We get it—Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) projects are usually at the bottom of your to-do list.
Sometimes they feel more like a burden and an obligation. But they shouldn’t because CRAs are actually a hidden gem to promoting your brand and financial institution in a big way—all while giving back to the community.
It's what we like to call a double positive!
Even better is having a partner that can do everything from ideas to execution. Now the feeling of being burdened and obligated is replaced it with creativity and excitement.
Here's a look at a few innovative ideas that made FIs look like heroes with very little effort on their end.
Using a Requirement to Your Advantage
First off, who doesn’t love a company that’s doing good things? In a 2014 Social Impact Study, 89% of U.S. consumers stated they are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, given comparable price and quality.
According to a 2013 Nielson Consumers Who Care Study, 1 out of every 2 participants said they would be willing to reward companies that give back to society by paying more for their goods and services.
Are you seeing the opportunity, yet?
You Got to Do It Anyway, so Make It Great
The trick is to stop looking at CRAs as obligations and start seeing them as opportunities. You can make the CRA as innovative and cool as you want—it’s your choice.
Take one of our partners, The KA Group. They do amazing CRA projects both locally and nationally, and handle everything from concept to completion.
One recent project included installing wheelchair ramps for the elderly. As you can imagine the responses are unbelievable and the sponsoring financial institutions can do all sorts of leveraging of good will.
Or how about branch-wide collection drives for winter coats, school supplies, etc.?
ABN AMRO/ La Salle Bank, in partnership with The Salvation Army, collected 56,000 winter coats in their Michigan and Illinois branches! A great accomplishment to tell the community all while helping others.
Even pairing up with Nike or Apple has helped Bank of America do fun and exciting CRA projects.
So the next time you’re dreading your CRA project—don’t. They can be extremely beneficial for your financial institution and have a big impact on the communities you serve, too.