Publications & Thought Leadership

January 2017

Credit Union Social Purpose Assessment Tool

Posted in Sustainable and Social Finance

North American credit unions are clarifying their social purpose to better meet customer needs, play a stronger role in fostering resilient and co-operative communities and grow their businesses. This Social Purpose Assessment Tool was developed to help them in that effort.

Using the language of corporate social responsibility (CSR) the Social Purpose Assessment Tool guides credit unions through a process of considering the purpose and focus of their social role – which includes the environment and extends beyond traditional banking roles.

This tool was first commissioned by Libro Credit Union in 2016 to assist them in their strategic planning. Libro engaged Coro to draft the Social Purpose Assessment Tool based on best practices in social purpose banking and finance and consultation with “CSR” and values-based banking practitioners in the Canadian credit union system. The tool was subsequently updated by University Federal Credit Union in 2017 to incorporate recent practices and an American perspective.

The Social Purpose Assessment Tool is designed to assist in credit union strategic planning. It is a four-stage checklist of best, leading and next practices in CSR, social purpose and values-based banking in six areas; governance, members, employees, community, environment, suppliers and business partners and the co-operative sector.

The Social Purpose Assessment Tool can be used for:

  • Current state: To understand your current “CSR” practice along a continuum of social purpose and impact – to find out how much you are currently doing
  • Opportunities: To identify strengths, gaps and opportunities your credit union could prioritize in its CSR strategy
  • Education: To educate functional leaders on the meaning and implications of CSR and social purpose with regard to their functions, the credit union, employees, members and other stakeholders
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