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By Jaidyn Crookston | January 11, 2022 | 14 Minute Read

How Isabella Bank Gets All Employees to Volunteer with its Compassion Into Action Event

As a bank or credit union employee, you may be required to volunteer in your community each year. You love your community and want to volunteer, but there are just so many things on your plate right now. You’re busy helping customer...

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By Jaidyn Crookston | January 04, 2022 | 9 Minute Read

How to Build a Successful CRA Strategy and Action Plan for 2022

(Don't forget to download the free PDF at the bottom of this screen. This list of questions will help you think about your CRA program and build the perfect plan to promote your program and make a difference in your community.) The...

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By Jaidyn Crookston | December 21, 2021 | 10 Minute Read

Ask an Examiner! How to Prepare for Your CRA Exam

Are you preparing for your next CRA exam? If you are, or you will be soon, you’d probably love to get the inside scoop on how an examiner thinks about an exam.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could sit down with a CRA examiner and pick...

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By Jaidyn Crookston | December 14, 2021 | 7 Minute Read

7 Ways to Encourage Your Followers to Support a Cause on Social Media

Social media is a great way for your bank or credit union to connect with customers/members, build your brand, and raise awareness for a charitable cause.  While you may be able to raise awareness for a cause, it can be challenging...

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By Jaidyn Crookston | December 07, 2021 | 7 Minute Read

How Veritex Community Bank Partnered With Local Media to Support Nonprofits and Community Organizations

Courtney Taylor (Senior VP and Community Development Officer at Veritex Community Bank) loves to be involved in her community. She serves on several bank and community boards, and is even a member of our own Kadince Advisory Board. ...

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By Linda Ezuka | November 18, 2021 | 4 Minute Read

How to Use Capital Stacks to Grow Your Bank’s CRA Program

At some point in your journey as a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) officer, you’ll likely find yourself involved in a community-based public-private partnership economic development project. When this happens, your bank may have th...

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By Jaidyn Crookston | November 09, 2021 | 8 Minute Read

8 Tips for Nailing Your Presentation to a Bank or Credit Union Board

If you’re a CRA officer or community impact specialist, you’ll likely find yourself presenting to a bank or credit union board at some point to build support—and it’s rarely a comfortable experience. ‌ Board presentations are a lops...

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By Jaidyn Crookston | November 02, 2021 | 6 Minute Read

Seacoast Bank's CRA Ambassadors: How to Engage Employees in CRA

If you struggle to engage bank employees in your CRA program, you aren’t alone. Just like most financial institutions, Seacoast Bank used to find it hard to engage employees and spread the word about their community initiatives.  B...

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By Jaidyn Crookston | October 26, 2021 | 7 Minute Read

Why Financial Literacy is so Important and How Pinnacle Bank Got CRA Credit

The information in this article came from our webinar with Linda Ezuka of CRA Today, Sue Kocsis from Pinnacle Bank, and Nick Hammerstad from Banzai. You can access the webinar recording here.  Why is financial literacy so important...

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By Jaidyn Crookston | October 19, 2021 | 5 Minute Read

Donate Old Computer Equipment to Help Your Community (and Possibly Receive CRA Credit)

The ideas in this article came from a webinar with Sarah Baharin, VP, Fair Lending/CRA Officer at North American Savings Bank, and Zina Stankewsky at PCs for People. You can access the webinar recording here.  Banks and credit unio...

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By Linda Ezuka | October 07, 2021 | 4 Minute Read

Consumer Loans and the CRA: Weigh Your Options Carefully!

As a CRA officer, you know how important it is to get consideration under the CRA for as many loans, services, and investments as possible. This means that some banks like to include their consumer loans under their lending performa...

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By Jaidyn Crookston | October 05, 2021 | 9 Minute Read

Bank and Credit Union Email Newsletters: 7 Ways to Spice Them Up

‌Most banks and credit unions have some type of email newsletter. But just having a newsletter isn’t the same as having an effective newsletter strategy.  Newsletters are a great way to connect with your audience and build interest...

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By Jaidyn Crookston | September 28, 2021 | 7 Minute Read

4 Proven Ways to Share Your Community Impact Story

Most financial institutions, like Machias Savings Bank, are very involved in their communities. Not only do your coworkers spend hours volunteering, but your institution gives grants, donations, loans, and more to support your commu...

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By Linda Ezuka | September 23, 2021 | 5 Minute Read

Want a Smooth CRA Exam? Appoint an Exam Liaison

How did your last CRA exam go? Did it run perfectly smoothly? Did you hand your CRA examiners your self-assessment, shake hands, and tell them you’ll see them next exam?  Probably not. Chances are it was a hectic week of pulling re...

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By Linda Ezuka | September 16, 2021 | 3 Minute Read

Essential Steps Every CRA Officer Must Follow to Ensure a Smooth CRA Exam

Running a CRA program is difficult during the best of times. And when it’s time for a CRA exam, your job only gets more stressful.  But when you have a clear picture of what’s expected of you, your exam can be a lot easier.  In la...

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By Linda Ezuka | September 09, 2021 | 3 Minute Read

The 7 Steps Every Examiner Takes During a CRA Exam

Your bank is steadfast in meeting the credit needs of all businesses, both large and small, in your communities. Your job is to capture and identify all eligible community development activities going into a regulatory exam. But wha...

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By Linda Ezuka | September 02, 2021 | 5 Minute Read

What Bank Boards and Executive Leadership Need to Know About the CRA

All successful programs have support from the top, and CRA isn’t any different! It’s important to keep your bank board and executive management briefed on your CRA program. But how do you do this?  In this dated but still relevant ...

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By Casey Elliott | August 24, 2021 | 8 Minute Read

6 Proven Ways to Increase Your Financial Institution's Website Traffic

It’s virtually impossible to thrive in today’s digital marketplace without maintaining a strong presence online. The internet is the first tool many turn to when looking for a financial institution — and if your website isn’t produc...

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By Linda Ezuka | August 19, 2021 | 6 Minute Read

CRA Self-Assessments: Why You Need One and Where To Start

Are you ready for your next CRA exam? If you’re like most CRA professionals, preparing for a CRA exam is a never-ending process. One way to make this process a little more manageable is by creating a CRA self-assessment. Most CRA of...

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By Linda Ezuka | August 12, 2021 | 3 Minute Read

Where to Start if You’re New to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)

If you don’t have a large CRA team, haven’t had much training, or just inherited your bank’s CRA program, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed. It’s hard to run a CRA program during the best of times, but it may seem impossi...

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