Employees and members help Westminster Savings choose charity recipients

Choose Your Charity Challenge designed to engage communities

New Westminster, B.C., February 13, 2015 - Each year the Westminster Savings Foundation follows a standard granting process to disperse charitable donations to arts and active living organizations across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. In late 2014, the foundation tried something different and turned to Westminster Savings Credit Union (Westminster Savings) employees and members to help decide how $38,000 in funding should be used in their local communities.

Dubbed the Choose Your Charity Challenge, employees across all Westminster Savings branches and lines of business were asked to nominate arts and active living charities in their trade areas. Three charities were shortlisted in seven trade areas, then employees and members voted to select one charity in their area to receive a donation from the foundation.

"We're committed to the communities we serve, and we know our employees and our members also have strong interest in giving back, so it really made sense to engage them and ask for their input," says Gavin Toy, President and CEO, Westminster Savings. "The challenge was an innovative way to involve them in our giving process, and a good way for all of us to learn more about the arts and active living programs impacting our local communities."

Member and employee reaction to the Challenge was positive, with many expressing their excitement in being able to voice their opinion to help determine which charities received funding.

When voting completed, seven charities were selected:

  • Take a Hike Burnaby
  • Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities
  • KidSport Calgary
  • Centre for Child Development
  • Camp Good Times
  • 1st Central Surrey Scouts
  • Athletics for Kids

Through the community investment program, Project Better Balance, Westminster Savings helps individuals and families Achieve better balance in their lives by providing greater access to arts and active living opportunities. In 2014, the Westminster Savings Foundation invested a total of $296,000 in 22 charities in the communities where they live and work. Of these, 15 were selected through the regular annual grant application process, and seven were selected by employees and members through the Choose Your Charity Challenge.

About the Westminster Savings Foundation

With $8.7 million in assets, Westminster Savings Foundation is one of the largest credit union foundations in Canada. It has contributed to more than $2.6 million in financial support to local organizations since its incorporation in 1993. The foundation receives all of its capital from Westminster Savings Credit Union and income earned on this capital helps fund donations to a variety of charitable organizations in our communities each year. For more information about Westminster Savings Foundation, visit wscu.com/community.

About Westminster Savings Credit Union

Established 70 years ago, Westminster Savings provides a full range of retail, commercial, and wealth management solutions to its members across metropolitan Vancouver. Westminster Savings offers a wide range of online and mobile banking services, access to global ATM networks and extended banking service through its contact centre located in New Westminster. Through its wholly owned leasing subsidiaries, Westminster Savings also provides auto, equipment, and fleet leasing solutions to its customers across the country.

For more information:

Cathryn Tucker
Manager, Corporate and Internal Communications
Westminster Savings