Why Budgeting for Innovation Should Be Part of Your Credit Union Strategic Planning

man looking at a board with ideas

Finding new ways to improve business processes is a great way to boost profitability, but it also requires credit union leaders to step outside of their comfort zone, which is challenging if you’ve always worked in a particular industry accustomed to certain products.

Innovating carries inherent risks. Sometimes the return on an investment doesn’t appear to be worth it or may not be obvious, but when the future of a credit union is in your hands, leaders must consider, ‘what is the risk of not innovating?’

Allocating a specified budget for innovation can provide members with an enhanced experience and open new doors for your credit union’s marketing team. Regardless, the benefits may be unclear for other stakeholders at your credit union, including board members and other executives. Budgeting is when most conflicts on the C-suite level usually arise, particularly when it comes to innovation.

Why Does Your Credit Union Need a Budget for Innovation?

Budgeting for innovation must be part of your credit union strategic planning. True credit union leaders must be forward thinking and willing to put money behind strategies and ideas that could make your credit union even more profitable in the future. By innovating, your credit union will be equipped to manage risks – not just avoid them.

Effective credit union strategic planning requires the ability to identify opportunities for growth, such as technological innovations. The CIO must coordinate closely with the CFO on what the credit union requires to mitigate risks, prepare contingency plans and improve existing processes. The CEO must always be in the loop, so all essential leaders of the financial co-operative comprehensive understanding of why particular innovations are necessary.

Successful budgeting and innovation must be a team effort. Innovation is not strictly in the IT leadership’s court. Neither is budgeting strictly in the purview of the CFO. The impact of innovation projects ripple through the entire credit union and merit careful planning and consideration by all C-suite leaders.

How Will Budgeting for Innovation Benefit Your Credit Union?

Credit union strategic planning helps C-suite leaders develop a sound strategy for expanding their credit union’s portfolio and growing its membership base. Armed with innovation-driven credit union marketing strategies aligned with the strategic objectives, your leadership team is sure to generate the best possible results for your credit union and its members.

Key benefits of innovation:

  • Improved overall member experience
  • Streamlined business systems and operations
  • Advanced measures for risk management
  • Better knowledge on technology investments
  • Enhanced credit union marketing capability

Innovating Is Worth Every Penny of Your Members’ Money

Innovating can create struggles – tactical, like integrations, and strategic. Developing a culture of innovation and providing appropriate training is critical to innovation, but it will be worth it to ensure future relevancy. Building a forward-thinking team, armed with the tools and technology to support them, provides opportunities for streamlining and improved member experience, products and services.

Have you considered introducing innovative technologies into your credit union? Now is the time to review your credit union’s budget and allocate funds for improving your credit union’s business processes and member service through technology.

Budgeting for innovation doesn’t have to be a challenge. Things will flow more smoothly once you and the rest of the credit union leaders are able to see things from the same clear, solid perspective.

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche


Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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