SEATTLE-Verity Credit Union has relaunched its "Cartwheel For A Cause" contest-a community involvement program that earned the $396-million CU plenty of positive attention in 2011.

As was the case two years ago, Washington residents who are 18 years or older can win $1,000 for themselves, plus a $5,000 donation to their favorite cause by submitting a 60-second video in which they describe the cause they think is worthy of receiving the donation, and include, "a cartwheel, or anything representing a cartwheel."

Videos can be submitted at until 5 p.m. on Feb. 25. The general public will be asked to vote for their favorite video from 9 a.m. on Feb. 26 to 5 p.m. on March 11.

In addition to the grand prize winner, two runners-up will receive $1,000 donated to the causes highlighted in their respective videos and $200 for the contestant. All causes must be a designated 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization.

Melina Young, marketing manager, told Credit Union Journal Verity CU only had to make a couple of small tweaks to the contest-the most significant being a realization the credit union does not have to do much heavy lifting once the voting is underway.

"We learned once people submit their entries they do an amazing effort getting people funneled through to our website," she explained. "We had 37 entries to the first contest, but 15,000 votes. That is a lot of people hearing about Verity Credit Union, which is great for us. We know of a few people who joined the credit union because of the first contest and others who moved loans."


Keeping Costs Low

The viral exposure will keep costs down, Young continued, noting Verity will only invest time and money into the entry phase, getting as many people as possible to enter the contest.

"We know that we do not need to do a lot of marketing to promote the voting phase," she said. "We were not sure how it would work last time, but the voting phase really exploded."

Once again, creativity will be rewarded and no gymnastics are necessary. In Cartwheel Version 1.0 one entrant put a drawing of a person on the end of a barrel and rolled it down a hill.

Young said Verity has promoted the new Cartwheel contest with a great deal of online advertising, radio advertising, print ads in some local magazines and items in its branches. In the branches were posters, ribbons on employee name badges, fliers, half sheets, floor decals, and more, she said.

Video contests have worked well before for Verity CU, including its ongoing "Verity Mom Contest," which started in 2009.

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