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From Patty's Desk

A biweekly blog that gives readers a peek inside thoughts, priorities and industry-based reflections from MCUL CEO Patty Corkery.

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Finding the Next Generation of Members


Over the last couple years, MCUL’s Try a Credit Union campaign has had a lot of success focusing on the next generation of consumers, younger Millennials and Gen Z. Our ads have tapped into financial issues and social media relevant to this population while adopting their lingo in order to bring awareness to the benefits and mission of the credit union movement.

We’re excited about where the campaign is going this year, but we also know the younger Millennial and Gen Z population is a large, diverse group of people and our awareness campaign is not the only solution to bridging this gap. That’s why MCUL is joining the Filene Research Institute’s Centers of Excellence as a partner. The latest center is “The Next Generation of Member Growth” and will focus on diving into what future members seek out in their financial partner and how to capture those members. 

Filene first introduced the concept of Centers of Excellence in 2016 to help organize research around pressing issues facing the future of credit unions. Based on research and feedback from credit unions and other partner organizations, the project highlights key focus areas and actionable research to help credit unions make a transformative impact in the coming years.

I have been looking for an opportunity to sync up and dig in with Filene and this Center is the perfect choice. Because of our experience and research during the Try a Credit Union campaign, I think MCUL is uniquely primed to be an asset to the project. Like Filene, we believe it will be integral to the growth of the credit union industry to form lasting relationships with Millennials and Gen Z.

We want to form relationships built on the overlap in the needs and beliefs of this population and how our industry conducts business. That means creating and modifying financial services that meet them where they are. It means building trust over time so that credit unions can help these consumers meet their long-term goals, whether that means buying a home, starting a family or saving for retirement.

This partnership, which we are doing in conjunction with the Cornerstone League, is a three-year commitment driven by MCUL’s interest in helping credit unions of all sizes identify the financial habits and needs of the next generation of members. Member growth is critical for our industry, especially for our smaller credit unions who often report loss of membership. 

Our team is thrilled to be on this ride with the amazing Filene team, and with Research Fellow Kim Lear, to develop strategies and tactics to support our credit unions in Michigan and around the country.

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