COVID-19 Resource Hub

Helping credit unions support members and build business resiliency during the COVID-19 crisis.

What do we know without question right now? We know that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented challenges for credit unions and the communities they serve. Filene is here to help. As a think tank, when we find ourselves immersed in a time of uncertainty, we think clearly about what we know, what our data shows and what’s revealed in the patterns that can point us toward answers. Uncertainty does not shake our focus. We think forward. We help organizations like yours change lives.

We are focusing our resources, ideas and networks to help credit unions maximize their impact on members’ financial and physical well-being.

The challenges facing credit union leaders in this new environment are by no means simple. This report provides insights into how leaders can begin rethinking organizational culture.

  • Sharpen your focus on the employee workplace experience.
  • Incorporate clear, thoughtful, and flexible policies to successfully shift toward a hybrid of virtual and corporate office work.
  • Consider how your physical spaces and use of space will change as you move forward.

The New Hybrid Credit Union Workplace: Culture, Performance, and a People-Centered Strategy
By Mark Alguard, Momentum

Remote work has shifted views on traditional workplace culture. With employees returning to the office, credit union leaders will need to rethink their organizational workplace strategy, from physical spaces to new policies and practices that will meet employees' evolving expectations.

Download the accompanying workshop guide for direct employee support. Workshop outcomes:

  • Understand the six principles of the trauma-informed approach
  • Establish awareness of potential implementation domains of the trauma-informed approach in your organization
  • Assess how the principles have been applied in specific implementation domains at your credit union.
  • Identify opportunities to amplify application of the principles and develop new policy in areas that are lacking.

Trauma-Informed Services for Credit Union Employees, Part 2
By Hammad N'cho, PhD, N’cho Behavioral Group

Beyond the physiological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, credit union leaders also need to address the mental health impact of COVID-19 on their staff. Part 2 of this study explores how credit unions have been operating during the pandemic and identifies emerging themes for credit union leaders to consider as they plan next steps. 

The first part of this study involves a targeted literature review shaped by nine research questions. Knowledge from across a broad span of applicable research is synthesized into a set of key findings around:

  • Crisis management
  • Return-to-office strategies
  • Stigma mitigation programs
  • Mental health promotion
  • Growth after adversity

Trauma-Informed Services for Credit Union Employees, Part 1
by Hammad N'cho, PhD, N’cho Behavioral Group

Beyond the physiological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, credit union leaders also need to address the mental health impact of COVID-19 on their staff. This study explores evidence-based practices to equip credit union leaders to better address those needs and foster trauma-informed support for employees.

This report provides a number of insights for making adjustments that can help improve outcomes:

  • Adopt a structured interview process
  • Signal growth opportunities and community impact 
  • Maintain flexibility 
  • Revisit benefits offerings 
  • And more...

Employee Attraction and Retention in the Shadow of COVID-19
by Filene Fellow Sekou Bermiss

The coronavirus pandemic has deeply impacted the workplace and how credit union leaders need to think about managing employees. Filene Fellow Sekou Bermiss revisits the primary insights from research produced by the Center for the War for Talent and highlights the key issues that credit unions must consider in how they manage the attraction and retention of employees.

    The Post-COVID Work Environment

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many credit unions have shifted to hybrid work arrangements, and subsequently are questioning the imperative for dedicated work environments.

    Even so, this research emphasizes that a dedicated work environment proves to be a critical resource for credit unions in the war for talent.

    Workplace Design as a Strategic Human Capital Management Tool, Part 2
    by Filene Fellow Sekou Bermiss and Bukky Akinsanmi

    At a time when credit unions are reimagining their physical facilities, it is worth considering how workplace design can be an important weapon in the war for talent. Using the results of an extensive survey of almost 1,000 credit union employees across the United States, we describe the effects of workplace design on employees and discuss its relevance in light of subsequent shifts in workplace use due to COVID-19.

    Leadership During Uncertain Times Guide

    After reading the research brief, download the accompanying guide to get recommendations and insights from Filene Fellows on how to:

    • Separate Signal from Noise
    • Build Cultures of Openness
    • Communicate With Authenticity
    • Build Organizational Resilience
    • Be Nimble

    Drop Your Tools! Shifting Battle Tactics in Times of Uncertainty
    by Sekou Bermiss, Filene Fellow

    Filene Fellow Sekou Bermiss draws lessons from the Mann Gulch Disaster to help credit union leaders respond to uncertain times and the changing nature of work. There is significant value for credit union leaders to think about the sensemaking habits and routines that structure their organization right now.

    A trauma-informed approach accomplishes this by prioritizing six specific areas: 

    • Employee safety
    • Trustworthiness and transparency
    • Peer support
    • Collaboration and mutuality
    • Empowerment, voice and choice
    • Cultural, historical and gender issues

    Trauma-informed Strategies to Support Credit Union Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    By Hammad N'cho, PhD

    As staff begin returning to their places of employment, there are pressing questions about how to move forward and provide adequate support for employees in an environment impacted by trauma exposure. Support the mental health and emotional well-being of your workforce with six trauma-informed approaches.

    These responses address the common questions around:

    • Managing remote work
    • Managing remote board governance
    • Preparing for the return to office
    • The future of work

    Answers to Frequent Questions on Remote Work & Governance
    by Dr. Sekou Bermiss and Matt Fullbrook

    Following Filene’s April 16th webinar “Remote Work in a New World: Business as Unusual” attendees submitted questions for presenters Sekou Bermiss and Matt Fullbrook. These are their responses to common questions about managing through a crisis.

    Speaking with boards and executives in recent weeks, most feel unequipped for what they’re going through–let alone what might come next. Matt Fullbrook lays out four recommendations for how credit union boards can lead during the COVID-19 crisis:

    • Optimize your board's effectiveness at working remotely
    • Make sure your CEO has the support they need
    • Learn from your peers
    • Be a source of calm

    Crisis Management and Remote Work for Credit Union Boards
    by Matt Fullbrook, University of Toronto

    The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way boards function. We can no longer assume that the role of a director is inherently “part-time.”Boards must work diligently to understand what members need–financially and otherwise–to get through this crisis and thrive once it’s over. Here are four ways to do just that.

    Filene Fellow Dr. Sekou Bermiss outlines several things that credit unions leaders can do to help make this forced transition a bit easier.

    • Understand differences across team members
    • Reorganize and reprioritize
    • Closely manage synchronicity
    • And more...

    Managing Remote Work at Your Credit Union
    By Dr. Sekou Bermiss, University of Texas at Austin and Filene Fellow

    Credit unions have always made their employees a top priority, and now this includes supporting their employees as they transition to remote work. Filene Fellow Sekou Bermiss shares insights that credit unions leaders can do to adapt to new workflows, foster virtual connections and help advance your mission.

    Filene Fellow Dr. Quinetta Roberson, of Villanova University, breaks down the two different components to social distancing and shares the three key ways leaders can foster a sense of inclusion among their team members.

    1. Create a cooperative culture
    2. Reduce status differences in the team
    3. Encourage members' meaningful contributions

    How to Be an Inclusive Leader During a Pandemic
    By Dr. Quinetta Roberson, Villanova University and Filene Fellow

    Inclusivity may seem contradictory to what we have been told, which is to socially distance ourselves from others. But a sense of connection and community strengthens an organization’s capacity for weathering and rebounding from a crisis such as the one we are facing. As we attempt to focus on achieving business goals, there are three key ways to foster a sense of inclusion among your team members.

    We’ll help your credit union think through the right strategies and take the right actions now to thrive in a more secure future.

    This brief explores five alternatives credit union leaders are implementing and the barriers they've faced so you can responsibly grow your lending and maintain a positive member experience in these shifting times.

    • Inclusive Lending
    • Automation
    • Alternative Data
    • Barriers to Adoption
    • Beyond Fair Lending

    Beyond Legacy Lending: Strategies for Loan Growth and Inclusion
    By Melissa K. Wrapp, PhD

    Explore how credit unions adapt to new paradigms for consumer lending while navigating a pandemic economy, and advancing the credit union people-helping-people philosophy.

    Consumer expectations for financial institutions are swiftly evolving, in response to the breakneck pace of innovation. In a 2019 survey, 81% of banking CEOs said they were concerned about the speed of technological change (PwC 2019), while nearly 80% of financial industry leaders surveyed in 2020 reported that COVID-19 had uncovered shortcomings in their institution’s digital capabilities (The Economist 2020). With challenger banks and fintechs poised to increase their market share by appealing to consumers with frictionless, mobile convenience, how can credit unions compete?

    The Future of Digital Transformation for Credit Unions
    By Kate Larson

    The future of financial services is digital. This report provides concrete action steps in the form of a road map to a digital future. Included is a summary report, step-by-step road map, guide to partnerships, and an infographic highlighting the reasons credit unions need to develop and invest in their digital strategy.

    Taking stock of the role that ATMs can play in the future of banking provides insights for credit unions as they adapt to the changing needs and preferences of their members. After reading the report, be sure to check out the accompanying interactive tool to help you visualize the possibilities of the ATM.

