The Pulse | 09-06-2018

Volume 7, Issue 35.5



Credit Unions in Montana, Wisconsin Begin Offering Prize-Linked Savings Accounts

This month, credit unions in Montana and Wisconsin will begin offering prize-linked savings programs. Prize-linked savings accounts offers members the chance to win monthly, quarterly, and annual cash prizes for increasing their savings balance.

In Wisconsin, 14 credit unions will be offering a saving incentive program called Saver’s Sweepstakes. In Montana, the program will operate under the name WINcentive Savings. Both programs will be administered by TruLync, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Minnesota Credit Union Network.


Since 2009, more than $190 million has been saved in 30,000 credit union prize-linked savings accounts in 13 states, according to Boston-based non-profit Commonwealth. Close to 90 percent of prize-linked savings participants were financially vulnerable, but saved more than $2,400, on average.


In addition to Montana and Wisconsin, TruLync manages prize-linked savings programs for credit unions in Delaware, Louisiana, Minnesota, and New York.


To learn more, contact MnCUN Director of Engagement Ben Hering by email or by phone at 651-288-5519.



Additional CU Forward Day Opportunities Available

CU Forward Day is an opportunity to demonstrate the powerful impact of the cooperative credit union movement and the people helping people philosophy. We know it can be hard for credit union staff to devote time to events out of the office. That’s why we are working to make CU Forward day accessible – by coordinating volunteer opportunities for staff to join and providing sample examples of acts of kindness that can be done on a flexible schedule – or even from the branch.


Cooperative volunteer opportunities include:


Junior Achievement BizTown | 8:30 a.m. -1:45 p.m. | Maplewood

Several weeks of classroom learning culminates in a day-long visit to this fully-interactive simulated free market lab where students become adults for a day. By working in one of 15 JA BizTown shops, students learn what it takes to run a successful business, manage a checking account and work as a team. A total of 20 volunteers are needed. Please email Karyn Thompson directly to participate in this opportunity.


Junior Achievement in a Day | 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. | West St. Paul

Volunteers (2 to a classroom) will talk to students about their career, how to manage money, entrepreneurship and facilitate a series of 5 JA lessons while the educator is in the classroom. The JA lessons use fun, hands-on activities to help students better understand what it means to be a responsible citizen, consumer and worker. Please email Karyn Thompson directly to participate in this opportunity.


Second Harvest Heartland | 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. | Brooklyn Park

Participants will be packing food for distribution to food shelfs and into peoples’ homes.  Participation in this event is first come, first serve so please email Ben Hering to reserve volunteer spots. Registration for this event ends on Friday, September 14.


United Way

There are currently 13 opportunities that our partners at United Way have put together. Participation in these events are first come, first serve as well – please email Cayleigh Kuntz, Coordinator, Volunteer United at Greater Twin Cities United Way, to confirm your spot. 

Additional volunteer and acts of kindness ideas are available on the CU Forward webpage.


MnCUN has contacted the designated project coordinator for 2017 CU Forward Day participants. If your credit union did not participate in 2017, and would like more information, or to designate a project coordinator, please contact MnCUN Director of Engagement Ben Hering by email or by phone at 651-288-5519.



Filene Research Institute Combines Research, Innovation and Connectivity

Filene Research Institute is an independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking and cooperative finance. Nearly 2,000 members make the nonprofit’s research, innovation and impact programs possible.


Benefits of membership with Filene include access to member only events and advance notice of research publications.


Registration for the Sept. 27 full-day Filene event, Best Practices are Dead: Using Analytics to Win the Talent War, is available now.


For more information, visit Filene online.




Follow the links below to read the latest news from Minnesota's credit unions. Stories sent to MnCUN are shared: on the Minnesota Credit Union News Channel; in The Pulse newsletter; and on CU Social Good, a microsite that captures credit union community impact stories. Send stories, pitches, press releases and published articles to MnCUN Director of Communications Laura Whittet.




The Crew Offers Training, Engagement Young Professionals Seek

If someone told you there was a free opportunity to engage and develop the young professionals in your credit union, would you listen? Are you listening now? The Minnesota Credit Union Network’s young professionals group, the Crew, does just that.


