When It Comes to Project Zip Code, Every CU Member Counts

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. – Project Zip Code (PZC) is a key resource to the NJ Credit Union League’s federal and state advocacy efforts. This user friendly, secure computer program counts credit union members and matches them by congressional district, state legislative district, and county. The counts, once uploaded to CUNA's Project Zip Code Web site and combined with data from other credit unions nationwide, gives the League and other credit union advocates, the ability to tell each state and federal lawmaker how many credit union members live in their district, and without violating any privacy.

And because credit union members often reside in a state separate from their credit union, it is important that all credit unions participate. Without full participation, CUNA and the state leagues don’t have a complete picture of our grassroots strength.

Credit union information is safe and secure with Project Zip Code. Specific member data cannot be viewed by anyone outside the credit union. No personally identifiable data or individual information leaves a credit union. PZC receives only raw member counts for each lawmaker district and county.

Participating credit unions should upload data at least twice a year; however, they may want to do it on a quarterly basis.

The NJCUL has already matched more than 650,000 members of New Jersey credit unions and more than 400,000 Garden State residents who are a member of an out of state credit union. While impressive, it is only part of the picture. To be truly effective, we need every member counted. The master census that results from credit unions running Project Zip Code helps us demonstrate the strength of credit union membership across the nation.

Project Zip Code provides operational benefits too. Credit unions can view members by geographic area, which can be useful in placing ATMs and shared branching. The program is compliant with the privacy laws created in Gramm Leach Bliley.

Additional information including Project Zip Code software, user manual and frequently asked questions is available here or from Chris Abeel (cabeel@njcul.org), the League’s vice president of corporate and governmental affairs.