Partners FCU donates $25K to help small CUs join Awareness initiative

July 11, 2019

Partners FCU, Burbank, Calif., has taken the extraordinary step to support small credit union participation in the CUNA-led Awareness initiative, donating $25,000 to the program on behalf of smaller California credit unions with less means.

“We’re enormously grateful for Partners’ leadership and support of the Awareness initiative,” said Chris Lorence, CUNA Chief Credit Union Awareness Officer. “Not only are they contributors, they have now taken the extra step to bring more credit unions into the initiative through a generous sponsorship.”

The Awareness initiative launched Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® in January 2019 with the mission to raise consumer consideration of credit unions. Partners has been a strong supporter of the campaign and was an early contributor.

As Partners President/CEO John Janclaes expressed, “We’re not in competition. We’re a collective, and I think this campaign is a moment for credit unions to come together. And, together, we can do great things.”

Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® was developed after extensive market research revealed that credit unions had a consideration problem. It found that 98% of consumers have heard of credit unions but 72% would not consider joining one. The initiative is dedicated to helping consumers understand that they qualify to join a credit union and that their money would be easily accessible nationwide.

CUNA and Leagues are working hard to expand the campaign across the country. With early launches in MinnesotaNorth Carolina, South Carolina and Michigan before that, the campaign recently expanded to North Dakota, South Dakota and Indiana with more states readying to launch later this year.

Early metrics are exceeding traditional benchmarks, showing the strength and resonance of the campaign’s messaging. As of June 30, the campaign in Minnesota, North Carolina, and South Carolina alone has reached 6.2 million people through programmatic advertising, 4.3 million on social media and 1.3 million on YouTube. It has also gained over 100 million impressions and earned 9.5 million video views from start to finish.

“We understand that it’ll take effort to get the word out, and that this isn’t a one-time thing,” said Janclaes. “That’s why we’re in it for the long haul. After all – big credit unions, small credit unions, rural credit unions, urban credit unions – we’re all coming at the same mission, which is to help households thrive financially.”

Partners’ $25,000 grant will be distributed so that small credit unions in California can become Awareness contributors. As contributors, they will have access to campaign materials to use in their own marketing efforts. Partners plans to host several hands-on workshops with CUNA to help participating credit unions leverage these materials.

“Once they’re in the game, we can talk about how to use these assets and be effective, ways to measure who you're hitting, and how you can tell if it's working or not,” said Mike Terzian, executive vice president and chief member service officer. “As a larger credit union, we have more opportunities to try things out and learn from our mistakes. If we can share those lessons to help other credit unions, we’re going to.”

Thanks to Partners’ leadership many small credit unions will be a part of this groundbreaking campaign. While CUNA and Leagues are working to ensure contributions are affordable for everyone, Partners’ generosity will have a big impact on those that benefit.

To learn more about the Awareness initiative and Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® visit or get in touch with a member of the team.