Case Study: Linking clients with charitable organizations

The Challenge 
TopLine Federal Credit Union, a credit union for people in Hennepin County, asked us to assist it in creating awareness of its new downtown Minneapolis skyway branch. TopLine wanted to distinguish itself from the many financial service providers in the vicinity and make itself standout among several other credit unions opening on the skyway system. The objectives of the program were:
  • To create awareness of TopLine among downtown consumers
  • To increase membership at the new downtown branch
  • To demonstrate TopLine’s commitment to the communities it does business in
To achieve these objectives, we planned and executed a grand opening week with a charitable focus. 
  • Two months prior to the event we identified a strategic non-profit organization TopLine could align itself with to benefit the community it serves, Hennepin County. TopLine established a relationship with Community Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP), which provides a wide-range of emergency assistance services to families and individuals in need in Hennepin County. We determined TopLine should focus its grand opening event on collecting toys and cash donations for CEAP’s Holiday program, which provides families in need with toys for their children during the holidays.
  • To make the event unique and appealing to the general public we planned appearances by a local musician, Billy McLaughlin and a locally based, nationally recognized chef, Andrew Zimmern.
  • Three weeks prior to the grand opening, we prepared an disseminated a press release to local and trade print and broadcast media informing them of the event and its highlights. The release was followed by several phone calls to ensure coverage. The release was intended to:
    • Generate general interest in TopLine’s opening week activities
    • Generate general business and news coverage of the branch, during its opening week and beyond
    • Create awareness of CEAP, its services and needs
    • Highlight TopLine and its differentiating features as a financial service provider
  • One week prior to the event follow-up calls were again placed to the media to remind them of the activities taking place. 
  • The week of the event, roaming ambassadors passed out brochures and cookie cutters during peak skyway traffic. The brochures highlighted, the events, CEAP and TopLine’s services.
  • TopLine partnered with its skyway neighbors Caribou Coffee and The Cookie Corner to distribute free coffee and cookies during the entire grand opening week.
  • Musician Billy McLauglin gave a free one-hour, lunchtime concert in the TopLine lobby. He preformed selections from an exclusive CD he wrote and produced for TopLine. The CD was made available to anyone who opened a qualifying account with TopLine.
  • Chef Andrew Zimmern, a local and national, TV chef provided two cooking demonstrations and distributed samples to visitors to the new branch in two lunchtime sessions.
  • Print and broadcast media coverage including KARE11 “Coffee with KARE,” Fox 9 News with Chef Andrew Zimmern, WFMP FM107 “Kevyn Burger Show,” Skyway News, The Business Journal, The Pioneer Press, Credit Union Times and Fox 9 Community Calendar.
  • 500 Toys and $210 donated to CEAP
  • 4000 cookie cutters, 1000 pens and 10,000 open house flyers distributed to the public during the grand opening week
  • 133 dozen cookies and 55 gallons of coffee distributed during grand opening week
  • More than 400 people visited the branch during the two, one-hour cooking demonstrations.
  • TopLine signed up eight new members during the week, opened 10 new checking accounts and made one new car loan
Share by: