Partnering With Community Banks and Credit Unions to Move Money and Boost Your Organization
Note: The term CFI (community financial institution) is used throughout this page to include both community banks and credit unions.
For local business coalitions, encouraging residents, businesses and government entities to shift loans or accounts to CFIs can be an important way to build community wealth, help local businesses and build strong alliances. CFIs are strong prospects to recruit as sponsors of your organization and a successful “Move Your Money” campaign can make that an easy sell!
This Word template is a two-sided flier designed to make it easy for local business groups to plug in key data about local banking options. It’s a tool both to help boost your local economy and to help build partnerships with local CFIs — and entice them to become sustaining members or sponsors of your group/campaign.
Side one cites some of the best reasons to choose a community bank or credit union and information sources. Side two provides a chart you can customize with the names, contact information and attributes of your CFIs using information from their websites and tools linked below.
Once we built the template, it took less than 25 minutes to glean all the data and complete the chart for five CFIs in our own community. We welcome your questions or feedback to make any improvements to the template. Contact us if you’d like help converting this to a web page.
Examples of Local Organizations Building Successful Partnerships
- Keep Saint Petersburg Local arranged a great partnership with a local community bank to build membership and local interdependence. C1 Bank rewarded every business that moved their money to C1 during a designated month with a full year membership in KSPL — and paid their dues for an extra year if the business already was a member! KSPL reported, “the promotion led a City Council member to propose the City move a percentage of its funds to locally-owned banks as a direct result of the awareness we’ve created with C1 Bank’s ‘Keep it Local’ campaign!” The proposal passed through committee unanimously.
Cambridge Local First (MA) dubbed May #banklocal month, with a directory of banks and list of reasons to bank local on their website as well as promoting it via social media.
- The Sonoma County Go Local Cooperative (CA) received a big pay-off for several years of work to shift more deposits and loans to locally-owned financial institutions when the City of Santa Rosa moved $1.25 million in deposits to six local businesses ($250,000 each): Community First Credit Union, First Community Bank, Exchange Bank, Redwood Credit Union, Sonoma County Grange Credit Union and Summit State Bank. Redwood Credit Union is a top sponsor of Go Local, which markets businesses and non-profits countywide. The City of Santa Rosa also is a member! See the Go Local Coop’s Why Bank Local? page.
- Asheville Grown teamed up with the Self-Help/Carolina Mountains Credit Union to develop the Go Local CD (certificate of deposit) to enhance local investment. All funds generated from these CDs go to local loans and investments, including local independent businesses, home mortgages (guaranteed to remain at the Credit Union and not be sold off) and local economic development projects. At the CD’s launch, the first 50 people opening a Go Local CD received a free Go Local Card, a customer loyalty program that supports Asheville public schools and non-profits.
- In Philadelphia, a variety of lenders have come together as the Philadelphia Capital Consortium. Through a third-party administrator (the City of Philadelphia’s Dept. of Commerce), Philly-based businesses may apply for capital via a single, initial application to all Consortium member lenders, and those interested in potentially funding the business contact the applicant. This saves a business owner precious time and energy and puts them in touch only with lenders with a likelihood of funding them. A pro-local group could promote this simple program with profound impact for local business or even administer it. Learn more!
Add Your Examples!
We welcome more examples from local groups that have engaged in successful “move your money” events or campaigns.