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Indiana CU Foundation funds Web innovation
INDIANAPOLIS (8/1/11)--The Indiana Credit Union Foundation has awarded $5,000 in funding to a new innovation developed by the Indiana ignite initiative. 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 “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 the tool, which will eventually be housed on the league’s website. 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 its genesis: “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.” The tool also can have an impact on legislative conversations. 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 Indianapolis 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. Sixteen credit unions and chapter groups committed $4,250 to get the project started, the foundation said. “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 also will allow credit unions to search and generate ideas, cooperate with one another on similar 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, with rollout on the league site planned for later this year.
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