New Tool will Track Credit Unions’ Social Impact

Credit unions and their members thrive when they work in tandem to better their communities through volunteerism and civic engagement – it’s part of the Credit Union DNA.

Every year, Northwest credit unions make countless efforts to contribute and give back. They provide scholarships, and grants, donate funds to numerous organizations, such as those that focus on children, affordable housing, healthcare, and hunger, they host important community events and fundraisers, and volunteer thousands of hours of manpower for causes such as environmental cleanups, preparing food boxes for local kids, and helping those experiencing homelessness.

It’s that very give-back state-of-mind that sets credit unions apart, and it’s important they are able to tell the stories of their social impact to the public and elected officials.

In order to do that, the Northwest Credit Union Association is working on creating a tool that will do that very thing. Along with input from several regional credit unions, NWCUA is creating a new Community Impact Reporting Tool (CIRT), to be officially unveiled during NWUCA’s annual convention, MAXX 2018. The tool will be free to all NWCUA members.

“CIRT will bring everyone together to share the great work credit unions are accomplishing across our region to better their communities,” said Sharee Adkins, AVP & Managing Director of the Northwest Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF). Adkins who is leading CIRT’s creation – a joint effort between the NWCUA and NWCUF. “It’s so important that credit unions have a way to tell the story of their community impact.”

Between now and September, the program will be designed and tested by a pilot group of credit unions, which are providing essential information on what needs to be included to collect the best data. The credit unions make up a variety of asset sizes and are from different geographic areas throughout the Northwest.

CIRT will collect a range of data, including community development, giving, investing, lending, social responsibility, volunteerism, and member impact stories and images. The data will be organized in a way to make it easily accessible at the individual credit union level and for NWCUA advocacy efforts. It will also be compared to prior years and other geographies.

Before CIRT is unveiled and officially in use by credit unions, NWCUA will help them prepare through various efforts so that they can make the most of the tool.

“To help member credit unions navigate CIRT, we will provide support and information throughout the launch and beyond, as well as host instructional webinars,” Adkins explained.

The first informational webinar about CIRT will be July 25. It will provide a detailed overview of the tool, how it will work, and answer any questions credit unions may have. Members can register online here.

Editor’s note: Questions about CIRT? Contact Sharee Adkins, AVP and Managing Director, at [email protected].

Posted in Community Impact Reporting Tool, Cooperative Development.