    Reimagining the ATM: From Cash-out to Curbside Banking
    By Filene Fellow Bill Maurer and Kate Larson

    With so many options for ATM service delivery, how can credit union leaders make wise decisions to meet their members’ needs? Set against the backdrop of rapidly changing consumer behavior and expectations during COVID-19, this report explores the past, present, and future of the unpretentious automatic teller machine—and how its evolution impacts credit union strategy today.

    In this research brief, Mike Higgins reviews credit union call report data from 2018-2020 and finds that net revenues for credit unions dropped by 48 basis points in the fourth quarter. 

    More data analysis along with short and long term opportunities to navigate an uncertain economic environment are found in this brief.

    Hidden Figures: Clearing the Financial Fog Brought About by the Pandemic

    By Mike Higgins, Mike Higgins & Associates

    We’re all familiar with the canary in the coal mine allusion. It describes an early warning sentinel that can help alert us to danger when there is still time to take evasive action. Filene partner Mike Higgins found a fallen canary in our collective credit union financials.

    Given the recent trends and patterns in the auto loan industry, here are some steps credit unions can take to prepare themselves.

    • Speed up your digital transition
    • Consider how your credit union can better compete
    • Adopt member-friendly non-interest income
    • Offer Lease Alternative Loans
    • Increase alternative lending offerings
    • Begin preparing

    Auto Loans and Credit Unions: Trends, Challenges, and Projections
    by Salma Mohammad Ali

    The COVID-19 pandemic is changing how many consumers think, behave, and spend. Perhaps the most prominent way that COVID-19 has shifted consumer preferences is via rapid digital transition and credit unions should plan for greater expectations from members to deliver digital-first auto loans and related services in coming months.

    Some of the pandemic’s actual and potential effects, such as the crises in consumer credit and real estate, mass unemployment, and the overwhelmed healthcare system demand immediate fixes. Others, like the future of financial regulation, social safety nets, and data practices, can only be addressed through longer cycles of legislation and innovation. The near, middle, and long-term futures could unfold along two oppositional extremes: In the first, structural inequalities deepen, unbalanced financial access and instability calcify, and society moves further toward a bifurcation of haves and have-nots. In the second extreme, the glaring deficiencies in labor markets, health care, supply chains, and financial services inspire large-scale structural reforms designed to future-proof the nation against future disasters.

    Credit Unions and the Coronavirus: Notes on the Impacts and Implications of the COVID-19 Crisis, Part 3
    by Taylor C. Nelms and Stephen C. Rea

    In this three-part Special Report, we provide a preliminary analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on workers and consumers, and the implications it bears for credit unions. Part three explores possible future scenarios to help credit unions prepare for a post-pandemic world and includes a worksheet to help with adapting your business model.

    Beyond the macroeconomic environment, which individual credit union managers cannot control, Dopico identifies key factors that managers can control more readily and that reliably contribute to asset growth:

    • Offering attractive interest rates on deposits
    • Increasing dollars spent on marketing efforts
    • Expanding fields of membership

    Credit Union Asset Growth: Long-Term Trends and Projections for the COVID-19 Crisis
    by Luis Dopico

    Analyzing five decades of macroeconomic and credit union data, Filene economist Luis Dopico highlights long-term trends in credit union asset growth and predicts the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on asset growth rates in the near future.

    At the same time, the implications of the COVID -19 crisis will be far-reaching, and credit unions must begin to prepare to confront upheavals and turbulence across the full footprint of their business, from the front line to the back office, up and down the organizational hierarchy, and across all channels, physical and digital. In one survey of more than 1,000 financial institutions, over half of US banks and credit unions are expecting “extreme” or “severe” impact to their communities. As one credit union CEO explained, “Forward looking, most credit unions will be okay this year, but it’s the 24–36-month horizon that is most concerning. What can we be doing today to sustain ourselves and grow for the future?”

    Credit Unions and the Coronavirus: Notes on the Impacts and Implications of the COVID-19 Crisis, Part 2
    by Taylor C. Nelms and Stephen C. Rea

    In this three-part Special Report, Taylor C. Nelms and Stephen C. Rea provide preliminary analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on workers and consumers, and the implications it bears for credit unions. Part two reviews evidence as of June 2020 and focuses on concerns for financial services.

    Speakers from inside and outside the credit union industry shared the latest insights into:

    • Competing and winning on member experience
    • High-touch meets digital first
    • Digital value
    • Reducing member anxiety
    • Sharing the member experience through storytelling in a business setting

    The New Credit Union Experience
    Research Event Recap

    The focus of credit union’s work will always be about understanding the needs of members now, while taking actions to deliver a better future. We brought academics and experts together virtually to consider this unique new challenge and the opportunities for credit unions to deliver an experience members will remember long into the future.

