Award season is upon us! It's time to put those entries together for submission! The deadline to enter (June 28, 2013) is right around the corner. You wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to showcase your accomplishments, and a chance to win an award from the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA). Your credit union's efforts might even be recognized at the national level!
You’ve read the brochure, but you’re still wondering what exactly qualifies entry into each category. Below, we've listed some examples of projects and activities for each one. These are merely suggestions, and are meant to inspire you when you're applying for any of the awards. We encourage you to be creative.
The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award recognizes credit unions that strive to improve the lives of nonmembers through community outreach programs that are NOT connected to personal finance education. Remember that to enter for this award, you only need to include one unique project that took place between May 2012 and May 2013.
Activities may include internship programs, charity fundraising, support of public events, donation to social service programs, lobbying or advocacy on behalf of school financial education and support of training teachers. Just think of it as any services or donations that your credit union has provided to the community outside of your membership.
For further example, past winners have organized supply drives for the needy and coordinated career fairs or workshops to assist the unemployed. One national winner even started a program that provided food to hungry school children.
For full details on how to enter for a Dora Maxwell, check out this brochure.
To enter for the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award, your credit union should be able to show how your internal programs have benefited your members (not tied to financial literacy). You may want to focus on the most successful or unique program.
Examples include implementing special loan modifications, developing wealth-building or debt-reduction incentive programs, outreach to an underserved population, help with a student-run, in-school or campus branch, managing a credit union difference campaign, implementing an alternative to predatory lending and providing support for member ESL instruction.
To further illustrate qualifying activities, in the past a local credit union shared how it awarded tickets to listen to a motivational speaker who covered topics like the today’s economy and how to cope with financial loss. Additionally, a national winner was recognized for rolling out savings and loans programs that specifically served members with low to moderate incomes.
For full entry details on the Louise Herring Award, view this online brochure.
The Desjardins Financial Education Award honors leadership within the credit union movement on behalf of financial literacy. If your credit union hosts youth and/or adult education sessions, take credit for those activities and submit your projects.
Still unclear of what the qualifying activities are? We’ve listed some examples from past participants.
Credit unions offered mortgage, budgeting, investing basics, and credit seminars throughout the year. These presentations helped adults take control of their finances and empowered them to make change. Additionally, these credit unions collaborated with other organizations, such as the Missouri Career Center and Employment Connection, to provide these free seminars. If your credit union offered any financial education classes from May 2012 to May 2013, you may be eligible to enter.
Read here for the full entry details.
Educating youngsters is an important task, and many credit unions have specifically designed programs to do this. Last year, local credit unions submitted these programs to the Desjardins Awards.
Examples include programs focused on saving, budgeting, checking, economics and investing. These stressed smart savings and spending habits. Another popular effort includes educating kiddos in elementary and middle school on how to save regularly, and getting them into the habit of planning ahead. Other programs focus on young high school graduates and provides financial guidance during their transition from child to adult.
In addition to educational seminars, credit unions might also encourage their younger members to participate in savings contests, where they reach out to youth and ask them to make deposits. Those that participate are entered into a drawing for a gift card or prize.
For the full checklist and entry details for this category, please read this brochure.
Listed above are just some suggestions for activities. If you think that your credit union qualifies for any category but are not sure, please feel free to contact Sharon Bahr via email.