Frequently Asked Questions

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, Denver Public Schools and Douglas County Schools, and works closely 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 offer a fundraising program?

  • Westerra uses a portion of its marketing budget to fund this program as a way to impact our schools and community while introducing more people to Westerra.
  • Most people who join the credit union say they did so because they were introduced by another member. Building upon this loyalty, the credit union launched a 5280 Program (emphasizing our local ownership) which donates funds to school sports/activities and community organizations for new accounts attributed to their efforts.  
  • This donation is our way of giving back to the community and thanking the group for participating in the fundraising program.

4.  Why does Westerra support school sports and 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 to the school was created. It was then expanded to help support other community groups, too.
  • It is important to Westerra to support the students and families in our schools, and in our community. 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 school sport/activity or community organization you would like to use this for and we will provide a customized email and flyers for distribution. Each are customized by school and by sport or activity, or for your community organization.
  • You then simply forward the email to your distribution list, or distribute flyers, through the booster club, committee chairperson or other designated coordinator. 
  • Westerra does not obtain any email addresses. We simply provide the customized email (and flyers) 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 or other constituents.

6.  How and when do we receive our donations?

  • Westerra will issue a check to your program every quarter for qualified accounts.
  • The sport/activity or community organization is not required to have an account at the credit union.

7.  How do we ensure we get credit for new accounts opened?

  • When a person from your group opens an account, they should mention the school and the program, or the community organization, they would like the funds directed to. 
  • The $52.80 donation will then automatically be recorded in the system for payment to the group.

8.  Which accounts qualify for a $52.80 donation?

  • The $52.80 donation is given to the group requested, not to individuals, for any loan, savings or checking account opened at the credit union (with the exception of an adult share/savings account). 
  • There is no minimum number of accounts required to participate.
  • Fundraisers can remain open year-round so your group can continue to earn funds as your participants' financial needs arise. 

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. Community organizations can also use this program to raise funds. Just let us know how you would like to use the program, and we will customize an email and flyer.

10.  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 200 credit union Shared Branches in Colorado and 5,000 nationwide where they can access their Westerra accounts.
  • They have access to cash at 1000 free ATMs in Colorado and 30,000 nationwide.

To get started, simply fill out the Fundraising Information Form, contact us at 303-329-4518 or We will then customize an email and flyers for your distribution to help raise funds for your school sport/activity or community organization.

Federally insured by NCUA. Equal opportunity lender.