National Social Responsibility Recognition Awards Programs

The National Social Responsibility Awards Programs honor credit unions that demonstrate the credit union difference through innovative community involvement and efforts to incorporate the credit union philosophy in their daily operations and member service -- both core values of the credit union pioneers whose names are associated with these programs.

About the Awards:

Dora Maxwell Award

Since 1987, the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Recognition Award has honored credit unions for their charitable works in their communities.  Some credit unions have ongoing programs and establish a special relationship with local social service agencies or school programs.  Other programs address many different needs in the community.  No matter the size or scope of a project, each participating credit union builds its reputation as a good corporate citizen along the way.

Credit unions enter the Dora Maxwell Award program in one of eight asset categories or the chapter/multiple credit union group category.

Louise Herring Award

Beginning in 1990, the Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action has commended credit unions that make exceptional efforts to include credit union philosophy in their daily operations and member service.  Programs that provide financial education to particular member groups within the credit union or special assistance to low-income members struggling to pay heating bills, for example, are clear examples of the philosophy that sets credit unions apart from other financial institutions.

Entrants in the Louise Herring Award program compete in four asset categories.

Alphonse Desjardins Award

The Desjardins program was created to recognize leadership within the credit union movement on behalf of financial literacy for youth and adults. 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), or the CU 4 Reality™ Financial Education Program as well as financial literacy leadership efforts.

Credit unions enter any of the awards program in one of four asset categories or the chapter/multiple credit unions category.

Keys to a Successful Award Entry

  • Make your project a unique undertaking
  • Explain specific goals (who, what, where, when and how)
  • Define measurable outcomes - what will you accomplish to consider the project successful
  • Report final result - how did you do compared to projections
  • Complete entry form in its entirety
  • Provide relevant supplemental information

Submission Instructions

Using the standardized online format, 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 stated deadline for the respective awards program. As you work on your submission you will see varying formats in which questions need to be answered.  Some require only numbers, while others require much more time and thought. You are able to save and come back at any time (until you submit).  All parts of the entry must be completed and submitted by July 14, 2023 for the respective awards program.

Entry Fee

The fee for each entry submitted for judging is $50 made payable to CUNA, Inc. and should be sent by July 14, 2023 to:

Cooperative Credit Union Association, Inc.
845 Donald Lynch Blvd.
Marlborough, Mass. 01752-4704

The entry fee will be returned to credit unions that do not advance to the national competition. National winners will be honored at the Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, DC, in 2024.

Things to Remember

  • There are no word or character limits for the text boxes, and you are able to format as you wish (bolding, italics, underlining, bullets...).
  • You are able to skip questions that are required, but you will need to go back and answer them before you submit your project.
  • Please include any documentation and promotional material you wish.  
  • We look forward to seeing your projects in the new electronic format!  (Videos, audio, Facebook, Twitter, news articles...)


Can a credit union compete in all of the competitions?
    Yes - a credit union may submit one entry for each of the awards (Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring, Desjardins Adult, & Desjardins Youth)

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).


Delaware Homepage

Massachusetts Homepage

New Hampshire Homepage

Rhode Island Homepage

For more information, contact Donna Bevilacqua, CCUA, Danielle Panchak, or Mike Hughes, CUNA

2022 State-Level Winning Entries:

City of Boston Credit Union and Hanscom Federal Credit Union were recognized at the CCUA Awards of Excellence during APEX 2022 on Thursday, October 13, 2022 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT.

Hanscom Federal Credit Union

Hanscom Federal Credit Union located in Hanscom AFB, MA, received a state-level 1st place award in the asset category of more than $1 billion for each of the following:

City of Boston Credit Union located in Boston, MA, will receive a state-level 1st place award in the asset category of $250 million - $1 billion for each of the the following: