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Canada's Largest Credit Union Offers to "Build a Better World"

Canada's Largest Credit Union Offers to "Build a Better World"

Ottawa, April 27, 2012 - Vancity (Vancouver City Savings Credit Union) has today thrown its support behind an effort to raise $12 million for co-operative development around the world.

Vancity has pledged $250,000 over the next three years in support of the Co-operative Development Foundation's Build a Better World Campaign.  The money will support efforts to reduce poverty in Asia, Africa, and Latin America through the development of locally owned co-operatives and credit unions.

"There is growing demand worldwide for values-based financial institutions that have a triple bottom line approach to banking ,balancing people, the planet and prosperity and to use the strength of credit and collaboration to help build a better world," says Andy Broderick, Vice President of Community Investment at Vancity. "As a financial co-operative and a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values we share a commitment to help find global solutions to international problems through a sustainable banking approach and believe it's the best way a credit union can serve its members."

Funds raised through the Co-operative Development Foundation are used to support the international development program of the Canadian Co-operative Association.  For more than 30 years the two organizations have worked together to support thousands of co-operatives and credit unions around the world in their efforts to help people work their own way out of poverty.  Over that time, CCA has established a solid record of success.  However, the need for this work is growing while public funding sources have become increasingly uncertain.  CDF's efforts to create a stable pool of funds will ensure that CCA can continue to reach 10s of thousands of people around the world.

"Vancity is Canada's largest credit union," said CDF Chair Michael Barrett, "But more than that they have also been one of Canada's most progressive co-operatives, using their economic power in many creative ways to benefit the people of the communities they serve.  They are an opinion leader, and we are grateful, not only for the generosity of this gift, but also for the leadership that Vancity brings."

The Build a Better World Campaign seeks to raise $12 million over the next four years in support of co-operative poverty reduction around the world.  The campaign was inspired by the theme of the International Year of Co-operatives - "Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World."

"It is a simple statement," said Mr. Barrett, "but so true on so many different levels.  Co-operative enterprises do build a better world and this is particularly true where the Co-operative Development Foundation is concerned.

With 479,500 members and $16.1 billion in assets, Vancity is Canada's largest credit union. Vancity is proud to be a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, an independent network of the world's leading sustainable banks sharing the commitment to achieving triple bottom-line impact through responsible banking practices. For Vancity, the triple bottom line means financial success, as well as environmental and social sustainability

The Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) is a registered charitable organization. It raises money, mostly from Canadian co-operatives and co-op members, to help alleviate poverty by building and strengthening financial and non-financial co-ops in developing countries. Working with the Canadian Co-operative Association and other partners, it helps poor communities fight poverty and create more secure lives through community-owned co-ops. 

For further information please contact:

Julie Breuer
Director, Fundraising & Operations
Co-operative Development Foundation
(613) 238-6711 ext 215