The League is Now Accepting Entries for the State and CUNA Awards Programs

The Maine Credit Union League is now accepting entries for the prestigious state Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring, and Desjardins Awards. The awards encourage and recognize credit unions that demonstrate social responsibility, the credit union philosophy, and financial education.

“These awards are designed to recognize the exceptional contributions credit unions make to their communities,” said Tim Brooks, League Vice President of Corporate Marketing. “Maine’s credit unions carry out our People Helping People philosophy every day.  They don’t do that to win awards, but their efforts are worthy of recognition, which is why these awards are important.”

Entries must be submitted by March 31.

Award Categories

The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award is given to a credit union or chapter for its social responsibility projects within the community.  The award is given for external activities.  Credit unions could receive the award for involvement in almost any kind of activity that helps other people or strengthens the structure of a community.  This may 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.

The Desjardins Award recognizes leadership within the credit union movement on behalf of financial literacy for all ages. Naming the award after Alphonse Desjardins emphasizes the movement’s long-time commitment to youth. Besides founding the first credit unions in Canada and the U.S., Desjardins pioneered youth savings clubs and in-school “banks,” known as caisses scolaires.  The recognition program considers all activities supporting the personal finance education of members and non-members, including, but not limited to, face-to-face teaching using proprietary materials and curricula, such as the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP), as well as financial literacy leadership efforts.

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.  Credit unions could receive the award for programs or policies that demonstrate their commitment to the practical application of the “People-Helping-People” philosophy.

Examples of the Louise Herring Award include:

  • 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

Submission Instructions

Award entries for the League’s State Awards Program are submitted through the CUNA Awards website.

You will automatically establish an account when you create an application to submit your first project.  You may save your work and return to the submission site as often as needed as long as you complete and submit all parts of the project submission by the due date for the respective awards program.

Award Winners

Entries are judged by a panel of state public relations and communications professionals, and award winners will be announced at the League’s Convention on May 17.  First place winners are entered automatically into CUNA’s National Award program.

At least one Maine credit union has received a national award in sixteen out of the last twenty years.  2018 National Award Program winners included:

  • Maine Credit Union League, First Place for the Desjardins Youth, Financial Education Award, for their efforts to improve financial literacy for both youth and adults
  • Community Credit Union, Second Place for the Desjardins Adult Award – $50 million to $250 million in assets
  • Oxford FCU, Honorable Mention for the Dora Maxwell Award – $50 million to $250 million assets


What is the time period the awards cover?
Awards are given to activities between March 1, 2018 and March 1, 2019.

Can a credit union compete in all of the competitions?
Yes.  A credit union may submit one entry for each of the awards.

Can a credit union enter the same entry in multiple programs?
No.  Each program has different objectives and requirements.  Entries should be tailored to match the defined goals of the particular competition.

How do each of the awards differ?

  • The Dora Maxwell Award is given to a credit union or chapter for its social responsibility projects within the community.  (The award is given for external activities)
  • The Louise Herring Award is given to a credit union for its practical application of the credit union philosophy within the actual operation of the credit union.  (The award is given for internal programs and services that benefit membership.)
  • The Desjardins Youth Award includes all activities to teach personal finance to youth (under 18).
  • The Desjardins Adult Award includes all activities to teach personal finance to adults (over 18).