7 Creative Credit Union Membership Drive Ideas

So your credit union is considering a member drive? Awesome! While drives are certainly a lot of work, they can be super rewarding when you finally sit back and appreciate the fruits of your efforts.

But how can you be sure you succeed? What does it even mean to run a successful drive?

Fear not! We’ve got your back

But first things first, let’s cover some basics that will do wonders for your post-drive analysis. Do you have to have these things outlined to conduct a membership drive? Of course not. Will it help? Of course! This could also spark some interesting conversations at your credit union.

Set specific goals for your membership drive

Setting goals is crucial for membership drive success, so get specific and realistic. Look at past drives and evaluate, ask your colleagues how their efforts have gone in the past if it’s your first drive, and define exactly how many members you want to attract based on realistic expectations, and build out your plans from there.

For example, if your last drive converted 15 members, then perhaps you set a goal of 25. There’s no perfect method for this, but the more specific you can be, the better.

So don’t stop at members! What types of members? Auto loans? Checking account openings? Savings account openings?

The smartest approach is to marry these to your branch’s quarterly goals.

Know your customer LTV to evaluate budget

Even if you already know your budget, one of the most important metrics to know in any business is your customer lifetime value (LTV). This is the rough number of revenue generated per customer over their entire relationship with you — based on the average revenue and duration of a typical client.

Take this number, multiply it by your goal, and then you’ll have a better idea of your budget (and ROI at the end) — e.g. your average LTV is $5,000, meaning your goal of 25 could generate $125,000 in value.

Get a rough idea of your margins and then calculate an appropriate budget from there.

Our favorite credit union membership drive ideas

Okay! Now that we’ve talked about establishing budgets and goals. Let’s get specific! Here are a few of our favorite ways to drive more members:

1. Partner with relevant community events

Check out what local events are taking place during which you could set up some contests. Maybe a live concert series? Or how about a street food festival?

Think about where your target demographic interacts and meet them where they’re at. If you’re targeting young, single professionals, then a kid run isn’t where you want to be. Instead, you should be at the beer run.

2. Set up a referral program for existing customers

Referral programs are fantastic when the offer is right. What would make your target demographic pass along some information about your credit union? $25 Amazon Gift Cards? A $1,000 drawing with an entry for each referral?

Here are some simple referral ideas to get you started.

  • Share this link and enter a drawing.
  • Refer a friend and get a kickback of X.
  • Friends and family referral discounts.

It’s also a good idea to tie this to a holiday or other larger community event.

3. Host an interesting speaker or lecture

Pick an industry that your ideal client is most often in and find a speaker or event around that. You could also broaden that definition and promote business by bringing in local entrepreneurs to give advice to some of your customers.

Imagine something like having a “5 Mistakes I Made When Building My Tech Company” event! That would be super cool, and you could pair that with a business loan discount rate/information to encourage people to take action.

4. Experiment with digital advertising

This takes a bit more expertise, but using Facebook and Google Ads can be a great way to boost memberships. The idea is to draw a funnel that starts with answering a problem your potential customer has, and leading them to your solution.

Following a similar entrepreneurial example, you could educate people on how to raise funds and target people interested in entrepreneurship before eventually leading them to your business financing page.

5. Partner with a charity

Pick a charity in town, preferably one with universal support like helping teachers or a local animal shelter, and either help with their events in return for exposure or use this in tandem with other events to generate awareness for both you and the charity simultaneously.

6. Host a cleanup or other charitable act

Giving back and championing sustainability are always healthy ways to promote awareness of your credit union. Why not host a trash cleanup or local park cleaning?

Encourage your members to invite their family and friends and make a difference in your community.

7. Host a free, family-friendly community event

Why not throw a fun event that’s fun for the whole family? It could be a cook-out meets bounce house, a back-to-school bash with school supply giveaways, or something similar.

This will take a bit more planning than some of the other ideas, but if you live in a smaller community this is a fantastic way to get your credit union’s brand out

Just remember to set up key actions and points in the experience that highlight your services and give opportunities for potential customers to talk with your credit union reps.

The final word

We hope your mind is really ticking now!

Again, take these and morph them according to what you know about your audience. There isn’t any “perfect” idea, but a good idea with great execution is more than enough to meet your expectations.

Above all, strive for displaying authenticity and creating a genuinely interesting event or educational experience for your target demographic. Put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes and ask yourself what would get them to come out to an event.

Be creative, be smart, and most of all, have fun!

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