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From solar eclipses to savings accounts: Dupaco’s journey to build a brighter community for all

Dubuque, Iowa—It’s April 8, 2024, and you have one dollar in your pocket. Should you buy a souvenir to commemorate the solar eclipse, or stash that dollar in a savings account until the next solar eclipse in 2044? Let’s stash that dollar in a savings account! (Because, really, what amazing souvenir are you going to get for a dollar, anyway?)

Astronomers, scientists and everyday people are lighting up about the total solar eclipse that will cover parts of Mexico, the United States and Canada on April 8, when the moon completely blocks the sun for several minutes. The sky will be as dark as if it were nighttime in the areas that are in the path of totality.

Financial experts at Dupaco Community Credit Union are lighting up too. They are assisting their members in a spirit of “totality”: Teaching members about how many ways there are to put money away for the future, and how the process of saving over time can brighten one’s outlook on reaching financial goals.

Dave Klavitter, chief marketing officer at Dupaco, notes tongue-in-cheek, that the solar eclipse does have a connection to saving money.

“It may sound cheesy, but every single day, we look for ways to brighten the lives of our members. It’s our vision … ‘building a brighter community for all.’ But seriously, we take great pride in helping our members figure out the best ways to save money and plan for their futures, whether their goals are small or large, short-term or long-term.”

For instance, Klavitter explains, by taking just one dollar (not spent on a solar eclipse souvenir!) on April 8, 2024, and putting it into a savings account that earns 1.8% interest (the average savings rate over the last 20 years), a person would have $1.43 in that savings account by Aug. 23, 2044, when the next solar eclipse happens in the United States. But if a person deposits one dollar in that same savings account every day for the 20-year period between eclipses, they would have contributed $7,300 and earned $1,401.47 in interest for a total of $8,702.47.

And a savings account is just one of myriad tools that Dupaco offers to its members. From savings and checking accounts to certificates, IRAs, money markets and more, financial institutions like Dupaco have diverse ways to help their members meet (and eclipse) their savings goals.

Klavitter also notes, wryly, that “when the last solar eclipse took place in 2017, NASA scientists did a study, post-eclipse, and found the social impact of the eclipse was far-reaching, and that participants in the study felt a greater sense of ‘community’ and togetherness, for experiencing the eclipse and how awe-inspiring it was as a natural phenomenon.

“That connects to us too … As a member-owned cooperative, Dupaco is, at our roots, a community of people—both our members and our employees—who have the same goals, and who have worked for more than 75 years to help members build a life worth loving.”

Dupaco Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa. It is dedicated to the financial well-being of its members, and specializes in personalized financial counseling, money advice and education. It offers savings, loans, investments, insurance and wealth management products for individuals and businesses. Dupaco serves residents in 118 counties throughout Iowa, northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin. Founded in 1948 by 10 Dubuque Packing Company employees, membership has grown to more than 164,000 with assets exceeding $3.2 billion. It has nearly 700 employees and 22 branch office locations. Dupaco is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). It is a Forbes Best-in-State Credit Union, Forbes America’s Best Small Employer and a Des Moines Register Top Workplace. Learn more at

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