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Westerra Credit Union

Frequently Asked Questions - Fundraising

Your School, Your Money Fundraising Program

1.  How is Westerra Credit Union different from other financial institutions?

  • Westerra Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that exists to serve members, not to make a profit. Unlike most other financial institutions, credit unions do not issue stock or pay dividends to outside stockholders. Instead, earnings are returned to members (all who have accounts at the credit union) in the form of lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits and lower fees. 

2.  Is Westerra our school district credit union?

  • Westerra is the school district credit union for Jeffco Public Schools and Denver Public Schools and works with other schools throughout the Denver metro area.  Originally organized by teachers, Westerra is committed to financial education through making presentations in classrooms, providing grants to schools and helping students and families learn money management skills.
  • Since its origin in schools, Westerra membership has expanded to be available to everyone in the Denver metro area. 

3.  Why does Westerra pay for referrals to use their services?

  • Rather than spending advertising dollars on TV, radio or other mass media, Westerra channels those funds instead to reward members who refer others to use the credit union.
  • Most people who join the credit union say they did so because they were referred by another member.  Building upon this loyalty, the credit union launched a 5280 Program (emphasizing our local ownership) which pays current members for referring their friends and family.  The new members then also receive a $52.80 incentive for using credit union services.
  • Westerra now extends the same referral incentive to school sports or activities that it has been offering to individuals.  Using this referral incentive as a donation is our way of giving back to the community and thanking the sport/activity for sending the email (referring the credit union) to their constituents.

4.  Why does Westerra support school sports/activities?

  • Many Westerra employees are parents of students in our schools.  It was as a result of participation in other sport/activity fundraisers that the idea of donating our $52.80 referral incentive to the school sport/activity was created.
  • It is important to Westerra to support the students and families in our schools.  This is one way that we can direct more funds to programs and activities that might not otherwise be possible.
  • Encouraging students to utilize the credit union for their first checking account supports our mission of financial literacy – introducing students to the credit union concept at a young age.

5.  How do we get started?

  • Simply let us know the sport or activity you would like to use this for and we will provide a customized email for distribution.  Emails are customized by school and by sport or activity.
  • You then simply forward the email to your distribution list through the booster club, committee chairperson or other designated coordinator. 
  • Westerra does not obtain any email addresses.  We simply provide the customized email for distribution by the person responsible for fundraising for a specific sport or activity, so they can send it to their specific group of parents.

6.  How and when do we receive our donations?

  • Westerra will issue a check to your program at the designated completion time you choose. 
  • The sport or activity is not required to have an account at the credit union.

7.  How do we ensure we get credit for our referrals?

  • When a person referred by your program opens an account, they should mention the school and the program they would like the funds directed to. 
  • After they meet the qualifying requirements--use their new checking account and make debit card purchases totaling at least $52.80 or make Visa credit card transactions totaling $500--they need to call the credit union at 303-321-4209 to let us know they have completed that activity, and that they want to receive their $52.80 bonus and initiate the credit union’s $52.80 donation to the team/activity.
  • For student savings accounts, no additional action is needed.  When the student opens their account and mentions the team/activity, the $52.80 bonus will automatically be recorded in the system for payment to the team/activity.

8.  Can this program be used in elementary and middle schools?

  • Yes, the email will be adapted to younger students by excluding student checking accounts from the offer.

9.  What activities can the program be used for?

  • Possibilities include all sports as well as marching band, clubs, PTA, After Prom or any other school-related program.  Just let us know how you would like to use the program, and we will customize an email banner.

10.  Can Westerra customize the debit card for our school?

  • Yes, the debit cards can include your school name, logo, colors and mascot.
  • We will provide a sample to the school principal for review prior to including it in the fundraising e-mail.
  • Offering a debit card can help build school spirit!


11.  Why should a high school student open a checking account at Westerra?

  • Westerra checking accounts are designed to help students learn to manage their money—without fees. 
  • All Westerra checking accounts are set up so that if there are not funds in the account to cover a debit card or ATM transaction, the transaction will simply be denied.  Without checks, there is no possibility of overdrafts.  (Start with only a debit card and add checks later, if you choose.)
  • Students will need an account for scholarship funds, heading to college or their first job.  
  • Students can utilize their Westerra accounts no matter where they go to college or go to work.  Credit unions share their branches - there are more than 190 Credit Union Service Centers in Colorado and 4,500 nationwide where they can access their Westerra accounts.
  • They have access to cash at 1000 free ATMs in Colorado and 30,000 nationwide.

10. How much can we earn by participating in this program?

           View a table showing an example of the fundraising potential.  

To get started, simply contact us 303-329-4512 or  We will then customize an email for your distribution to help raise funds for your high school sport or activity.