    Early insights from Filene Fellow Bill Maurer's ongoing research:

    • Use technology to improve human-based service delivery
    • Put technology to work in facilitating curb-side services
    • Use remote channels to facilitate member communication preferences
    • Find ways to bridge “digital divides”
    • Double down on demonstrating empathy for members and employees

    Digital Transformation in the Age of COVID-19: What Should Credit Unions Deliver?
    by Filene Fellow Bill Maurer and Scott Mainwaring

    The old era of neighborhood branch gathering places no longer looks tenable as a new era dawns of self- and curbside-service, constant online connectivity, and conversation in virtual spaces. Here are five short-term opportunities to leverage technology while maintaining the credit union philosophy of people helping people.

      Learn how your credit union can rise to the challenges of:

      • addressing member anxiety and trust
      • acceleration of digital services
      • in-person service delivery in this new environment

      The Evolution of Service Delivery Under COVID-19
      by Elry Armaza

      While great uncertainties remain, we can already see clear service delivery trends emerging in financial services. This piece suggests a number of immediate changes for credit unions to consider when adjusting their service delivery during COVID-19.

        Review these resources, smart strategies and tactics with your marketing team.

        • Conduct your own (virtual) market research
        • Review your website and be present digitally
        • Listen to your members and align what you do with who you serve
        • Redraw you member journeys
        • Build trust with your online banking tools

        Marketing Gets the Volume Turned Up in Times of Crisis
        by Holly Fearing

        There is no risk-free path for your marketing efforts right now, but laying low until the dust settles helps no one. How your credit union communicates is crucial in times of crisis. Your impact stands to grow bigger. Reassess your marketing strategies and reach further and change more people’s lives for the better.

        Use this guide, the links within, and the data therein to help you and your credit union better quantify, understand, and navigate short-term macroeconomic upheavals by reviewing the following measures of macroeconomic conditions:

        • Economic growth
        • Unemployment rate
        • Inflation rate
        • Leading Economic Index
        • Initial unemployment claims
        • Dow Jones Industrial Average

        A Beginners’ Guide to Macroeconomics
        Luis Dopico, Elry Armaza and Freddy Zhao

        Brush up on your Economics 101 with a brief refresher to keep you informed about macroeconomic conditions, their short-term upheavals, and the long-term trends in their local, regional, national, and, increasingly, even international economies. We also provide links to key sources of macroeconomic data that Filene uses and trusts.

        It remains unclear what type of recovery will emerge from the recession precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the “new normal,” whatever it may be, may end up looking much like the world we are experiencing today, in the midst of the pandemic.

        At the same time, our imagination is also a force of change in its own right and can therefore also be a force for good. This is especially true in moments like this one, because in unsettling times, what we think shapes what we do, and what we do shapes the world around us.

        Credit Unions and the Coronavirus: Notes on the Impacts and Implications of the COVID-19 Crisis
        by Taylor C. Nelms and Stephen C. Rea

        In this three-part Special Report, Taylor C. Nelms and Stephen C. Rea provide preliminary analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on workers and consumers, and the implications it bears for credit unions. Part one reviews evidence as of April 2020 and describes likely consequences going forward.

          Filene shares insights from the "Future of the Call Center” Summit to help credit unions improve service delivery and renew their focus. These five lessons from our pre-crisis environment remain relevant:

          • Self-service
          • Personalization
          • Automation
          • Empower call center agents 
          • Leverage partners

          Call Centers as the New Front Lines
          by Erin Coleman and Paul Dionne

          In this moment of deep uncertainty and constant fluidity, credit union call centers are serving as a lifeline to members who are afraid, worried and confused. Now is the time when our empathy superpower, paired with technology, enables and amplifies our call centers to calm the nerves of members, understand their concerns, and provide solutions as quickly as possible.

            Our research fellow for the Center of Excellence for Emerging Technology, Bill Maurer of UC-Irvine returns to another episode of our podcast with Dr. Joan Donovan, Director of the Technology and Social Change Research Project at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, to share how credit unions can:

            • Serve as a trusted resource for information.
            • Dispel misinformation.
            • Share local and accurate information that is useful and reassuring to their members.

            Managing Misinformation in the Midst of a Pandemic
            Podcast with Filene Fellow Bill Maurer and Dr. Joan Donovan

            In this episode of the Filene Fill-In, we discuss what credit unions can do to combat the spread of disinformation and misinformation, and sustain the level of trust they’ve built with their communities and their members. Plus, we share resources and talk about some tangible ways credit unions can deal with the spread of misinformation if it is happening on their digital and social platforms.

