News Release: Indiana Credit Union Foundation grant fuels innovation

 
Thursday, July 28, 2011
 
Innovative online aggregator is brainstorm of ignite working group
 
A new innovation developed by the Indiana ignite initiative has received $5,000 in funding from the Indiana Credit Union Foundation.
 
The “Commitment to Change” project is a Web-based community service aggregator which will allow credit unions in Indiana to track, promote and communicate the successes they experience as they give back to the communities they serve. The funding from the Foundation is allowing for design, development and programming of this tool, which will eventually be housed on the League’s Web site.
 
The website was introduced on July 21 at the ICUL/Hoosier CUES meeting in Indianapolis. It is temporarily located at www.cucommitment.org.
 
The working group members who came up with the idea for the site explained, “We know how much effort our credit union peers put into projects that make the state of Indiana a better place to live and work. After several focus groups, we learned that the methods for measuring these efforts are as varied as the projects themselves. The value of this tool comes from organizing and sharing information about all of Indiana credit unions’ common bonds and community initiatives. We are grateful to the Foundation for helping to make our vision a reality.”
 
This tool can have an impact on legislative conversations as well. Statewide data collection about financial literacy and community service efforts can reinforce the positive exchanges that are already taking place between credit union representatives and legislators.
 
“This is exactly the kind of project the Foundation seeks to support,” said Foundation Chairman Karla Salisbury of KEMBA CU. “It will bring expanded visibility to credit union efforts throughout the state and showcase credit unions’ commitment to our founding philosophy.”
 
As a prelude to its request for Foundation funding, the ignite working group members turned to their credit union counterparts in Indiana to gauge support for the Commitment to Change project. There were 16 credit unions and chapter groups that were so impressed with the idea that they committed $4,250 to get the project started.
 
“The Commitment to Change project is a great example of collaboration between credit unions driven by the forward-thinking individuals involved in ignite,” said League President John McKenzie. “The support that the Foundation, credit unions and chapters have provided demonstrates the value of ignite as a resource and of this project in particular.”
 
Fishers, Ind.-based Trabian Technology, Inc. is developing the tool which will also allow credit unions to search and generate ideas, cooperate with one another on like initiatives and to share their successes using social media tools. “This tool is essentially a microsite that will help credit unions track everything from dollars, to man-hours to which communities have been on the receiving end of credit union generosity,” said CEO Matt Dean. “It will feature a robust search option that can be used by legislators and media outlets in addition to members of the credit union community.”
The site continues to be refined at this time, with rollout on the League site planned for later this year.
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About the Indiana Credit Union Foundation
The Indiana Credit Union Foundation is a charitable arm of the Indiana Credit Union League, using contributions from individuals, credit unions and other organizations to fund projects, which benefit Hoosier credit unions. These include scholarships and grants, credit union development, disaster relief and other programs as approved by its board of directors.
 
About ignite
The initiative is a joint venture between the Indiana Credit Union League and three Indiana credit union representatives who are alumni of the Filene Research Institute’s i3 group. It is focused on developing innovations that can help credit unions better the financial lives of their members. The ignite Leadership Team is comprised of three individuals:
Doug True, League Director and Chief Lending & Technology Officer, FORUM CU (Fishers)
Bob Falk, President/CEO Purdue FCU (West Lafayette)
Nan Morrow, VP Corporate Development, Centra CU (Columbus)
 
Commitment to Change Working group members:
Chad Kiser, Centra CU (Columbus)
Kevin Sparks, Crane FCU (Odon)
Nikki Healy, Fire Police City County FCU (Fort Wayne)
Andrew Spirrison, FORUM CU (Fishers)
Becky Summers, Teachers CU (South Bend)