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Community Outreach Makes Good Business Sense, Arkansas CU Executive Says
Friday, August 29, 2014 7:00 AM

TruService Community FCU

More than 250,000 people within the Arkansas Food bank’s 33-county area don’t have a steady source of food, and nearly 90,000 of them are children. TruService Community FCU wanted to do something to help. Several of staff members recently volunteered. The group sorted through a large batch of tomatoes that was distributed to of the food bank’s partner organizations in the state. 

Community involvement such as this is nothing new for the nearly $38-million assets credit union based in Little Rock, Ark. They support many charitable organizations in the community, including Children’s Miracle Network, the American Heart Association and City Connections. Earlier this week, the credit union also participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. Jeffery believes community outreach gives employees a greater sense of purpose.

“As a community chartered credit union, it is extremely important to us that we support our community and the many organizations within the community. Due to our size, often times it is easier for us to participate and be a face in the community than spend big advertising dollars,” says Jeffery.  

“Community outreach builds trusts and promotes teamwork,” continues Jeffery. “Employees feel a strong sense of pride in knowing they are doing something positive for the community. And they feel proud to work for an organization that cares.”

When it comes to enhancing the credit union’s image and presence in the community, Jeffery believes community outreach is the way to go. In fact, TruService Community FCU is so committed that they formed a community involvement committee of staff, chaired by one of their senior staffers. This committee came up with the suggestion that they put a requirement in position descriptions of a minimum community service requirement per month.

“Our board got behind that and now we have a minimum requirement in each position description of at least one hour per month,” Jeffery adds. “Some positions obviously require more. If the event is during business hours, the employee must get approval from his/her manager in advance. We do our very best to accommodate all request.”

TruService Community FCUTo get staff involved, Jeffery suggests allowing them to provide input on what they think works best in showing the credit union’s commitment to the community.

The opportunities for involvement are endless, and charitable organizations of all sizes can benefit from the additional support and resources. When deciding which organizations you will support, Jeffery says it’s important to work with those that have a good reputation, and have values that align with your credit union.

“We look at those charities and organizations that we think benefit the community and share our vision of giving back,” she adds.

The credit union makes a decision annually about the charities they will support so they aren’t overwhelmed by requests. However if there is a significant request such as a natural disaster, they will try to accommodate it.

“Community involvement isn’t just the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense,” she says. “People want to do business with organizations that do good things for the community.”