National Credit Union Foundation Activates “CU Aid" Disaster Relief Website for Entire CU Community

Credit Unions Urged to Link to www.cuaid.coop Before Next Disaster Strikes

To help prepare for any natural or man-made disasters that could impact credit union people, credit unions are urged to link to the new “CU Aid” website (www.cuaid.coop) developed by the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) in cooperation with CUNA’s Disaster Preparedness Committee, state credit union foundations and leagues.

Credit Unions Called to Action
“Now – before the next disaster – we are calling on credit union leaders and communicators to promote cuaid.coop as the single web-based resource to raise disaster relief funds supporting the entire credit union community,” urges NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin

Why Is This Important?
“When all local, state, and national credit union organizations link to cuaid.coop, we can collect donations more efficiently and distribute funds much faster to credit unions, employees and members in disaster areas,” Delfin explains. “This will enable us to respond to the important lessons learned last year from Hurricane Katrina.”

Lessons Learned from Katrina

How cuaid.coop Will Respond

1.      Millions of dollars left the credit union community.

 

1.      Unite credit union supporters to keep donations within the CU community.

 

2.      Most credit union people were not aware they could help fellow CU people.

 

2.      Inform more credit union people that they can make donations to benefit fellow CU people.

 

3.      Traditional fundraising methods took weeks to get relief to the disaster area.

 

3.      Efficiently process online donations to move cash quickly into disaster areas.

 



“While the $3.4 million the Foundation collected after Katrina was a record for credit unions, millions of dollars left credit unions for Red Cross, Salvation Army and other outside relief groups,” Delfin points out. “There is nothing wrong with supporting these other organizations, but we believe many credit union members and employees will donate to help credit unions once they are given the opportunity through cuaid.coop.”

How to Use cuaid.coop
All credit unions and their supporters can take three steps to raise funds for the next disaster:
  1. Download any of the cuaid.coop buttons and banners, as well as related disaster relief “campaign materials” from www.cuaid.coop.
  2. Place a cuaid.coop button and/or banner with a link to www.cuaid.coop on their organization’s internet and intranet home pages.
  3. Use the sample letters, materials for statement stuffers and point-of-sale items to encourage members and employees to make donations that will help fellow members and employees recover from future disasters.
Donors will then have access to a secure donation page that generates immediate electronic receipts and thank you messages.

Help Available
Site designer Christopher Morris is available to help users customize their cuaid.coop links and campaign materials. Morris, who serves as NCUF’s communications manager, can be reached at (800) 356-9655, ext. 4979 or cmorris@ncuf.coop.

In coming weeks, NCUF will announce a webinar featuring more information on the resources available through this first unified credit union disaster relief fundraising campaign.

Participation Needed

“The main focus in designing and laying out the site was making sure it is universally accessible,” says Morris. “With this straightforward structure, anyone and everyone should be able to view cuaid.coop to make a donation to credit unions in need.”

“The more credit union people who use cuaid.coop, the more effective we will be in reaching those who need help in any disaster area,” promises Steve Bosack, NCUF deputy director and CU Aid strategist. “In cooperation with the State Credit Union Foundation Network, CUNA’s Disaster Preparedness Committee and their RESCU effort, we now have a fundraising strategy to deploy across the entire credit union community.”

When Disaster Strikes
In the event of a major disaster, CU Aid’s strategy will come full circle in six phases:
  1. State credit union organizations and NCUF gauge the level of the disaster according to regional, national or international impact;
  2. NCUF activates the Disaster Relief Fund;
  3. NCUF begins a specific relief appeal at www.cuaid.coop;

  4. State credit union organizations promote the appeal to member credit unions;

  5. Credit unions download new materials from www.cuaid.coop and encourage donations from members and employees;
  6. NCUF channels money to credit union organizations serving the disaster area.
The Future of Fundraising
Other major relief organizations are already moving toward more online donations. “After Katrina, Red Cross raised nearly half of its $3 billion online,” observes Delfin, who earlier in his career was responsible for American Red Cross’ national disaster relief fundraising. “Red Cross’ latest online campaign was a real sea change compared with the 22% raised online after the Tsunami of 2004 and the 7% raised online after September 11, 2001.”

What does all this mean for credit unions? “Clearly,” Delfin concludes, “if we want credit unions to be recognized as major players in disaster relief, we need a single online fundraising platform that everyone in the credit union community will support.”


Technology Note: cuaid.coop is powered by Convio. Based in Austin, Texas, Convio is America’s leading provider of online charitable fundraising platforms.
Other Convio client sites are featured at www.convio.com.