CU Celebrates 75th With 'Go Local' Campaign

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MADISON, Wis.-Heartland CU is marking its 75th anniversary by donating more than $75,000 in cash and in-kind services to local non-profits and community events.

"We wanted to do something special for our 75th, more so than just putting stickers on our outgoing mail," said VP-Marketing Robin Marohn.

As part of the "Go Local" campaign, one community non-profit organization will receive a $10,000 donation from Heartland. The $166p-million institution is soliciting entries from the entire community, members and non-members alike, and then opening up the vote to the public through the CU's website. Visitors will be able to vote once per day through next spring; the winner will be named in conjunction with Heartland's 75th anniversary celebration in May 2011.

The campaign officially kicked off at the 45th Annual Orton Park Festival, an event HCU has sponsored since 1988. Marohn explained that Go Local continues a trend by Heartland to better highlight its charitable activities and spread the word both about its work and the organizations and events it helps.

"We don't really blow our horn about that stuff that much, we just do it. What we're doing now is keeping track of what we're doing in the community and it's amazing how much time we're donating," he said. "I think it's good business and a good way for a credit union to interweave itself into the community."

As the economy continues to sputter along, non-profits in southwestern Wisconsin have found it difficult to make their budgets. That gives credit unions additional opportunities for major sponsorships at a lower price; even so, Marohn noted, credit unions looking to be title sponsors will have to pick and choose whom they help most.

"You're always going to get a lot of requests from a lot of organizations for that $100 or $200 and it's hard to say no," he said. "But it's clear that we can have a bigger impact by doing fewer things but bringing more resources to those and telling people we're doing it. It not only helps our stature but also spreads the word about those organizations."

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