Open Houses Help Groups, Attract More Business

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Northwest Community Credit Union recently hosted an open house to support different not-for-profit organizations in the home cities of its 12 branches.

The program, is known as the "Statewide Community Celebration Open House." Kent White, vice president of marketing for the 60,000-member, $395-million CU, said all NWCU branches were open on the Saturday launch date, including those not normally open on Saturdays.

"Each branch selected a local organization to support," he said. "We offered different promotions at different branches, such as CDs, car loans, home equity secured Visa Platinum cards and other account specials."

For each new account opened during the weeklong open house, Northwest Community is making a $5 donation to the cause highlighted at each branch, White said.

"This is an opportunity for us to give our members a nice deal on promotional accounts, and get exposure for not-for-profits in the communities. It helps build a stronger connection with our communities. From a marketing perspective, it is a win-win situation. Plus, we received media coverage at our branches."

White said Portland's largest radio station did a live remote from the Northwest Community branch in Oregon City. Representatives from the local Humane Society had animals available for adoption at the branch.

The program has been a success so far, White said.

Well-Received By Members

"We sold well over $1.5 million in CDs the first couple of days. It will take a few days to find out how we did on loans. Overall, it has been very well received by our members, and it is just a good idea. We plan to do it again later this year. We will sit down with the representatives from the different organizations and will evaluate what went right and what needs to be improved."

The NWCU branch in Albany, Ore., supported the Safe Haven Humane Society, which brought two animals, a picture board of other animals, and paperwork for animal adoptions. The Bend branch spotlighted the Humane Society of Bend; while the branches in Beaverton and Oregon City had the Oregon Humane Society on hand and likewise had animals.

The Green District branch hosted Wildlife Safari, a conservation, education and research organization. Wildlife Safari also brought animals.

Other Groups Helped

The Cottage Grove branch open house benefited Community Sharing. The organization gathered non-perishable food and toiletry items. The branches in Springfield, Eugene and Gateway had collection barrels for the benefit of Food For Lane County.

The North Bend branch hosted a representative from the Boys and Girls Club of Southwestern Oregon, and the Roseburg branch had a spokesperson from the Boys and Girls Club of Roseburg.

In Medford, Major Samuelson of the local Salvation Army brought a truck to collect donations, assisted by students from nearby St. Mary's High School.

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