ICUL Service Corporation
 

Dora Maxwell and Louise Herring Award Competition
Commonly Asked Questions

Q: Who was Dora Maxwell?

A: Dora Maxwell was an early credit union pioneer.  One of the original signers of CUNA's constitution at Estes Park, Colorado, she worked as an organizer for the movement's trade association (then called the Credit Union National Extension Bureau) and held numerous volunteer positions at the local and national level.  In addition to organizing hundreds of credit unions, she developed volunteer organizer clubs and worked with organizations on behalf of the poor.

Q: Who was Louise Herring and why is the award named for her?

A: Louise Herring was an active supporter, organizer and champion of credit unions.  She was the Ohio delegate to the 1934 national credit union conference in Estes Park, Colorado, where she signed the original constitution for a national credit union association.  Louise Herring believed that credit unions should work in a practical manner to better people's lives.  She saw the credit union as more than just a financial institution.  In her own words, "The purpose of the credit union is to reform the financial system, so that everyone can have his place in the sun."

Q: What time period do the award entries cover?

A: In general, entries should cover the previous year's activities, specifically between June 2013 and June 2014.

Q: What's the difference between the Louise Herring Award and the Dora Maxwell Award?

A: The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award is given to a credit union or chapter/multiple credit union group for its social responsibility projects within the community.  The award is given for external activities.  The Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award is given to a credit union for its practical application of credit union philosophy within the actual operation of the credit union.  It is awarded for internal programs and services that benefit membership.

Q: Can a credit union enter both competitions?

A: Yes.  Just be sure to clearly define which program the credit union is entering and how the activities submitted meet the program guidelines.

Q: Can a credit union enter the same entry in both competitions?

A: No.  Because each program has different objectives and requirements, entries should be tailored to match the defined goals of the particular competition.

Q: How do the Dora and Louise programs differ from the Desjardins program?

A: Training teachers or lobbying on behalf of state personal finance curriculum requirements are considered community service activities and would be eligible for the Dora Maxwell award. Operating an in-school branch is considered a member service activity and would be eligible for the Louise Herring award. All activities to teach personal finance to people of any age are consider financial education and would be eligible for the Desjardins award (If you’re confused, call 800-356-9655, ext. 4088, and speak with Philip Heckman).

Q: Can a credit union submit the same entry to more than one league for state-level judging?

A: No.  A credit union’s entry may only be submitted to one league, even if the credit union pays dues in more than one state.

Q: Can a credit union submit more than one entry in either competition?

A:  A credit union should submit only one entry per competition.  Each entry can list the number of projects conducted in the timeframe established by the league, but the credit union must select one project that best exemplifies the criteria for each award.  The questions on the entry form must be completed detailing the one project that was selected.

Q: Why must a credit union supply financial information with its entry in the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award?

A: A credit union must be in solid financial condition in order to provide the highest level of service to its members.  Sound financial management ensures a credit union's ability to continue to provide that service, as well.  Therefore, the entry must include current and previous year’s (2 years total) balance sheets and income statements and/or NCUA’s Financial Performance Report (FPR).  Entries received without the financial information will be disqualified.

The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Program

Purpose
To promote social responsibility among credit unions by formally recognizing their community service achievements.

Procedure
Prior to judging, ensure you verify the credit union’s asset size.  Each league will select winners from each of the following categories:

  • Less than $5 million in assets
  • $5 - $20 million in assets
  • $20 - $50 million in assets
  • $50 - $100 million in assets
  • $100 - $200 million in assets
  • $200 - $500 million in assets
  • $500 million - $1 billion
  • $1 billion+
  • Credit union chapter/multiple credit union group

Only the first place winner in each category will advance to the national competition.  If more than one has been chosen, please send just one for judging at the national level.  If more than one entry per asset size category is submitted for national judging, the entries will be sent back to the league to determine one winner.

The program entry form must be completed and submitted with the entry.  (Entries received at the national level without completed entry form will be returned.)  We also strongly recommend that the credit union completes and follows the checklist that is provided.

Leagues determine any qualifying time frames.

Chapter/multiple credit unions groups’ entries should describe a project or activity that was conducted as a chapter/multiple credit union group, not credit unions' individual contributions or projects.
 
Submit only one entry form, even if there were multiple projects.  If a credit union conducted multiple projects, they must pick their most successful and/or unique project and complete the entry form based on that one project.  Providing promotional materials for that one project is essential but additional materials for other projects can be included in the entry.

Eligible Activities
Credit unions could receive an award for involvement in almost any kind of activity that helps other people or strengthens the structure of a community.  This might include raising funds for charity, educational activities, or community involvement projects, such as a volunteer fair, building low-income housing, or loaning employees a few hours a week to work in hospitals, retirement homes, schools, etc.  In this resource section, a summary of national winners, which provides additional ideas, is included.

