Canadian CUs donate over $40m to local communities

A recent survey conducted by Credit Union Central of Canada revealed that credit unions across Canada have contributed more than $41.4 million to communities in 2011. The money...

A recent survey conducted by Credit Union Central of Canada revealed that credit unions across Canada have contributed more than $41.4 million to communities in 2011. The money went towards a number of areas, including financial contributions, in-kind donations and helping volunteers.

According to the study, Canadian credit unions increased community donations by more than 10 per cent over the previous year. Canadian credit unions gave $31.4 dollars through donations and sponsorships, $2.2 million to charitable foundations and another $2.2 million in donations-in-kind and awarded $1 million in scholarships and bursaries. They also contributed $4.6 million in financial services to community organisations by reducing service charges. 

“Social responsibility and community-based accountability has always been at the core of credit union difference. This is reflected in the way we conduct business, invest in our communities and support our credit union employees’ desire to do more,” said David Phillips, president and CEO of Credit Union Central of Canada.

Furthermore, the survey also revealed how volunteering has become an integral part of employee performance evaluations for 32 per cent of responding credit unions. Credit union employees often participate in community activities as part of their paid work, with 70 per cent of credit union survey respondents saying their employees volunteered during their unpaid time off. 

The survey also showed how credit unions engaged with their local communities, through economic development and housing, disaster relief, health or long term care, educational programmes and facilities, art and culture and sports. Although most contributions were made locally, across Canada, some credit unions have also supported wider, international causes.

The 2011 Credit Union Community Involvement Survey, conducted in 2012 for the 2011 fiscal year was released on 18 October, when credit unions from all over the world celebrated the International Credit Union Day. This is the 11 consecutive year in which the study has been conducted. 

“Releasing the annual survey results today – on International Credit Union Day – enables us to promote and highlight the positive impact credit unions have on our country, and on the communities in which we live and operate, and for this, we are proud. At the end of the day, our overall goal is to help build stronger communities through the spirit of co-operation,” said David Phillips. Credit Union Central of Canada is the national trade association for the Canadian credit union system.

Canada’s credit union system is a vital competitor in the financial services industry. Canadian Central represents five provincial/regional Centrals and one Federation representing 359 credit unions with more than $145.7 billion in assets and serving over 5.2 million members, outside of Quebec.  For the eighth consecutive year, Canadians ranked credit unions first in overall Customer Service Excellence, among all financial institutions, surpassing all Canadian banks in Ipsos 2012 Best Banking Awards.

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