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  • 4 Credit Unions Apply Grant Funds to People, Partners & Education

    Posted by on November 27, 2017

    In October, I shared the plans of three Warren Morrow Hispanic Growth Fund Grant recipients specific to how they will use the funds earned. This post will take a look at four additional recipients of the grant, which is made possible by Coopera, CUNA and the National Credit Union Foundation. Each of the recipients is a Juntos Avanzamos-designated cooperative, a program taken to the national stage by the Federation.

    Ascentra Credit Union
    Ascentra will use the grant funds to continue growing and evolving its Hispanic outreach program and building community partnerships. This includes translating materials needed for upcoming presentations that will benefit the Esperanza Legal Assistance Center, a low-cost immigration services provider.

    “We have been building and evolving our program to accommodate our successful growth of Hispanic members,” said Alvaro Macias, Ascentra AVP of community development. “We also have an internal group of bilingual staff that meets 3-4 times a year and a community development advisory group that evolved out of our Latino Outreach Advisory Group. Today, we are positioning the credit union to build community partnerships that are mutually beneficial to members, other organizations and long-term sustainability of the credit union.”

    Santa Cruz Community Credit Union (SCCCU)
    With the grant funds, SCCCU will develop a new website and mobile access, offer more financial education sessions and Spanish-language seminars and help local Hispanic nonprofits with their financial inclusion efforts.

    “The Warren Morrow Grant will help us close the outreach gap by supplementing our budget for providing financial education to the Spanish-speaking community,” said SCCCU President/CEO Beth Carr. “Additionally, more nonprofits serving the Hispanic community here are being required by grant funders to include financial literacy and training in their grant proposals and programs. As a Juntos Avanzamos-certified credit union, we feel it is our responsibility to assist our community non-profits.”

     

    DC Federal Credit Union (DGEFCU)
    The grant will allow a young, Hispanic member service representative at DGEFCU to participate in the Cooperative Leaders Scholars Institute at this fall’s National Co-op IMPACT Conference.

    “This enhances our credit union’s current Hispanic growth strategy in a couple ways,” said DC FCU President/CEO Carla Decker. “First, it grows our staff’s professional competency and serves to retain talent. Second, the training will add another resource to a budding partnership opportunity with the potential for tremendous impact and further expansion of DGEFCU’s footprint.”

     

    JetStream Federal Credit Union
    JetStream will partner with a local high school to select a deserving scholarship recipient who is a member of a Hispanic low-income family and meets the following criteria: a 3.7 minimum GPA, a college in mind and an area of interest in business.

    “At JetStream, we feel the need to help the professionals of tomorrow by providing them with the tools they need today for a better future,” said Vanessa Miranda, manager of HR and community outreach for JetStream. “The grant will go directly into the hands of a deserving local Hispanic low-income student.”

    This collective of credit unions is proof the industry sees the Hispanic community as important to the future of the movement. Kudos to each of you for the continued effort to reach and serve this influential and growing segment.

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    Meeting Hispanics Where They Are: Online and on Mobile

    Posted by on November 20, 2017

    Google recently surveyed more than 4,500 U.S. Hispanics ages 18-64 about their preferences related to online sources, digital ads and search. The study found U.S. Hispanics use online sources at a higher rate (54 percent) than the general population (46 percent) throughout the purchase journey. It also found:

    • Hispanic consumers tend to favor online sources over family, radio and TV.
    • 79 percent of those surveyed said they use search engines on a daily basis.
    • 68 percent of the respondents who use search engines at least monthly do so on their mobile devices.
    • More than half of respondents who use online sources use their smartphones specifically to gather information before making a purchase.

    How can credit unions and other organizations dedicated to serving the underserved Hispanic community meet them where they already are – online and on mobile? Below are a few examples of online and mobile resources being tapped by organizations to do just that.

    Crowdfunding
    According to Pew Research, 16 percent of Hispanics have contributed to a crowdsourced fundraising project. Since it launched in 2010, do-it-yourself crowdfunding website GoFundMe has raised more than $4 billion for personal causes from more than 40 million donors. When a licensed clinical social worker was struggling to afford providing low-cost mental health treatment to uninsured Spanish-speaking individuals in Louisville, Ky., for example, she turned to GoFundMe. She is currently well on her way to reaching her $5,000 goal to enable to her to continue providing therapy.

    Putting a twist on the GoFundMe model, PayPal just launched Money Pools, a service that lets people create pages to fundraise for a specific item or effort among family and friends. Could this become a digital tanda? Although the service is too new to have data on usage rates, the focus on family and friends could resonate among many within the Hispanic community.

    Social Media Influencers
    One way for an organization to increase its reach within a certain segment of the population is to connect with those who have influence inside that segment. Consider starting with the top 25 Hispanic influencers on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If your credit union has, for example, an important message to share with Hispanic members about helping children save for college, you could simply share with your social media followers. Or, you could try to get it in front of Jorge Narvaez, whose parenting-focused YouTube channel has more than 600,000 subscribers.

    Instagram Stories.
    After just one year in market, Instagram Stories has more than 200 million users – 50 million more users than Snapchat. At this rate, nearly half of all Instagram users will be using Stories by the end of 2018. A large portion of Instagram users, 38 percent, are Hispanic. In August, Instagram declared that JBalvin, an all-Spanish language music star, is the most-viewed Instagram Stories content provider in the U.S.. Brands interested in connecting with Instagram users, and with Hispanic Instagram users specifically, should consider mastering Instagram Stories. Here’s a how-to guide to get you started.

    Connecting with Hispanic consumers online requires not only understanding where they are, but also how they want to be connected with. Google’s study found that including culturally relevant content – food, family and traditions – resonates with U.S. Hispanics online. Consider incorporating content that Hispanic members care about or that which is unique to the Hispanic experience. While not as important as culture, language also matters. For some U.S. Hispanic consumers, Spanish and bilingual content are signals you want to engage with them.

    Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

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    Serving Aging Hispanics and the Family Members They Rely On

    Posted by on November 13, 2017

    Every day, 10,000 Americans turn 65. By 2030, as the last Baby Boomers turn 65, older adults are expected to reach 20 percent of the U.S. population. What’s more, according to the Institute on Aging, 65 percent of older adults with long-term care needs rely exclusively on family and friends to provide assistance, and another 30 percent supplement family care with paid assistance.

    The HuffPost recently called growth of older Hispanics “the most prominent of rapid changes coming to the look and culture of the elderly in America.”

    Not only are Hispanics making up a growing percentage of older Americans, they also tend to be more likely to turn to family and friends first for assistance, before going to outside agencies.

    As one expert on grandparenting writes:

    In part this tendency can be traced to difficulties with English. Almost three-fourths of Hispanics speak Spanish in the home… In addition, Hispanics are more likely than the population at large to live in poverty and to be uninsured. These circumstances also may influence their tendency to seek help from friends and family.

    According to the Census Bureau, Hispanics are less likely than whites, blacks or Asians to live alone. In addition, they are more likely to want to stay geographically close to family members. They are seldom long-distance grandparents by choice.

    Credit unions are well-suited to serve both older Hispanic populations and the family members they turn to for help. Here’s how…

    A study of more than 400 residents of subsidized senior housing concluded that lower-income, older adults desire the following six banking services from their financial institutions (FIs):

    1. Low-cost, low-fee checking accounts
    2. Low-interest lending and credit products
    3. Assistance accessing public benefits
    4. Help avoiding financial abuse and fraud
    5. In-person customer service
    6. Early-intervention retirement planning

    It’s also important for your members who are faced with the responsibility of caring for their aging family members to know your credit union is there to support them. This can be in the form of products and services, such as guardian accounts, that make it easier for them to help their loved ones. It can also be in the form of consultative advice, information and resources, such as on a dedicated page of your website. Here are a few examples:

    Ally Bank
    Grove Bank & Trust
    Redstone Federal Credit Union
    ● SCE Federal Credit Union
    Veridian Credit Union

    As we look for ways to put the people helping people philosophy into action, it can be beneficial to proactively search for the people most in need of that help. Often, this requires getting outside our comfort zone and learning as much as we can about those individuals. Aging people of all cultures and backgrounds have unique needs with far-reaching impact. How can your credit union look more closely at this market to make retirement years some of the best in your members’ lives?

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    Get to Know Kenia Calderon

    Posted by on November 6, 2017

    Continuing our get-to-know series, this blog post features Kenia Calderon, client relations associate for Coopera.

    How did you end up working for Coopera?

    In 2014, I participated in the Latina Leadership Initiative, a leadership program for young Latina women in Iowa. Miriam De Dios Woodward, Coopera’s CEO, presented about the opportunities in the underbanked and unbanked Hispanic market. I could relate to her presentation, as I grew up in an underbanked household. I was intrigued by the topic and by her personal story.

    I reached out to Miriam because I was interested in learning more about Coopera and her career path. I was a sophomore in college, unsure of what I wanted to do after graduation, and meeting Miriam gave me hope of someday finding a job that would make a positive impact in the Hispanic community. She was looking for a summer intern at the time, and I applied. Fortunately, I was offered the internship, and I’m still here, now serving as a client relations associate!

    What does your typical day look like?

    I work to ensure we are exceeding our partners’ and our own expectations. Assisting our clients through their Hispanic Growth Strategy is by far my favorite part. This comes in different forms, such as helping them find local resources, sharing my personal experiences and expertise during a consulting meeting or working together to create new staff training materials.

    I am constantly learning about our clients’ needs, objectives and culture. My daily goal is to help our clients get a step closer to becoming the preferred financial service provider for their local Hispanic community.

    What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

    “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

    This is a great reminder for someone like me who likes to be challenged and embraces change. My mind is always running too fast for my body to keep up. Therefore, I need to remind myself to slow down and ensure that I have the necessary resources, health and energy to keep going on this marathon called life.

    What gets you out of bed in the morning?

    My love for life and humanity. I’ve always devoted my time and energy to causes that matter. My position at Coopera is no different because we help our partners grow their organizations and improve the lives of my Hispanic community. Fortunately, I found a job that I love and enjoy every day.

    I also can’t stay still for very long, so staying in bed all day is not an option.

    What excites you the most about the future of financial services in the Hispanic market?

    The impact credit unions have yet to make. By meeting the needs of Hispanics in their communities and becoming their preferred financial services provider, credit unions will not only help Hispanics reach economic stability, but credit unions, themselves, will experience growth in membership, product usage, market penetration, etc. The opportunity is knocking on their doors; it is up to them to embrace this community in need.

    Where do you go/what do you do to get inspiration?

    Remember how I said I couldn’t stay still? Well, I coach an eighth-grade volleyball team, direct a Hispanic youth choir, volunteer with immigrant service organizations and meet with Hispanic high school students to talk about their college plans.

    I’m active in my local Hispanic/immigrant community because it took a village for me to graduate from college. Therefore, it is my duty to give back and invest my time in the future generation of Hispanic leaders. My community inspires me to continue moving forward as we reach new opportunities together.

    What is something unique about you most people wouldn’t know?

    I have a great appreciation for art. When I was younger, I took any opportunity I had to create things with my hands from pottery to paintings. My senior year in high school, I made All-State in Iowa for my diverse art portfolio. Art is the one aspect of my life that I enjoy the most as it forces me to slow down and relax. Most of my pieces showcase my culture, life experiences and Salvadoran background.

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