Arizona Federal Credit Union believes that charitable giving to nonprofits is one of those things that a lot of people and companies intend to do but, unfortunately, get busy or distracted and never get around to doing it.
When the credit union launched its 100 Club of Arizona debit card program in late 2017, it saw that its member-owners were excited to select and use a debit card that represented something they cared about. Suddenly, just by making everyday purchases, members were supporting their community.
The program was expanded to include Arizona Humane Society in 2018, and Arizona Federal saw the same results — thousands of members selected the card and began helping the local animal welfare agency care for pets in need with every swipe.
Rather than continue expanding with individual programs, the locally operated credit union decided to create the Local Artists, Local Causes program that could benefit many nonprofits serving identified areas of community focus, which are education, equality and social inclusion, community services, children and youth, and sustainability. Based on prior experience, much of the work to create the mechanics of the program was already complete — but needed a design concept that would match the “locally minded” focus. Chosen for his Arizona-centric art, local artist and creator behind High Jinks Apparel, Jon Arvizu, expertly designed the debit card and, a few months later, the Local Artists, Local Causes debit card was in market.
From a business practice perspective, the initiative helps with retention of current members by giving them an opportunity to connect with their community in a simple, organic fashion while also attracting new customers looking for a financial institution that is mindful of the community they operate and live in. But from a corporate social responsibility aspect, Arizona Federal understood this as an opportunity to make small impacts with numerous nonprofits to affect change on a hyper-local level.
Arizona Federal Credit Union is a financial institution that staunchly supports Local First Arizona in its efforts to promote banking, shopping and donating locally to keep money circulating here in the Valley, and this program is a microcosm of what it is doing on a bigger scale.
Through the Local Artist, Local Causes community fund, proceeds will be distributed twice each year to eligible local nonprofits — creating a great opportunity to celebrate their work and to thank members. The Local Artist, Local Causes debit card is available with any of Arizona Federal’s consumer checking accounts, which can be opened online.
Jason Paprocki is executive vice president and chief operating officer at Arizona Federal Credit Union.