            Read more on these ideas for how credit unions can get involved:

            • Find out if there are mutual-aid networks in your community and see if you can help.
            • Identify members' greatest financial risks and explore whether members can help each other address them.
            • Set up a digital space where members can find each other and interact.
            • Develop collaborative experiments with fellow credit unions and other organizations.
            • Prepare for the long haul.

            How Credit Unions Can Spur Mutual Support in a Pandemic
            by Nathan Schneider and Taylor C. Nelms

            The spirit of mutuality is alive in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic crisis. As an industry we can find creative ways for credit union members to help each other, while contributing to the health of their credit union in the process. Let this challenging period guide your credit union to rediscover its mission and the ingenuity of its members.

            Filene has done some due diligence and identified partners that can help meet the extremely urgent needs of your members and employees.

            • QCash
            • CuneXus
            • TrueConnect

            Small-Dollar Lending Solutions
            Solutions for your members and your employees

            With community members filing for unemployment insurance in the millions due to our uncertain circumstances, there is an urgent need to rapidly scale quality lending options for those hit the hardest. These financial providers work with credit unions to offer rapid implementation of emergency small-dollar lending services.

            The following resources will help you serve your members in their time of need while keeping your balance sheet in good standing:

            • Are You Prepared? Get Your Credit Union and Members Ready for Recession
            • Exercise Caution
            • Oh Shoot! Now What? Technology in a Time of Crisis
            • Are you Leading Through the Crisis… Or Managing the Response?
            • You’re Not Powerless in the Face of Uncertainty
            • Cooperative Comebacks: Resilience in the Face of the Hurricane Katrina Catastrophe
            • Katrina 10 Years After: Lessons from Credit Unions and Banks

            Navigating Uncertainty: Next Steps in Recession and Disaster Planning
            By Paul Dionne, Filene Research Project Manager

            Filene has sourced a wealth of research to help you identify and execute effective strategies to position your credit union for today and into an uncertain future. This collection shows that during previous economic crises many financial services providers pulled back while credit unions surged ahead to serve their members. Dust off those contingency plans, adjust forecasts and take action. 

            Explore these six things your credit union can do now to set your members and your organization on a path of financial well-being:

            • let your net worth work
            • skip-a-pay and deferments 
            • fee, overdraft/non-sufficient funds, late payment, and other waivers 
            • emergency loans 
            • mortgage loan re-amortizations 
            • appoint a historian

            Helping Members in Response to COVID-19: First Steps
            By Mike Higgins, Mike Higgins & Associates

            Explore this list of six strategic things your credit union can do now to maximize your support to serve members' most pressing financial needs. Use the worksheet included to run your own numbers to help think through a loan fund for your credit union and set your members and your organization on a path of financial well-being.

            Credit unions have an opportunity to support their members and communities by implementing programs that aid financial well-being. It is the right thing to do, and it is one way to differentiate your organization in your community.

            This report focuses on two specific aspects of economic trends: rising income volatility and health care needs. It is guided by the following questions:

            • What are the main causes of income volatility?
            • How does income volatility affect people’s access to health care?
            • What role can credit unions play to promote well-being and support members and employees who experience income volatility?

            Income Volatility and Health Care Needs - How Credit Unions Can Help 
            by Filene Fellow Lisa Servon and Mina Addo

            This report focuses on two specific aspects of economic trends: rising income vulnerability and health care needs. As organizations that support member well-being, credit unions have an important role to play in reducing the negative impacts of income vulnerability on members’ physical and financial well-being.

            Many credit union members are either homeowners, renters, landlords, or a combination of the three, and the housing crisis is affecting the lives of more members every day. Credit unions can take initiative to assist members and connect them to the right solutions. This blog contains a number of resources for credit union leaders to consult as the housing economy enters a turbulent period.

            After the Mortgage Foreclosure Moratorium: How Credit Unions Can Help 
            by Paul Dionne and Vy Mai

            Stable housing is a critical component of consumer financial and social well-being. Understanding and responding to the emerging challenges facing homeowners, renters, and landlords at your credit union can contribute to improved and deeper member engagement, and improve member financial outcomes.

            From Short-Term Savings to Sustainable Financial Security

            For millions of Americans, the stimulus checks represent a necessary financial windfall for households to replace lost income and to address immediate needs. Credit unions have an opportunity to engage with their members directly and prompt them to plan ahead for how to use their stimulus checks. The Common Cents Lab at Duke University has created a free COVID-19 Stimulus Check Planning Tool you can offer directly to their members.

            This online tool takes the form of a short survey. After completing the survey, members are provided a summary of their plan through a website that is generated specifically for them.

            A COVID-19 Stimulus Check Planning Tool for Credit Union Members
            by Emory Nelms and Taylor C. Nelms

            UPDATE (January 7, 2021): The second round of stimulus checks are already going out through direct deposit and in the mail. It is unclear what level of support these $600 checks will provide to those still struggling through a pandemic that has continued for almost a year now, but credit unions have a second opportunity to help their members in need.

