Advantis Credit Union tapped into the power of social media to help them determine which charitable projects would receive a grant from the Advantis GROW Community Fund in 2012. In just three weeks, more than 66,000 public votes were cast via Advantis’ Facebook page and website to prioritize its $50,000 Advantis GROW Community Fund The public was invited to vote and comment on 12 proposed projects that promise long term benefits in the community. Public support helped Advantis determine the following grants:
- Clackamas Woman’s Services receives $10,000 to furnish a new shelter annex to house 100 additional women and children escaping abuse
- Potluck in the Park receives $9,597 to purchase equipment needed to serve hot meals to those in need on Sundays – when other area food stations are closed
- Friends of the Children – Portland receives $8,500 to purchase computers to deliver educational services to over 80 at-risk children
- Portland Rescue Mission receives $8,500 to update shower facilities for more than 2,400 homeless individuals at the Burnside shelter
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia NW receives $6,000 to purchase new computers to better serve at-risk youth with stronger mentorships
- Community Energy Project receives $3,995 to purchase home energy diagnostic tools to determine solutions for low-income and disabled homeowners
- The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank receives $3,460 to purchase equipment for pet food distribution to thousands of low income pet owners;
“We used social media to help us get the word out about our largest charitable event of the year, and the public outreach helped 12 non-profit organizations create awareness and support for the important services they provide“,” said Wendy Edwards, Advantis Vice President of Marketing & Human Resources. “The public vote helps us understand the priorities of the broader community, and we want to fund those projects that people who live here value most.”
“Thank you for creating something where our vote means so much! It feels really good to have your vote matter. Thank you (Advantis) for your amazing donations and generosity,” said Randy Keeling, an Advantis fan, in a comment on Facebook.
The credit union launched the second annual Advantis GROW Community Fund to help small- and moderate-sized non-profits with grants of up to $10,000 for specific one-time capital expenses and asked the public to weigh-in on a list of semi-finalists. Funding priorities were given to underprivileged or at risk youth, community enhancement, education, and the arts.
No stranger to community service, Advantis has been recognized as one of the top 10 small companies in Oregon for supporting charitable projects in the community. To date, Advantis has contributed $417,500 (not including the 2012 GROW Fund) and over 1,180 volunteer hours to charitable causes since 2009.
Advantis Credit Union, with over $928 million in assets, is one of Oregon’s largest member-owned not-for-profit, financial cooperatives with over 48,000 members and five branches in the Portland metro area. Advantis is one of the oldest credit unions in Oregon, serving the Portland metro area for over 83 years. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works or is a member of an organization in Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Lane, Linn, and Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, or Yamhill counties in Oregon and anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in the state of Washington.