Once a year, Carla Cicero hits the road for a special year-end mission: Surprise five unsuspecting local charities with a $5,000 donation.
“It is the best day of the year,” says Cicero, president/CEO of $2 billion asset Numerica Credit Union in Spokane Valley, Wash. “We’re helping wonderful causes with people who are dedicated to advancing the mission of their nonprofits, and we get to go in and surprise them. This $5,000 really makes a difference.”
Numerica started the “CEO on the Road” initiative in 2010. The credit union generates donations through a skip-a-pay program through which members make donations in order to bypass a payment on their loans.
“We thought that by surprising the nonprofits and personally delivering the check we would be sending a sincere message that these funds are not about marketing and sponsorship but about helping our community partners,” says Kelli Taylor, Numerica’s director of communications.
Cicero says she and the Numerica staff choose nonprofits with relatively small budgets so the $5,000 donations can truly make a difference in their operations.
Invariably, that has been the case. Cicero’s surprise visits always elicit cheers, and sometime tears of joy.
“The surprise element is my favorite part,” says Cicero. “When we walk up with a big $5,000 check, their reactions are priceless.”
Recipients of Numerica’s 2017 CEO on the Road campaign:
In 2017, for the first time, the CEO on the Road program granted donations in all three of Numerica’s market areas. Rounding out the program was a final—and snowy—stop at the construction site of “Anna’s Homes.”
Polly and Joe Schindler formed the Anna Schindler Foundation in honor of their daughter, who lost her battle with childhood cancer. They beamed with pride as their goal of honoring Anna’s life took one step closer to completion.
“Thank you,” Polly says, “for the goodness, love, and kindness.”