Monday, July 1, 2013

What to Include in Your Credit Union Annual Report

If you’ve ever created a credit union annual report, you know it entails an ample amount of time, money and stress. So why not put all your effort to extra beneficial use and treat your annual report as a practical credit union marketing tool, drawing something back to your credit union in return?

Customarily, credit union annual reports include such content as financial details, balance sheets and chairperson’s reports. But if you view your annual report as a part of your credit union’s overall marketing plan, you’ll find ways that your content can be presented in a more useful and enlightening manner and elements can be included that can enhance the marketing impact of your credit union annual report. After all, whoever reads your report will consider it a representation of your credit union and will likely form opinions about your financial institution based on what is conveyed in your report.

Boost the marketing power of your credit union annual report with any of the following elements:

• Specific statements of your goals or vision. An expression of your credit union’s vision should be clearly stated and woven into various articles and letters in your report. Keep your statements positive and easy to understand so people get a clear picture of your passion and vision.

• Summaries of your credit union’s successes and achievements. Your credit union annual report should include not only who you are, but also what you have done over the past year. Presenting what you’ve done and how your credit union has achieved its goals portrays your credit union as an ambitious, go-getting organization that successfully puts its plans into action. Additionally, if people see their money and support being used in beneficial ways, they will be more likely to continue doing so in the future.

• Overview of community involvement, charitable giving and support. People respect and appreciate when any organization gives back to the community in which they live, work and raise their families. So if your credit union or employees donated money, time or services to the community, be sure to explain it in your annual report. Your generosity won’t go unnoticed!

• Case studies or member testimonials. Case studies and testimonials that exhibit positive results of your credit union’s service are helpful in demonstrating the outcomes of your efforts, and they also show the warmer side of your financial institution.

• Future plans. Including an announcement of your credit union’s future plans shows you’re a forward-looking financial institution with a vision toward future success. These initiates could be included in the president’s or chairperson’s report.

• Names of board and committee members, donors, sponsors, supporters, helpers, etc. These people deserve to be recognized in your credit union annual report. Listing their names – or better yet, thanking them – shows that you value every one of them and the contributions they made.

• Photos. People love putting faces to names so try to include pictures whenever possible. Make sure the photos you plan to use are of high quality, or hire a professional photographer to take new ones.

• Contact information. Help people get in touch with your credit union by including all of your contact information such as address, phone number, fax number, website and email address. These details can be presented on the back cover of your report.

Clearly, marketing for credit unions through informative, inspiring annual reports is a no-brainer. With a few additions and adjustments, your credit union annual report can become more than a mere financial summary, transforming into a useful tool that acts as a supplement to your existing marketing materials, tells a narrative about your credit union and its vision, and proves to readers that you deserve their trust and support.

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