Financial Literacy Generates Youth Membership Growth

Make your credit union memorable, and you’ll have a member for life.


Financial literacy gained a boost this year when President Obama declared April National Financial Literacy Month. Your credit union is one of the few trusted financial sources in your community, so how can you be a positive force for teens and their parents? And how can you translate these relationships into new members?

Work with Local Schools

When asked why he robbed banks, famed criminal Willy Sutton replied, “Because that’s where they keep the money.” The largest gathering of prospective teen members is within the walls of your local schools; incidentally, that’s also where they’re supposed to be learning about finances. Give a local teacher a call and offer to teach their students about money, or partner with an organization that can help you access the school. Banzai, a web-based financial literacy company, has worked with more than 1,350 schools in every state in the country, nearly 700 of these partnerships were created this year alone.

Toot Your Own Horn

Once you’ve developed a relationship with local educators and their students, don’t be afraid to work the credit union story into your student education initiatives. You’re a local, not-for-profit organization and a great alternative to the national bank down the street. Banzai has devoted an entire website,, to help you get your message to young adults.

Relationships Translate to New Accounts

Ensure your educational materials prominently feature your brand, and encourage students to take those materials home. The final step of financial literacy is getting the student inside your branch – parents in tow – to learn more. Offer age-appropriate products and services and don’t forget the power of compelling packaging. Think beyond keychains and stress balls to give your new teen members something to commemorate their first checking account. Make it a memorable experience, and you’ll have a member for life.