The Crew is a group of 175+ young credit union professionals that participate in learning, volunteering, and social activities throughout the year with the goal of developing the next generation of credit union leaders. In the last year alone, over 175 young professionals representing 33 different credit unions, participated in 6 events across the state. Events range from volunteering, to fundraising for the MnCUN Political Action Committee, to “crashing” MnCUN conferences; all with the goal of expanding the horizons of future credit union leaders.


Why should you encourage the young professionals in your credit union to participate in the Crew? We thought you’d never ask! In addition to being the future leaders of the credit union movement, young professionals are:


  • Eager to learn – The Crew facilitates opportunities for learning with programming at the MnCUN Annual meeting, as well as smaller peer to peer learning sessions.
  • Valued employees – Young professionals are critical to the success of the credit union movement, why not give them more opportunities to enrich their professional lives?
  • Looking for professional development – Encourage the young professionals in your credit union to push themselves outside of their comfort zones and connect with their peers. Looking to improve the results on your next employee engagement survey? Encourage your employees to be engaged!
  • Hungry for leadership opportunities – With the Crew, opportunities for leadership abound; whether it’s leading a volunteer event, organizing a networking event, participating in the MnCUN annual meeting, or joining the Crew Advisory Board.
  • Advocates in the community – Help your young professionals develop a more well-rounded perspective of credit unions and our impact in the community by connecting with their peers.

So what does this mean for you? This means you have an opportunity to further enable and connect the young professionals in your organization. If you haven’t already, talk to the young professionals in your credit union about their professional goals. Mention the Crew. Find out if they’re interested in learning more and expanding their horizons. Find Crew members at the next MnCUN event you attend (hint: Fall Leadership Conference) and ask them about their experience.


Further, if there’s a topic you wish young professionals had more exposure to, or you have a valuable experience you’d like to share; the Crew would love to hear from you.


To learn more or offer ideas and suggestions, please contact MnCUN Crew Liaison Laura Whittet or Crew Ambassador Carissa Rothstein.


Article by James Sackett. James serves on the Firefly Credit Union Board of Directors and the Minnesota Credit Union Network Crew Young Professionals Group.



$12,000 in Scholarship Funds Available for Your Members – new Timeline Announced

The Foundation Scholarship Council (FSC) is changing up our annual scholarship program to better align with the school year.  Therefore, starting now and going forward the scholarship program will run from September 1 through November 30, with recipients being awarded in December.


Applications are now being accepted for the 2018/19 Foundation Scholarship Council (FSC) scholarship program.


This year the council will be awarding $12,000 which includes two (2) $2,000, and eight (8) $1,000 scholarships. Any member of a Minnesota Credit Union Network affiliated credit union pursuing post-secondary education in the fall 2018/spring 2019 OR is a high school senior graduating in 2019 is eligible to apply.


Applications are being accepted online with a submission deadline of November 30, 2018. Applicants are asked to answer the following essay question: Community service is an integral part of credit unions. Share an experience when you contributed your time and/or talents in the community. What did you learn from that experience?


The Foundation Scholarship Council (FSC) is a committee of the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation. The FSC strives to build credit union brand awareness and strengthen member relationships through their scholarship program. Since its inauguration in 1997, the FSC has awarded $196,500 in scholarships to 329 Minnesota credit union members.


With questions about the scholarship program, contact the FSC.



Hold a Miracle Jeans Day to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

Wearing jeans may lead to a more comfortable day in the office for you, but on Miracle Jeans Day, it also generates hope for families relying on the services of a Childrens Miracle Network Hospital. A simple $5 donation could supply 10 diapers for a premature baby. A $25 donation could provide five baby blankets. Best of all - your donation stays local to help kids in Minnesota at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.


Since 2009, Miracle Jeans Day has encouraged groups and individuals alike to trade their traditional work attire for jeans and help raise funds for kids treated at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in their area. Since its beginning, Miracle Jeans Day has raised more than $4 million to help fund life-saving medical needs in Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.


The official 2018 Miracle Jeans Day is Wednesday, Sept. 12, however, credit unions are encouraged to hold miracle jeans days whenever their schedules allow. To register and order merchandise visit the Miracle Jeans Day website.


Minnesota Credit Union Network
555 Wabasha Street N, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55102

(651) 288-5170
(800) 477-1034