“…help me pay my electricity bill.” This was the straightforward answer from a resident of Rochester, NY, in response to a focus group exploring community health.
It’s so simple and so profound. Wealth and health are deeply connected. Each affects the other.
In these times of financial uncertainty—bank failures, liquidity strains, inflation—how can credit unions navigate through? Another straightforward answer: Focus on the financial health and well-being of your employees and those within your field of membership. That drives sustainability and growth.
Where do you start?
Start with your own employees.
Over the past ten years, the Foundation’s steadfast commitment to financial well-being for all has ignited the credit union movement. It has placed a renewed focus on our mission and re-energized our employees.
However, we know credit union employees are just as financially vulnerable as the members they serve and equally concerned by today’s economic uncertainty. That’s why the Foundation developed research and resources to help you address those concerns.
Our learning experiences are also designed to support employees. The Foundation reached over 1,500 credit union professionals through our educational programming in 2022—every individual returning to their organization more knowledgeable, empowered, and committed to improving the financial health of those they serve.
Follow our Financial Well-being for All framework.
As part of our work, we’ve collaborated with our friends at Filene to develop a Quick Start Guide to help you put financial well-being for all into practice.
This tool gives you the steps—commit, assess, plan, and act—to truly put financial well-being for all into practice throughout your credit union.
Our website’s dedicated Financial Well-being for All section follows the same framework and provides even more resources, links and support.
Be a player on the field.
We need more credit unions embedding financial health and well-being as a key driver of strategy. The Foundation is collating and curating examples of excellence and sharing them across the system, to benefit the system. This is, in fact, directly related to one of the key deliverables of the FinHealth Fund.
We know that in times of financial crisis, predatory lenders thrive—and we have inspirational examples of how credit unions beat them at their own game.
We also know that strategic philanthropy can often be one of the most visible strategies a credit union can employ to support its community—so we responded by developing a toolkit to help you be successful.
Take these resources and put them to use at your credit union. They will focus your work on improving financial well-being for all.
Credit unions are at their best in times of financial uncertainty because they focus on helping those they serve stay financially well. It was for moments like this that credit unions were first formed and that the National Credit Union Foundation—your Foundation—was established. It is a privilege to support you in this work.
Gigi Hyland, CUDE