The Selection Process
Credit unions will submit their project binder, album or spiral bound book, along with a completed, typed entry form (required).  Support materials for the project should be included in the binder, album or book.  Please no electronic media.  We also strongly recommend that the credit union completes and follows the checklist that is provided.

The League will appoint a selection committee.  In addition to using the enclosed standardized score sheet, the judges will also take into consideration the following:

  1. What were the goals of the project and how did they show social concern for the community?
  2. How did the project help support the needs of the community?
  3. Were the project's target audience(s) defined, including who was involved and who benefited?
  4. What strategies were used to reach the project's goal?
  5. How were the project's promotional materials targeted to the intended audience(s) and how did they communicate the project's goals?
  6. How is this project unique?  How does it demonstrate extraordinary effort and devotion of time and organization by the credit union?
  7. Were the measurable or defined results of the project achieved?
  8. Did the project demonstrate credit union values of mutual self-help, cooperation, economic empowerment and volunteerism?

Submitting Winning Entries
The League will select winners in each category and prepare to forward their first-place selections.  First, the League Submission Sheet is completed and sent along with the winning entries to CUNA at the address indicated on the sheet.  Next an Entry Fee Payment Form is completed and sent along with a share draft to CUNA at the address indicated on the form.  (Reminder: Only one first-place winner per asset category can advance to the national competition. If multiple first-place awards are given at the state level, a tiebreaker must be conducted. If more than one entry per asset size category is submitted for national judging, the entries will be sent back to the league to determine one winner.)

In the national competition, CUNA’s appointed Awards Committee judges the entries.

The Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award

Purpose
To promote credit union philosophy by formally recognizing credit unions that demonstrate in an extraordinary way the practical application of that philosophy for their members.

Procedure
Prior to judging, ensure you verify the credit union’s asset size.  Each league will select winners from each of the following categories:

  • Less than $50 million
  • $50 - $250 million
  • $250 million - $1 billion
  • $1 billion+
  • Credit union chapter/multiple credit union group

Only the first place winner in each category will advance to the national competition.  If more than one has been chosen, please send just one in each category for judging at the national level. If more than one entry per asset size category is submitted for national judging, the entries will be sent back to the league to determine one winner.

The program entry form included in the packet must be completed and submitted with the entry.  (Entries received at the national level without completed entry form will be returned.)

Leagues determine any qualifying time frames.

Eligible Activities
Credit unions could receive an award for programs or policies that demonstrate their commitment to the practical application of the "People-Helping-People" philosophy.  Some examples of eligible activities are:

  • Provisions for the small saver or borrower.
  • Member programs for groups that are often economically challenged.
  • Internal programs or services that help to differentiate the credit union from other financial services' providers.
  • Programs that do an extraordinary job of encouraging thrift and provide a source of unbiased money management and consumer information, which would be difficult or impossible to obtain elsewhere.
  • Evidence of an exceptional degree of service to members.

In this resource section, a summary of national winners is included which provides additional ideas.

The Selection Process
Credit unions will submit to the League a project binder, album, or spiral bound book, along with a completed, typed entry form (required), and 2 years’ (current and previous year - required) balance sheets and income statements and/or NCUA’s Financial Performance Report (FPR).  Support materials for the project should be included in the binder, album, or book.  Please no electronic media.  We also strongly recommend that the credit union completes and follows the checklist that is provided.

Before entries are judged, analyze the financial statements to determine whether the credit union is operating in a safe and sound manner.  This criterion must be met in order for a credit union's entry to be considered for the award.

In addition to using the standardized scoring sheet, the following should be taken into consideration:

  1. Is the credit union operating in a safe and sound manner?
  2. Did the credit union’s project help their members and demonstrate the credit union philosophy?
  3. How did the implementation steps allow the credit union to achieve its results in putting its philosophy in action?
  4. Did the credit union’s contribution go beyond what is normally expected of a credit union?  Was project different from day-to-day operations?  
  5. How well did the credit union educate its members about the program/project and demonstrate that it showed true credit union philosophy?
  6. Is it a program/project that will serve members on an ongoing, consistent basis?
  7. Did the credit union show its commitment to credit union principles of democratic structure, service to members, ongoing financial education, and social goals?
  8. Did the credit union list the measurable and defined results achieved?

Submitting Winning Entries
The League will select winners in each category and prepare to forward their first-place selections.  First, a League Submission Sheet is completed and sent along with the winning entries to CUNA at the address indicated on the sheet.  Next an Entry Fee Payment Form is completed and sent along with a share draft to CUNA at the address indicated on the form.  (Reminder:  Only one first-place winner per asset category can advance to the national competition. If multiple first-place awards are given at the state level, a tiebreaker must be conducted. If more than one entry per asset size category is submitted for national judging, the entries will be sent back to the league to determine one winner.)

In the national competition, CUNA’s Awards Committee judges the entries.

For more information, please contact William Wille, Public Relations Coordinator, at (800) 942-7124, ext. 3216.


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