            Elevate your members’ well-being by applying these strategies:

            • Start measuring
            • Focus on outcomes, not inputs
            • Focus on equity
            • Prepare for future struggles

            What financial well-being tells us about general well-being
            by Elry Armaza

            Credit unions are a key partner in the financial lives of their members and recent customized research studies have shed light on how the credit union difference impacts financial security, mobility, and the connection between financial and physical/social well-being.

            Example of One Credit Union Already Taking Action

            For Lake Trust Credit Union, launching Nickels was as simple as sending an email. No data integration or IT integration was required. “We’re continuously looking for new ways to support our members’ financial health, particularly with the increased financial strain created by the pandemic. Helping our members manage their federal student debt is a natural extension of that mission and it was an easy topic for us to layer in to our member communication.’ said Andrea Mosher, SVP, Lending Solutions at Lake Trust Credit Union.

            Federal Student Debt: The opportunity for credit unions to defuse this debt bomb
            by Joseph Garcia

            Federal student loan payments will restart for ~30 million Americans on January 31, 2021 after 10 months of suspended payments. This payment cliff has the potential to become chaotic. While credit unions don’t hold this federal debt, they are well positioned to help their members manage this debt

              This blog addresses the following unintended problems with the CARES Act and how credit unions can act to address them.

              • protections are not automatic
              • only deals with active accounts
              • consistency using the AW code
              • student loans
              • poor understanding of credit reports

              The CARES Act and Credit Reporting: What Credit Unions Need to Know
              by Filene Fellow Bill Maurer and Melissa Wrapp

              Even with direct stimulus payments, increased unemployment benefits, and the Paycheck Protection Program, consumers are facing dire financial circumstances. Still, there are ways your credit union can help your members. Filene Fellow Bill Maurer outlines the unintended problems with the CARES Act and how credit unions can address them.

              This toolkit includes:

              • Quick Assessment: ask consumers a series of questions to understand their immediate needs and long-term goals
              • Financial Landscape Map: create a visual depiction of the consumer's current financial state in a financial landscape map
              • Reflective Timeline Exercise: create a visual timeline based on one of the consumer's financial well-being goals to motivate the consumer and track progress towards that goal

              Pathways to Financial Well-being: Consumer Engagement Toolkit
              Tools to empower financial well-being of members

              This toolkit originates from the Pathways to Financial Well-being: Qualitative Findings from the Reaching Minority Households Incubator project. This collection of three tools is for financial institution staff to use directly with consumers to better understand their needs and empower them to pursue a pathway to financial well-being. 

              The credit union system, by itself, cannot bridge these disparities. But with partners like Coopera Consulting, who are in close contact with these communities, credit unions can get the insights they need to make an impact.

              1. Provide vulnerable groups reliable, trustworthy and up-to-date information.
              2. Be repetitive in your communications so that frequency extends your reach.
              3. Plan in two-week increments and be ready to adapt quickly.
              4. Recognize that inclusion is more than simply access.

              Inclusion Matters: The Impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis on Black and Latino/a Americans
              by Victor Corro and Taylor C. Nelms

              Our news feeds are full of distressing stories and data points about the disproportionate harms the virus is inflicting on the vulnerable, marginalized and minoritized. Inclusion is the secret ingredient to service excellence because financial inclusion starts with understanding differences in the needs, expectations, and experiences of members.

                Filene has published over 500 research reports over three decades.

                The archive is both deep and wide. Single studies give us important data points about a given phenomenon. Putting multiple studies into conversation, however, allows us to connect the dots, corroborate our findings, and track trends over time. So, we are assembling curated collections of research reports on selected topics, providing you with a more comprehensive and strategic overview and giving you the resources that you need to make evidence-based business decisions.

                Supporting Financial Well-being of Credit Union Members and Employees
                Curated research collectio

                This curated collection of Filene research reports provides background and insights on financial supports for employees and credit union members and provides direction for credit unions wishing to further efforts to support and enhance the financial well-being of members and employees.

                For DV survivors from marginalized communities, the pandemic exacerbates systemic inequalities, which add to the financial harm caused by their abusive partners. Low-wage workers are more likely to lose income as businesses scale back or shut down during the pandemic, and occupations employing low-wage workers are dominated by women and people of color. These groups are more likely to face barriers to traditional lending, necessitating reliance on high-cost “fringe banking” options to meet their emergency financial needs.

                Credit unions can help reduce the economic harm DV survivors face during and in the aftermath of this pandemic by taking steps today.

