CU Showcase: Youth Savings Month Standouts

Northwest credit unions move the needle in April, encouraging young people to save. Here’s an impressive snapshot from two credit unions.

5/15/18

Picture of plant blossom kit

Young savers who open accounts at Northwest Community Credit Union receive a plant blossom kit, reminding them to “cultivate and tend” to their accounts.

Youth savings accounts surged 42 percent in April at Eugene-based Northwest Community Credit Union (NWCU). The Sprout Savings program planted savings seeds in kids’ minds by offering appealing incentives. Young savers who open accounts receive a live plant blossom kit—a reminder, NWCU says, for them to “cultivate and tend to their new accounts.”

That’s not all that’s in the Sprout Savings garden. With each $10 deposit made in a branch, young savers get to pick a prize on the spot. All account holders–whether they deposit in a branch, online, or via account transfers, are eligible for a $50 monthly cash prize drawing.

NWCU intentionally directed the awards program toward regular deposits without a stipulation about how much the balances grew, because the first steps in money management include making spending choices.

The program was well received by children and their parents, with youth savings accounts growing in April outpacing the first quarter’s account openings.

“We are dedicated to supporting and educating youth in the financial habits they will need to succeed in life,” said NWCU President and CEO John Iglesias. “Sprout Savings provides youth the first positive experiences of a lifetime of savings with the credit union.”

Portland-based Unitus Community Credit Union held giveaways and stages kids’ activities at all 10 branches during Youth Week April 23-27. Kids visiting branches received Unitus’ Making Cents newsletter, coloring sheets, and the chance to win a Moonjar Moneybox Budgeting Toolkit.

In addition, a trio of Unitus employees visited 78 fourth graders at Harrison Park Elementary School to promote savings habits and to share goodie bags.