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© Allison Usavage

Community Support Account Program

The Community Support Account Program at Alternatives supports non-profits in our community by allowing new or existing members to associate their accounts with a non-profit. Each year, each participating non-profit will receive a check based on their membership and the products their members have with Alternatives. Just another reason to love our local credit union!

A Q&A With Trisha Jones, a Member Service Specialist at Alternatives and the point person for the Community Support Account Program. Photos of a current Alternatives member coding his account to benefit the Latino Civic Association, and from a volunteer shift at the SPCA led by Suzanne Cerquone, former Marketing Director at Alternatives.

 

© Allison Usavage
What is the program?

The Community Support Account program is a program we’re doing for non-profit organizations within our community. They can be current members that already have an account with us, or they can open one, they just have to have a not-for-profit status. It helps them raise money through their membership. Alternatives will give the non-profit a check at the end of the year.
The money comes from Alternatives. We give it to them based on what type of members and what types of products their members have with us. For example, if the not-for-profit organization sends in a brand new member, they will automatically get a $30 credit put into the account we have for them. For auto and personal loans, they will get the equivalent of 1% of the annual average balance of a brand new loan that a new member or existing member opens with us. For savings accounts, IRAs, and CDs, they get the equivalent of 0.1% of the annual average balance. Existing members can code their account and the organization will also get 0.1% of the annual average balance of their checking or savings accounts.

 

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Who is this good for?

It benefits us because it increases our membership, and helps the organization because they get a check! It also benefits their members through products and services that we offer.

 

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What kind of change are you trying to make?

We’re really trying to get the community more involved with Alternatives. We are a CDFI: a Community Development Financial Institution. We’re out there already trying to help the community. This is just furthering that effort!

 

© Allison Usavage
How did it start?

It started with our new Chief Operations Officer Kim Hazleton. She brought this idea from another financial institution that she previously worked for where it did really well. Once she got a feel for Alternatives and the community, she thought it would be a great program to benefit both.

How has the community supported the program so far?

So far we have two committed organizations: the SPCA and the Latino Civic Association. They are the two community not-for-profits that are currently signed up and are having their members come in and code their accounts to their organization. We have a couple more not-for-profits in the works that are interested, so it’s slowly getting started!

 

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What struggles have you encountered?

So far it’s in such early stages… we just launched it November 1st. The struggle has been really trying to get the word out to let non-profits and individuals know about this.

 

© Allison Usavage
What should we be celebrating?

We should be celebrating that Alternatives is just giving away free money to our not-for-profits! This is just a check… here you go, spend it! Do whatever you need a little extra cash to do! That’s why I feel so great about it.

 

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How can we participate?

Come in, call, or send us an email telling us you want your current Alternatives account to be coded to one of our CSAs. As that list of non-profits grows, the organization will be listed on our website. If you’re not interested in one of those organizations, check back soon to see what other organizations sign up. Or, if you’re not yet a member come in to Alternatives anytime, open an account, and ask for it to be coded to one of our not-for-profit organizations. As a member you do nothing else… you keep your account positive, you keep your loan payments paid, and the organization benefits from your account!

Or, email Trisha to code your current Alternatives account to benefit one of the non-profits.

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