Verity Video Contest Uses Cartwheels to Build Community

Verity Credit Union launched its second “Cartwheel for a Cause” contest earlier this month, inviting Washington residents to submit a short video that features “a cartwheel, or anything representing a cartwheel,” for the chance to win a $1,000 prize and a $5,000 donation to the cause of their choice.

According to Melina Young, Verity’s director of marketing, Verity has developed a strong track record of using contest marketing to build and maintain member engagement, beginning with the credit union’s widely recognized Verity Mom campaign.

“We see this as a great opportunity to let the community get involved and tell us which causes they feel we should donate to,” Young said. “This was a great way to brand Verity in the community without having to spend a ton of money, and it helps to teach the community about our values.”

The rules are simple. Each video must feature a description of the specific cause that person believes deserves a $5,000 donation. All causes must be a designated 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. And then the video needs, of course, to include a cartwheel in there somewhere.

“The creative cartwheels are one of the best parts of this contest!” Young said. “It is always really exciting to see what people come up with and how they interpret a ‘cartwheel’ when given the chance. Our first video entry from this year has Lego figures doing cartwheels and is pretty fantastic—you can see the video at”

Of course, the contest isn’t all fun and games, as it gives a lift to Verity’s brand and visibility, gives members a voice in the credit union’s community involvement, and shines a light on organizations and areas of need that might not otherwise have access to such a public forum.

“The first time we ran this contest, we had 37 entries and over 13,000 votes,” Young said. “Those are a lot of eyes coming to our site and learning about the different causes. The cause that won the first year was Cure JM—a charity most had never heard of. They beat out Susan G. Komen for the Cure, various humane societies, [the] YMCA, and other more recognized names. In addition, we had one cause, an orphanage in Uganda, that didn’t win but received an anonymous donation for $5,000 from someone who learned about their charity through our contest. It is a really amazing campaign, and I can’t wait to see what great stories we get out of it this year.”

Last year’s inaugural “Cartwheel for a Cause” campaign also provided a great reminder of the immense potential value of simply sharing the credit union difference.

“In the first year, we had someone bring a $150,000 HELOC to us because her sister was on the board of one of the charities that was nominated,” Young said, “and she thought our values represented us as a place she would like to put her money. Stories like that help justify the money spent to market a campaign like this.”

Two runners-up will also earn $1,000 donations to the causes highlighted in their respective videos, along with a $200 individual prize. Videos can be submitted at until 5 p.m. on Feb. 25, and the general public can vote for their favorite video from 9 a.m. on Feb. 26 to 5 p.m. on March 11.

“Last year we had 37 videos submitted,” said Danielle Gahl, who blogs and posts videos for Verity as the current online spokesperson for “I can’t wait to see some amazing causes and acrobatics this year!”


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Posted in Strategic Link.