                Credit Union Support for DV Survivors During COVID-19 and Beyond
                by Adrienne Adams, Angela Littwin, Yvette Butler, Veronica Quinonez

                To protect against COVID-19, Americans are told to “stay home, stay safe.” But what if your home is not safe? Instead of safety, staying home means physical and verbal assaults. And, it means contending with a global economic crisis while facing financial exploitation at the hands of an intimate partner. Credit unions can play a vital part in easing the economic burden of COVID-19 on domestic violence survivors.

                Because an “economic downturn caused by the current COVID-19 outbreak has substantial implications for gender equality, both during the downturn and the subsequent recovery", women’s experiences should be at the center of our analysis. The challenges for mission-oriented financial services providers will be immense. Services for women hustlepreneurs have to contend with racial differences in income, wealth, credit access, and networks. Despite these challenges, this is also a time of great opportunity for mission-oriented financial service organizations to forge strong relationships with underserved communities. Two areas of interest have emerged from research literature and field notes.

                What the Pandemic Means for Women in the Hustle Economy
                by Tressie McMillan Cottom, Virginia Commonwealth University

                The COVID-19 crisis will be brutal for non-wage workers in the hustle economy because of their shared risk position: their economic activity is necessary for their financial well-being, but it does not afford them job-related protections. For women, the risks are especially acute. Learn about the challenges and opportunities for these 15-33 million non-wage workers known as hustlepreneurs.

                Review the webinar materials from The Credit Union Workplace of the Future:

                • Watch the recorded webinar video
                • Review the presentation slide deck
                • Take a look at the Center of Excellence for the War for Talent on remote work, employee attraction, leadership in uncertain times and more.

                The Credit Union Workplace of the Future
                Hosted on January 19, 2022

                After nearly two years of pandemic-driven remote work, credit union leaders recognize the need to transition from short-term to long-term thinking on how to adapt their workplaces to a new normal. Momentum President, Mark Alguard, shares fresh insights that will help you sharpen your focus on the employee workplace experience and how your physical spaces can best support new hybrid work experiences

                Review the webinar materials from Trauma-Informed Services for Credit Union Employees below:

                • Watch the webinar recording.
                • Review the presentation slide deck.
                • Start the conversation today with your credit union by using the accompanying workshop.
                • Download the related research reports from the two-part series on this trauma-informed approach

                Trauma-Informed Services for Credit Union Employees
                Hosted on October 21, 2021

                Being a leader at an organization during these unpredictable times comes with a lot of questions and additional stress. We hope that the considerations shared in the webinar today will help your organization, and specifically your people, become more resilient.

                Take a look at the webinar materials from The Proof is in Them Staying:

                • Watch the recorded webinar video
                • Review the presentation slide deck

                The Proof is in Them Staying
                Hosted on September 16, 2021

                Review the webinar material on our discussion surrounding the changing environment of working during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and the unique challenges it has created for credit union efforts to attract and retain talent.

                Review the webinar materials from The Future of Work in the Shadow of COVID-19:

                • Watch the recorded webinar video
                • Review the presentation slide deck
                • Take a look at research from the Center of Excellence for the War for Talent on remote work, employee attraction, leadership in uncertain times and more.

                The Future of Work in the Shadow of COVID-19
                Hosted on February 25, 2021

                There is no way to truly plan for the future in these uncertain times, but we can take our experiences and learn how to become better employees, colleagues and organizations. Whether you are looking at your plan to return to office or building trust for an ongoing remote workplace, use the insights from Fellow Sekou Bermiss to think through what your future of work looks like.

                Review the webinar materials for COVID-19: One Year Later.

                • Watch the recorded webinar video
                • Review the presentation slide deck

                COVID-19: One Year Later
                Hosted on March 25, 2021

                The COVID -19 crisis ushered in a period of upheaval with significant implications for financial, political, social, cultural, and technological futures. This webinar brought together three of Filene's Think Tank members to share the challenges they faced, overcame and are still anticipating as a result of COVID-19.

                Review the webinar materials from Navigating the Intersection of Financial Services and Emerging Technology:

                • Watch the recorded webinar
                • Review the presentation slide deck
                • Learn more about the new research projects coming out of the Center of Excellence for Emerging Technology over the next three years.
                • Get a head start on addressing new kinds of fraud by using the accompanying Financial Scams Tool.

                Navigating the Intersection of Financial Services and Emerging Technology
                Hosted on August 7, 2020

                Filene hosted a discussion with Filene Fellow Bill Maurer, from Filene's Center of Excellence for Emerging Technology. We've all seen and felt the impact of COVID-19 and societal injustices on technology and consumer behavior. And so, the goal of relaunching the Center for another three years is to connect credit unions like yours with the most impactful technology and consumer trends.

