MADISON, Wis. (9/30/13)--Credit unions don't go looking for awards for the good work they do in their communities. After all, community service is built into their DNA. But awards come naturally when a community or an institution recognizes those who go above and beyond in outreach efforts.
Nearly every week, throughout the year, a credit union somewhere is being presented an award by cities, universities, states, media, and too-numerous-to mention charities they've helped. Often individual staffers receive accolades for their individual voluntarism. Credit unions also regularly bring in "Best of" awards from community publications and are named "best places to work" in their communities.
"Word is getting out about the value of credit unions in their communities," said Paul Gentile, Credit Union National Association executive vice president of strategic communications and engagement. "Credit unions know the institutions they help appreciate their service. But receiving an award for that services doubles the impact in terms of awareness about credit unions' valued role in the community. It drives home the point that credit unions exist to serve."
Bob Corwin, president/CEO of Portland, Ore.-based Advantis CU, accepted the Corporate Philanthropy Award on behalf of the credit union from the Portland Business Journal. Advantis, Oregon Community CU and Unitus Community CU received the 2013 awards, which recognize local companies that direct the most money to nonprofits. The awards are based on total dollars given to nonprofits, volunteer hours, in-kind contributions and other generosity. (Photo provided by Northwest Credit Union Association)
A recent example involves three Portland, Ore.-area credit unions--Oregon Community CU, Advantis CU and Unitus Community CU--which received Portland Business Journal's 2013 Corporate Philanthropy Awards recognizing local companies that direct the most money to nonprofits, said the Northwest Credit Union Association (Anthem Sept. 17). The awards are based on total dollars given to nonprofits, volunteer hours, in-kind contributions and other generosity.
It's no surprise credit unions are on the list, Advantis President/CEO Bob Corwin said. "Supporting local nonprofits is a natural extension of the credit union philosophy of people helping people, and we take every opportunity to assist the organizations that are working to make our communities strong."
OCCU contributed $494,915 and its employees volunteered nearly 2,100 hours at schools and community organization in 2012, said the Business Journal. Advantis contributed $141,469 to nearly 50 nonprofit organizations and its employees volunteered nearly 450 hours. Unitus contributed $66,890 in cash donations and raised $49,609 for nonprofit partners while its employees volunteered 1,200 hours in 2012 mentoring students and more.
Other recent award recipients:
Chocolate Bayou Community FCU in Alvin, Texas, received a certificate of commendation from the school board in Alvin for its work against bullying and its financial reality fairs to teach money management to area students. (Photo provided by the Cornerstone Credit Union League)