Each year International Credit Union (ICU) Day® brings people from credit unions worldwide together to celebrate their cooperative history and achievements while promoting the international credit union movement. Here are some of the ideas that credit unions around the world have successfully used to celebrate and promote ICU Day.
Sponsor a Membership Drive
Remind members and tell potential members what makes credit unions unique — the fact that you are not just a customer, you are an owner of your credit union. Have your credit union sponsor a membership drive and see how many new members you can get! Consider incentives or special offers in connection with ICU Day to encourage people to join. Member service is important all year round, but ICU Day is a reminder that credit unions exist to serve their members.
Plan a Festive Week in Your Credit Union
- Hold an open house at the credit union and branch offices. Conduct tours and serve refreshments. It is a great opportunity to build relationships with members and discuss your products and services.
- Invite your elected officials to a "meet the members" day.
- Get the word out about the worldwide credit union movement by displaying posters and offering international foods.
- Hold a "guest day" at the credit union where members can bring guests for refreshments and learn more about the credit union.
- Let members "meet their credit union" by displaying your employees' and board members' photos and biographies.
- Have your annual meeting in conjunction with International Credit Union Day.
- Find out if your national or state league is involved in a World Council international partnership. If so, ask volunteers to speak to your staff/board/members about their experience.
Support International Credit Union Development
- Send a staff or board member to visit another credit union and ask them to become a World Council Supporter with you.
- Engage in World Council's International Credit Union Partnership Program to exchange ideas, best practices and technical expertise with credit union movements around the world.
- Ask your board of
directors to support the Credit Union Start-up Fund which enables
global credit union organization and expansion.
Promote Products and Services
- Offer loans or new share draft accounts for the same fees that the credit union charged the year it opened.
- Work cooperatively with other local credit unions to purchase outdoor billboard advertising space. Radio and television advertising can be very affordable when a group of credit unions contribute toward the cost.
Focus on Education
- Offer your credit union as an elementary/primary school field trip destination. Give teachers an opportunity to build real-world experience into their students' math lessons.
- Teach a basic money management class at a local high school/secondary school. You can get free educational materials from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).
- Offer a series of lectures on basic finance in the evenings or over the lunch hour for your members. Topics can include managing a checking account, building good credit, shopping for a mortgage, handling credit cards and saving for college/university.
- Distribute financial self-help information in your lobby and at the drive-up windows. Don't forget to insert statement stuffers and articles in your monthly newsletter.
- Set up a booth at a local shopping mall, community center or special event. Offer personal finance information and brochures that emphasize the credit union difference.
- Provide a program for staff on how credit unions alleviate poverty internationally. View a video on World Council's work in Mexico and Kenya.
Focus on the Credit Union Difference
- Organize a fun event to teach your staff and members about credit union history and philosophy. Set up booths featuring information on philosophy and operations. Punch a ticket at each booth and award International Credit Union Day T-shirts to those who fill their ticket.
- Coordinate efforts at the chapter level to produce a historical view of credit unions in the area. This could be a traveling poster display or a slide presentation shown throughout the year.
- Sponsor an essay or art contest for young members or your entire membership. A short essay (100 words or less) about why the credit union is special would be appropriate. Publish the winning entries in your newsletter or in the local newspaper.
- Reward employees for exceptional service to members. Recognize members for exceptional service to the community.
- Deliver good news (and good food) to the media. For example, deliver cakes decorated with the words "Happy International Credit Union Day" to the local media. Sometimes volunteers receive free airtime to talk about International Credit Union Day.
- Organize an event with your legislators.
- Take part in a summer paint-a-thon to help older members or anyone else in your community who is physically unable to paint their own home. Take a variety of photos of your team and publicize your activities.
- Plant a tree in a nearby park or on the credit union grounds. Coordinate a local beautification program. Sponsor a community cleanup effort or other charitable event.
- Hold a bicycle safety clinic for young people and donate helmets to needy children.
- Adopt a social service agency for the day or week and recruit staff and members to help out with tasks like serving meals, painting, filing and cleanup.
- Collect business clothes to donate to a local organization that helps people get back into the workplace.
- Join forces with other credit unions in your area to sponsor a run/walk team for a good cause. Provide members of your team with T-shirts to identify them as credit union staff and members.
- Invite a local school to perform a musical concert at your ICU Day event.
Learn More about the Credit Union Movement