Award Programs

Each year, CUNA grants awards to credit unions that demonstrate excellence in exhibiting the credit union philosophy. The objective is to recognize credit unions that carry on the legacies left by the early credit union pioneers.

There are three awards.

The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award

CUNA created the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award to encourage and honor credit union and chapter involvement in community projects and activities. Dora Maxwell was a community activist who committed her life to credit union development, to her community and to serving the underserved.

The Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Award

This award, named for one of the original signers of the 1934 constitution that created CUNA, recognizes credit unions that do an extraordinary job incorporating credit union philosophy into daily operations. Louise Herring started numerous credit unions and believed strongly in applying credit union philosophy as an operating principle.

The Desjardins Adult and youth financial education award

The Desjardins Adult and Youth Financial Education Award programs recognize leadership within the credit union movement on behalf of financial literacy for members and nonmembers of all ages. The award, named after credit union pioneer Alphonse Desjardins, emphasizes the movement’s longtime commitment to financial education.

Participating in the award programs

Any credit union belonging to the Utah Credit Union Association can participate in the award programs by submitting an entry based on its asset size. Submissions are then judged and a winner selected in each category. State winners are forwarded on to CUNA, for inclusion in the national competition.

To get an idea for the types of entries that have won, before, view details about 2021 and 2022 winners.

Deadlines for submission are June 30.

Entries are submitted online, at the submission portal. Here are links directly to specific awards submissions:

If you have further questions about the awards program, reach out to Stephen Nelson at

Dora Maxwell. Despite opposition from bankers, Maxwell helped secure hundreds of charters for new credit unions in New York.
Louise Herring. Herring helped establish five hundred credit unions and assisted in the establishment of the dual share insurance system.
Alphonse Dejardins. In 1900, Desjardins and his wife, Dorimène, co-founded the forerunner of current North American credit unions.