                Take a look at the webinar materials from Credit Unions and Coronavirus: Impacts and Implications of the Crisis:

                • recording and presentation from the webinar
                • Links to Part 1 and Part 2 of of Filene's special report series titled, Credit Unions and the Coronavirus: Notes on the Impacts and Implications of the COVID-19 Crisis

                Credit Unions and Coronavirus: Impacts and Implications of the Crisis
                Hosted on July 9, 2020

                Filene’s Special Report series sponsored by CO-OP Financial Services analyzes how the COVID-19 crisis may affect financial services providers, particularly credit unions. George Hofheimer, for Filene, was joined by David Demsko from CO-OP Financial Services and Rebecca Gerothanas from Summit Credit Union, to share their insights, perspectives, and expertise on the impacts and implications of this crisis.

                Take a look at the webinar materials from Enhance the Financial Well-being of Members and Employees:

                Enhance the Financial Well-being of Members and Employees
                Hosted on May 21, 2020

                Review the webinar materials on how you can communicate, measure, and design for diversity to enhance the financial well-being of your members and employees.

                Review the webinar materials from Doing Research Differently: How Filene's Incubator Helps Credit Unions:

                • recording and presentation from the webinar
                • let us know what you would like to see tested
                • start testing today by evaluating three fintech companies

                Doing Research Differently: How Filene's Incubator Helps Credit Unions
                Hosted on May 14, 2020

                Review the webinar materials and learn how Filene brings research to life through our Incubator. Our incubation program can help accelerate innovation within your credit union and reduce the front end risk of testing new products and ideas.

                Take a look at the webinar materials from Measuring COVID-19 Impact: Your Financial Performance Projection:

                • recording and presentation from the webinar
                • contact information for Mike Higgins of Mike Higgins & Associates if you want to learn more about using the tool presented to run a net income simulation for your credit union

                Measuring COVID-19 Impact: Your Financial Performance Projection
                Hosted on May 6, 2020

                Review the webinar materials from our discussion with Mike Higgins of Mike Higgins & Associates on a financial modeling projection tool to help your credit union see the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to your credit union's balance sheet.

                Big moments of change - from the expected to the unexpected - reveal the underlying conditions that have weakened household balance sheets. Credit unions, in order to better serve their members, need ways to see into the shifting environment around them.
                Dr. Lisa Servon, Filene Fellow

                When Filene launched the Center of Excellence for Consumer Financial Lives in Transition at the end of February, we could not have imagined how deeply relevant this topic would be in the midst of what we’re experiencing around the world today.

                Navigating New Forms of Economic Fragility
                Hosted on April 23, 2020

                Review the webinar materials from our discussion into the two kinds of “transitions” that come together to shape and re-shape people’s financial lives: shifts in the economic and political environment and lifecycle/style changes as people transition from life event to life event.

                Take a look at the webinar materials from Remote Work in a New World: Business as Unusual now:

                • recording and presentation from the webinar
                • Dr. Sekou Bremiss' blog Managing Remote Work at Your Credit Union
                • Matt Fullbrook's blog Crisis Management and Remote Work for Credit Union Boards
                • Answers to Frequent Questions on Remote Work & Governance

                Remote Work in a New World: Business as Unusual
                Hosted on April 16, 2020

                Review the webinar materials on how to smooth the transition to remote work for all three prongs of your organization: employees, management and Board. 

                Take a look at the webinar materials from Part Two of Maximize Your Support to Address Members' Needs Now:

                • recording and presentation from the webinar
                • liquidity worksheet to help you calculate a loan fund for your credit union
                • Mike Higgins' blog Helping Members in Response to COVID-19
                • let us know your interest in implementing small-dollar lending solutions - we're here to help!

                Part Two: Maximize Your Support to Address Members' Needs Now
                Hosted on April 9, 2020

                Review the webinar materials on the current state of small-dollar lending, emergency funding, net worth assessments and opportunities for credit unions to support members' greatest needs during this time of uncertainty. We've got recommendations for how your organization can effectively act now to support your members.

                Take a look at the webinar materials from Part One of Maximize Your Support to Address Members' Needs Now:

                • recording and presentation from the webinar
                • liquidity worksheet to help you calculate a loan fund for your credit union
                • Filene's current analysis of credit union programs
                • let us know your interest in implementing small-dollar lending solutions - we're here to help!

                Part One: Maximize Your Support to Address Members' Needs Now
                Hosted on April 2, 2020

                Review the webinar materials on how to assess your own credit union's liquidity to know what's possible, how to implement a small-dollar loan program that would give your members the safety net they need and how taking action now will build long-term loyalty with your entire community.