members about various financial topics and help them develop the skills they need to make informed decisions about their money. Credit unions can also use these events to build community and connect with members on a personal level.
Movie Night: In-Person or Virtual
When you think of credit union initiatives, you probably don’t think of a movie night. If you aren’t, you’re potentially missing out on a prime opportunity to engage members, build community, and encourage stronger member relationships and loyalty.
If you’re wondering how movie nights can be relevant to credit union members, you’ll be pleased to know that there are entertaining movies that also tie into financial literacy programs and education.
CUcontent has released a new feature-length film called “Sally Floss: Digital Detective.” This movie features a spunky college student who, with the help of her credit union, tries to tackle saving her family home, which is now at risk because of loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic. The movie, directed by James Cullen Bressack, follows Sally as she navigates a complex mystery through virtual interviews, digital footprints, and her stunning intuition.
The film, which showcases the ‘people helping people’ philosophy in action, has been released directly to the consumer via Amazon Prime, but is also available through credit union distribution to its members. “Attracting younger credit union members is more important than ever,” says Laura Enock, publisher and founder of CUcontent. “This movie is a great way to showcase the credit union difference in a fun and engaging way.”
The best part is that the film has a fun and interactive course accompaniment that teaches financial literacy to children and teenagers. This is an incredible opportunity for credit unions to reach younger audiences, especially parents (or even grandparents) who are serious about teaching their children how to manage finances and solve problems.
Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Financial Literacy Programs
- Don’t go into financial literacy without having a solid plan. Determine what your goals are and consider how you’ll measure them. This will allow you to examine what needs to be accomplished so you can figure out the best way to reach your audience and make financial education more engaging
- Know your members. This is obviously very important. Not every financial literacy idea will work for your members. Additionally, not all members are the same. Financial literacy for younger members will (and should) look different for older individuals. Segment your audience as necessary when planning financial literacy programs and incentives.
- Don’t shy away from technology. It doesn’t have to be hard and this is the best way to reach younger credit union members. Technology can be a great way to explain complex financial concepts in an engaging way.
- Make it interactive. The younger generation doesn’t want to read a long book or boring course content. Make everything as interactive as possible. Offer workshops and other educational opportunities that are fun and require members to dive right in.
- Don’t go at it alone. Partner with other organizations to reach a wider audience and make a bigger impact. See what other credit unions are doing when creating your own programs, education, and incentives.
As a credit union, you have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the financial lives of your members. So don’t miss out on this chance to engage them in financial literacy!
Making financial literacy more engaging allows credit unions to better serve their members and develop the skills they need to make informed decisions about their money. This can lead to improved financial wellbeing for both individuals and the credit union.
What is your credit union doing to make financial literacy more engaging? Share your ideas in the comments.