Who Do You Love? STCU Members Respond in Droves to Contest Benefiting Nonprofits

By Jonathan Manfredonia

“Who do you love?”

Double J Dog Ranch, a sanctuary for disabled dogs, received $1,500 in STCU’s “Who do you love?” promotion.

That’s the question STCU has asked the community over the past four years in an online campaign to decide which Spokane-area nonprofit organizations would receive donations from the credit union. This year, the results were overwhelming.

STCU conducts a variety of online contests every year, but none has ever generated the kind of response that the credit union saw in this year’s “Who do you love?” campaign. Participation soared more than 300 percent from 2013 to 2014, with thousands of people casting ballots and lots of media attention.

Here’s how it was done:

Community members could nominate local 501(c)(3) organizations for the contest. The 10 organizations that earned the most nominations then advanced to the voting stage, with the final three winners receiving $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000 respectively.

STCU partnered with television station KREM 2 News to promote the contest. The promotion was launched live on the morning news, directing viewers to the credit union’s Facebook page, where they could nominate their favorite nonprofit.

“KREM 2 is proud to partner with STCU and support nonprofits in our area,” says Laura Papetti, the station’s director of community marketing. “These agencies help make a stronger community for all of us.”

Nonprofits and their supporters also promoted the contest. One eventual winner, KYRS Thin Air Community Radio, took to the airwaves several times a day to encouraged listeners to vote. Another nonprofit created a customized Facebook cover photo, directing their supporters to participate; that link to the contest was shared by supporters on social media more than 2,000 times.

Recognizing the importance of reaching members on the go, STCU optimized the contest for mobile devices and smartphones. The streamlined process allowed users to access the site and vote in seconds. The promotion included easy-to-use social media features, which let voters post the contest to personal Facebook or Twitter accounts.

The result was a 383-percent increase in nominations, from 845 last year to 4,080 this year; a 317-percent increase in votes, from 1,600 last year to 6,676 this year; and a 105-percent increase in exposure, from 10,535 Web-page visits last year to 21,573 this year.

So who does the community love?

  • KYRS, a local community radio station, received $2.500;
  • Double J Dog Ranch, a sanctuary for disabled dogs, received $1,500; and
  • Camp STIX Diabetes Programs, a summer camp for children with Type 1 diabetes, received $1,000.

The winners were announced on KREM 2 News, with checks presented live during the morning news. The announcement was also shared on STCU’s social media accounts, resulting in even more engagement.

STCU sees the “Who do you love?” promotion as a successful and engaging program – one the credit union hopes to grow in the future.

Jonathan Manfredonia is a communications specialist for STCU. The credit union, which was founded by educators in 1934, has 123,000 members, 17 branch locations in Eastern Washington and North Idaho, and more than $1.8 billion in total assets.

Questions about this story? Contact Gary M. Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.


Posted in Marketing & Communications.