Georgetown University Alumni And Student Federal Credit Union’s operational department is focused on one goal: serving its student and alumni members.
The Washington D.C.-based credit union ($15.4M, Georgetown, DC) has been ramping up outreach efforts to alumni in recent years and trying to connect with incoming students, says former chief executive operating officer Kristine Cudahy. Like all of the top executives at the credit union, she is an undergraduate student who served a year in her position, which included chairwoman of the board. Her year-long stint as chief operating officer began in March 2010 and recently ended.
“We’ve really worked on honing some of our member service skills, making sure our services are top-notch and that members see the most benefit from them,” says Cudahy, a finance and accounting double major.
GUASFCU’s strategic plan is based in four main areas: its intern experience for the students who work there, its professionalism as an institution as a student-run organization, the development of its infrastructure and its external relations with the community, Cudahy says.
The credit union's membership increased 58% to 7,381 members as of December 2011 compared to a year prior, according to Callahan & Associates' Peer-to-Peer data. Part of its membership growth is a result of an "open accounts weekend" held before the semester begins in which GUASFCU markets to students entering as freshmen. The event underscores that the credit union helps keep students connected to the university and is the most convenient financial institution on campus.
GUASFCU's is also trying to improve its efforts in alumni retention as students graduate. It offers outgoing students alumni debit cards, which have a higher spending limit than the student debit cards and are embossed with the students' class year to help the students continue to feel a part of the university post-graduation. Those cards are offered to graduating students for free in an effort to retain accounts instead of seeing them close as students leave.
"We really market to keeping students connected to Georgetown and have really made that our focus," Cudahy says. "We want them to understand that we're students and we understand their needs."