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Project 2025: Completed!

Project 2025, a program facilitated by Credit Unions for Kids to research and ideate the future of philanthropy in the CU industry, is completed! Beginning in April 2019, 12 leaders in the industry collaborated for 16 months in an effort to make a responsible impact at children’s hospitals across the country.

“This team brought fresh perspectives and ideas to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ CU4Kids program – and helped to cultivate a new generation of community-focused leaders for the credit union movement,” says Nick Coleman, Director of Programs at CMN Hospitals.

They began by understanding the landscape of the credit union industry and the non-profit sector. Joining regular calls to hear from seasoned experts in each field, executing their own research, and meeting in-person on two occasions to have in-depth strategic planning sessions; they formed a focus on 3 specific opportunities:

  1. Equipping credit unions with resources, ideas, and tools to engage employees in giving.
  2. Equipping credit unions with resources, ideas, and tools to activate members in giving.
  3. Uniting the credit union industry around giving, specifically through the lens of CU4Kids.

The focus on engaging employees led the team to create the concept of an ‘ambassador program.’ This would allow credit unions that participate in CU4Kids to identify an internal ambassador that communications and cooperates with CU4Kids national team and peers across the country to execute fundraising initiatives. Watch the presentation here.

To engage members in giving, it was realized that CU4Kids fundraising campaigns are not structured. To put structure to the campaigns by offering a multi-channel activation guide (engaging different stakeholders of a credit union during one time-period) that would be successful. Aligned with that, they realized a huge opportunity for credit unions to solicit fundraising dollars from members during the hold message when a members is waiting for a call center rep. Watch the presentation here.

Finally, it was identified that the industry as a whole does not have a great understanding of CU4Kids and the program has an opportunity to be more transparent. To engage the industry, members of Project 2025 proposed revamping the CU4Kids website and adding an interactive map that showed donations, impact reports, patient stories, and more for each CMN Hospital in the country. Watch the presentation here.

This team not only accomplished amazing work, they found lifelong friendships through the concept of philanthropy.

Lorna Quinn, Project 2025 member and Member Contact Center Manager at SchoolsFirst FCU says, “being able to work with a group of young leaders that are passionate about the Credit Union movement of people helping people, overlaps in our desire to want to be philanthropic to our communities as well. Children are the future leaders of the world, and we need to work together to help build their future.”

This work could not have been possible without support and guidance from key individuals and groups. Some include: Samantha Paxson (CO-OP Financial Services), Maureen Carlson (CMN Hospitals), Taylor Nelms (Filene Research Institute), Brandi Stankovic (CU Solutions Group), Andrea Rusnak (PSCU), Sarah Bang (retired), Denise Wymore (6th Story), the entire CU4Kids National Advisory Board (John Bratsakis, Ron Amstutz, Nancy Croix-Stroud, Darren Williams, Sarah Bang, Samantha Paxson, Chris Roe, Brad Miller, Brooke Van Vleet, Caroline Willard, Diana Dykstra), CUNA, CUNA Mutual Group, friends at RE/MAX, and more.

Participants of Project 2025 include:

  • Adam Freehling, PSCU
  • Aimee Berg, Unitus Community Credit Union
  • Joey Griffith, formerly at Communication FCU
  • Kristin Ryan, CUNA
  • Layna Officer, Blue FCU
  • Lorna Quinn, SchoolsFirst FCU
  • Maricela Jauregui, South Bay Credit Union
  • Meghan Valley, First Tech FCU
  • Megan Balogh, CUNA Mutual Group
  • Peter Rector, Maps Credit Union
  • Rachael Jernigan, Associated Credit Union
  • Thomas Slemp, SECU then APG FCU