Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan

Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan

March 23, 2006 13:22 ET

Credit Union Charitable Giving Nears $5 Million

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(CCNMatthews - March 23, 2006) - As their new slogan suggests, Saskatchewan credit unions are using their resources and network to help make dreams real for communities as well as individuals. In 2005, according to a recent survey, they contributed and raised $4.8 million for charitable causes. This total includes $3.2 million in direct sponsorships and donations - or 6% of pre-tax profits, a rate that far exceeds the benchmark of 1% set by the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy. An additional $1.6 million was contributed through in-kind gifts, scholarships, paid volunteer time, reduced service fees and fundraising initiatives.

The survey is conducted annually by Ipsos-Reid with credit unions across Canada to identify the types of community initiatives they are involved in and the amount of monetary support they provide for those initiatives. Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta completed the survey in January-February; credit unions in other provinces will be surveyed later this year. The Saskatchewan figures reflect the contributions of 85% of the province's credit unions.

"These survey results demonstrate that credit unions believe in building, as well as serving, their communities," says Keith Nixon, vice-president of democratic support for SaskCentral. "They provide monetary support to a wide range of projects, but they also roll up their sleeves and get involved."

Education, sports, economic development and health care causes were the top sponsorship and donation priorities in 2005. More than 6,000 community organizations also benefited by receiving financial services at reduced rates.

Volunteer contributions are part of the fabric of credit union life; many provide paid volunteer time so that their employees can have an immediate and direct impact on their communities. Last year, this amounted to nearly 12,000 hours of volunteer time.

Another important aspect of credit union giving is the support they provide to students. In 2005, they awarded 256 scholarships and bursaries throughout the province.

Most of the contributions credit unions reported in the survey are local, but they have a broad perspective when it comes to helping others. They have set aside special funding for causes that are provincial in scope and through this fund have made a three-year commitment to Saskatchewan Soccer Association and a ten-year commitment to the Credit Union EventPlex. They provide support for national and international causes through the Canadian Co-operative Association and Cooperative Development Foundation.

Saskatchewan Credit Unions
Donations & Sponsorships (2005)

Sports $ 330,056
Educational programs $ 298,748
Economic development $ 277,325
Health care causes $ 199,260
International development $ 178,155
Arts and culture $ 83,996
Seniors' causes $ 30,788
School and college facilities $ 21,846
Housing $ 21,400
Environmental causes $ 16,485
Disaster relief $ 3,000
Other $ 67,296

Total $3,213,665

A pie chart of the Donations and Sponsorships (2005) is available at:

Saskatchewan Credit Unions

Quick Facts (as of December 31, 2005 unless otherwise indicated)

- 88 Saskatchewan credit unions (as of Jan 1, 2006) serve 526,540 members through 330 service outlets.

- Credit unions serve 285 communities in Saskatchewan.

- In 158 communities, the credit union is the only financial institution providing service and a stabilizing economic force. Although the number of credit unions has decreased through amalgamations and alliances, the number of locations served by credit unions has remained about the same.

- Saskatchewan credit union assets reached $9.4 billion with revenue of over $398 million.

- Credit union lending amounts to $7.2 billion.

- Over 800 board members who are locally elected by the members of each credit union provide strategic direction to the professional management teams who run the day-to-day operations of the credit union.

- In 2005, Saskatchewan credit unions returned $20.4 million to their members in the form of patronage dividends and retained equity.

- Credit unions are a major contributor to Saskatchewan's economy, employing over 3,000 people.

All funds on deposit in Saskatchewan credit unions are fully guaranteed. This is possible because credit unions strictly adhere to standards of sound business practice ensuring their business remains strong.

There is a strong deposit guarantee regime in Saskatchewan. Credit unions are required to maintain retained earnings to offset unforeseen contingencies. Credit unions also contribute annually to a guarantee fund managed by the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation.

No depositor has ever lost funds deposited in a Saskatchewan credit union.

Contact Information

  • SaskCentral Communications
    Susan Khaladkar
    (306) 566-7474
    SaskCentral Communications
    Ian Monteith
    (306) 566-1525