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Filene: The Blog

The Story of our Culture of Growth and Development

The Story of our Culture of Growth and Development

One fateful day at Filene, we received an email, and the subject line solemnly read, "Andrew Downin is leaving..."

SPOILER ALERT: After a collective panic attack had by all, the story ends with a win, for both Filene and for professional growth and development. Andrew tells the story in our newest podcast and we talk about opportunities that might be right for you to join Team Filene!

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The Story of the Centers of Excellence

The Story of the Centers of Excellence

If you’ve been keeping up with what Filene has been up to this year on the research front, you’ve heard about our Centers of Excellence. But you may be thinking, what really is a Center of Excellence? And how might it help my credit union better serve our members?

Check out this short video that sums up what we’re focusing on in each center.

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7 Ways in 7 Days You Can Come Play with Filene

7 Ways in 7 Days You Can Come Play with Filene

At the core of Filene’s strategic foundation is our brand promise. Our brand promise is that together we will “create change,” and in order to do so, we invite you to “come play with us!”

In that spirt, we are highlighting all the various opportunities our members have, from big to small, from here to there, to come play with us.

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In Remembrance of Filene Friend and Colleague Thomas Bowen

In Remembrance of Filene Friend and Colleague Thomas Bowen

The credit union movement has lost a dedicated champion, a creative mind, and a playful spirit.

Thomas Bowen, a Filene i3 innovator and renowned credit union executive, passed away on August 19. He was known throughout the movement as a challenger of the status quo, constantly looking for new ways to help consumers thrive through cooperation and collaboration.

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On a Lark with Pokémon Go

On a Lark with Pokémon Go

I was very late to the Pokémon Go party. As a recovering perfectionist, I am well aware that games like this are only going to frustrate me. In fact, the year before our daughter was born, my husband came home to find me in tears staring sadly at our computer. When I responded to his query of what in the world had gone wrong with, “the crops on my farm died--I couldn’t keep up with Farmville,” he suggested that it was time that I give up the game. Maybe piling one more commitment, even a Facebook game, wasn’t the best idea.

But in the end, testing and trying can lead us to new ways of thinking and new ideas that can improve our member experience. And that can make all the difference.

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Payday Lending, by the (Shocking) Numbers

Payday Lending, by the (Shocking) Numbers

Payday lending is a burden on consumers, especially the most vulnerable members of our society. Many consumers who take these loans end up taking out an additional payday loan just to pay back the first leading to an endless debt cycle that make the situation worse and worse. 

Take a look at 3 shocking ways these loans are having an impact on our communities. If you don't like the numbers, do something about it. There are many successful payday alternative programs in place today in financial institutions across the country. Are you satisfied with the solutions your credit union is offering?

We invite you to participate in two such programs in our Incubator program...

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Ben Rogers Makes His Final Goal at Filene

Ben Rogers Makes His Final Goal at Filene

Argentina was playing against somebody at the sports bar at the Wynn the day I first met Ben Rogers nearly a decade ago. The conversation was easy, though I don’t remember what it was. We’ve been through two more World Cups since then and about 500% Filene headcount growth. Regretfully, Ben won’t be at Filene for the next World Cup.

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Small Businesses Are Great; Not Their Access to Credit

Small Businesses Are Great; Not Their Access to Credit

I love small businesses. I love that sign on the street corner saying “opening soon” and the anticipation of being one of the first patrons to walk in and experience something new. 

Not only can small businesses give us a sense of purpose and connection, they are also a driving force of the economy. But small business loans aren't always so easy to come by, especially if you're a minority. The small business loan denial rate for minorities is 30%, more than twice that of non-minority groups (only 12.3%).

You can change this pattern. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Take a step by downloading our free Issues Brief to learn how to bring Community Microfinancing into your community.

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“Dog Days of Summer” Reading List from the Cool Cats of Filene

“Dog Days of Summer” Reading List from the Cool Cats of Filene

Oh, August...the crown jewel of summer, the pièce de résistance, the month of vacation for Parisians...we love your long sunny days. Days that are warm and perfect for hiking, biking, beaching and reading. Here at Filene, we've all got our favorite Filene reads and our favorite places and people with which to get lost in a deep Think.Do.Change moment.

For your last go at summer fun in 2016, we've provided a list of what reading is inspiring us these days, in hopes you may enjoy this brain fuel along with us!

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Reaching Minority Households: A Call To Action!

Reaching Minority Households: A Call To Action!

I sat down with Adam Lee, Filene's Incubator Director, to follow up on the blog post he wrote last week about the ongoing payday lending proposed regulations debate, to go a bit deeper into the issue. I wanted to know what impact Filene’s work with the Reaching Minority Households Incubator and the 5 programs we’re testing with credit unions is having on un- and underbanked populations, which our research has shown disproportionately skews toward African American and Hispanic households. Here’s what I learned.

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