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Filene: The Blog

Why Apply for Filene i3?

Why Apply for Filene i3?

Filene i3 is a two-year commitment to innovate on behalf of credit unions in addition to a full-time job. It’s an extra project on your plate every single day of the week.

It’s real work.

It’s real tough.

It’s really worth it.

Here are 5 reasons why.

On the path to serving the underserved, credit unions have our support—past, present and future

On the path to serving the underserved, credit unions have our support—past, present and future

We at Filene are honored to announce we have received more than $1.6 million in grant funding from Ford Foundation and Visa to test the impact and scalability of solutions to serve financially fragile populations with credit unions across the U.S. and Canada. These resources will help us bring access to fairly priced financial products for many of the 50 million underbanked Americans.

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Telling our story…a social media journey

Telling our story…a social media journey

Our research on credit unions’ use of social media proved that you don’t win just by showing up. Members are not impressed with mere presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter. They crave content and if they don’t sense a purpose in their efforts, they will not pay attention. 

Once we researched and built programs for credit unions, we realized we needed to take our own medicine and pause from our always-on-the-go attitude and build our own strategy to manage our social media channels and align our efforts with organization-wide strategies.

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Crash the GAC 2016

Crash the GAC 2016

It was 6 years ago, as Facebook pointed out via a "memory of this day" to my colleague George Hofheimer, that the Crashers first crashed the CUNA GAC. That was back in the day when crashing was a little less sophisticated than it is today (sleeping in hostels and whatnot!), the group truly was a rag-tag band of bright-eyed passionate young credit union hopefuls! 

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This is a Bomb Diggity Big Darn Deal!

This is a Bomb Diggity Big Darn Deal!

With a lump in my throat and a skip in my step, I enthusiastically share the news that Filene is launching five Centers of Excellence to explore emerging topics critical to the future of consumer finance. This focused approach excites us to no end, because it's the credit union movement and the millions and millions of credit union members around the world that will see the biggest value from this effort.

The credit union system of the future will not look the same. And credit unions in that future need the kind of research, analysis, and insights that come from Filene’s Centers of Excellence.

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The Steep Price of the Missing Affordable “Small-Dollar Loans”

The Steep Price of the Missing Affordable “Small-Dollar Loans”

Last week, Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau told the Wall Street Journal, “I personally believe banks and credit unions can be low-cost providers of small-dollar loans. I think that working with banks and regulators involved, there would and should be an ability for them to offer decent products.”

While this move could fuel opposition from the $38.5 billion payday-lending industry, which fears the watchdog agency's new rule would wipe out much of its business, Cordray believes banks and credit unions should be able to offer small-dollar loans as “rescue products” for their customers.

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Who are the financially underserved?

Who are the financially underserved?

The next time you’re stuck in traffic, pause and look at the drivers around you.

Glance at the person stopped in front of you. Those directly to your left and right. Finally, look in the rearview mirror and glance at driver behind you as you quickly look at your own reflection.

Chances are, in the few seconds it takes you to do this, you’ve looked into the eyes of one of the millions of financially underbanked and underserved Americans.

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Clarity of Focus Leads to Opportunity, Growth…and NEW Jobs!

Clarity of Focus Leads to Opportunity, Growth…and NEW Jobs!

During the 13 (yikes) years I've been with Filene, it's been an exhilarating exercise of running toward "the fire."  We've had a modicum of success with this approach and I also came to realize that how we were doing our work wasn't sustainable in the long-run. The issues credit unions and members face continue to grow, meanwhile credit unions' capacity to digest the research continues to shrink.

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