Tucson Federal Credit Union is a financial institution that was founded in 1937 in Tucson, Arizona. Originally functioning as a credit union for local teachers, in 2006 they became a community-chartered credit union expanding their field of membership to the Tucson community. Now serving roughly 55,000 members, their mission to be local and help members has only grown.
The changing demographics of the credit union has posed a challenge in finding methods to reach all members fairly and effectively. Their members vary greatly in age – while a majority of the membership are baby boomers and seniors, there is also a growing group of young millennial members. When the credit union made the decision to increase the millennial member base, they knew they needed to find more ways to be engaging to the younger generation – encouraging them to get involved as both members and board candidates. The challenge with this combination of demographics was that although the credit union wanted to implement exciting new technologies for engaging young members to vote conveniently online, they did not want to alienate older voters who preferred casting ballots and receiving communications in a more traditional manner.
The motivation to use a trusted election partner like Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) made sense on multiple levels. First, the process is much more efficient. A turnkey operation for the election saves employees time and allows the staff to focus more directly on their members. Tucson FCU’s partnership with SBS also brings transparency to the process, giving members peace of mind that not only is voting easy but also handled by secure, unbiased experts.
Tucson FCU opted for a hybrid election – allowing members to cast their ballots in a variety of ways. Members can vote online easily and quickly or send in a mailed ballot if they prefer. This method provides Tucson FCU with the best of both worlds: engaging millennial members to vote without overlooking the needs of the older demographics.
In 2017 Tucson FCU decided to expand their partnership with SBS and include an online option for their nomination and petition process. The easy-to-use online nomination platform saves time for both members and administrators and was a great solution to the question of “How can we bring automation to this process?” according to Miguel Cruz, Vice President of Marketing at Tucson FCU. Submitting information is easy for candidates, which eliminates a big hurdle in getting members to run for board seats. The nominations process is an important one to Tucson FCU, and it provides all members the same easy access to submit a nomination application to run for the board.
When beginning to work with Survey & Ballot Systems, Tucson FCU appreciated getting a detailed explanation at every step about how the project would run. This was a welcomed relief, since a key point of emphasis for the credit union is to stay hands-off from the voting process. According to Cruz, a major value of working with SBS was expert guidance that helped to create a “smooth process with detailed, specific timelines”.