Is your credit union child friendly? Are you making a specific focus on growing your credit union through the younger generation? Children who start saving their pennies with you at a young age are going to grow up to be adults who save their paychecks with you. They’ll be members who eventually need their first car loan, a credit card, and even a mortgage. Think of a newly graduated high school student taking your credit union along with them to college, or the new recruit going off to basic training for the military. The opportunity to be part of a child’s future and success will bring you more opportunities to be successful as well.
Of course, the how-to might look a little different for each credit union, but the first step is easy: create a kid’s club. Why am I so sure this is the first step? As a mother of two children who both have savings accounts, the first thing I looked for was a kid’s club; a specific savings account set up for children.
Find ways to make it fun
I’m going to give my children all the sound responsible reasons to save, but I want a credit union that makes it exciting for them to save. They find it fun to earn rewards, receive a birthday card from their credit union, get a sticker when they make a deposit, etc. Coloring contests or writing contests to win prizes are huge for promoting savings to young children. Investing in communities has always been a core value of credit union cooperatives. A great way to get kids invested in your credit union is to contact local elementary schools and find out if you’re able to set up a Credit Union Day where kids can start saving with you right from their school.
You don’t have to stop at a kid’s club. What about those teens that want to save? Teens that need a checking account or debit card will come to you first if they’ve already established an account with your institution. Find out what types of opportunities exist at high schools for assisting teachers in educating teenagers on finances. Partnering with schools will benefit everyone involved. An annual scholarship to one member graduating from high school each year would be another great idea in getting teens involved in your credit union.
Look for new opportunities
Consider sponsoring a local youth sports team to assist in bringing awareness to people in your community of the opportunities for youth memberships at your credit union. Instead of using your regular logo, you can create something geared towards your kid’s clubs. Taking an active part in parades and festivals in your area gives you ample occasions to promote your youth savings accounts. How can you use these opportunities to touch base with parents and children regarding saving with your credit union?
Providing parents with tools and information on helping their child save is a great way to bring everyone together for a common cause. Consider pamphlets with teaching tools for parents when a youth savings account is opened. Online videos on how to save for college, best practices for teens with debit cards, a “how-to” for helping a young adult purchase their first car can be helpful as well. Make your interest in caring for the members of the future known! Children who decide to save with you also have parents who may discover the benefits of your credit union outweigh the advantages of their current financial institutions.
So, let me ask you again: is your credit union child friendly? Are you spending enough time cultivating new relationships with the younger demographics?