Checking Deal Offers $50 To Member, $50 To Charity of Choice

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Oregon Community Credit Union says its recent "Make a Difference" campaign was a success-both for the charitable donations it generated and the checking accounts it brought the credit union.

The campaign, which ran from March 7 to April 30, had a dual hook. New and existing members who signed up for a new "bonus" or "premium" checking account received a $50 deposit from Oregon Community CU.

In addition, the credit union donated $50 to a charity, school or other non-profit organization designated by the member.

Tisha Oehmen, OCCU's vice president of member relations, told The Credit Union Journal the bonus checking account requires a $500 minimum balance, while the premium checking carries a $2,500 minimum balance.

She said the pricing for the campaign was a combination of several factors.

"We analyzed the profitability of each of those accounts, and $100 was a figure we felt comfortable spending to procure an account," she explained. "They earn more than $100 annually, based on deposits and fee income. We offer $50 for opening a direct deposit checking account, so that was the starting point. Fifty dollars and $50 worked out nicely."

In slightly less than two months, OCCU opened 787 bonus and premium checking accounts combined, with a total of $3.1 million in balances. Oehmen said 319 of those accounts were opened by new members.

"We were very pleased with that," she said.

As a result of the campaign, Oregon Community donated $39,350 to non-profit organizations throughout Oregon, as well as some national causes.

The feedback from the "Make a Difference" campaign also has been gratifying, Oehmen continued. She said members appreciated helping charities.

"We wanted to do something great for the community, and give our members something great. It was an opportunity to partner with charities that matter to our members."

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