It's all about stories: ours and yours.


Once upon a time, there lived a credit union. It was a welcoming and generous credit union—one that loaned capital to people in need, helped its clients create savings plans, and taught customers the fundamentals of financial know-how. It was an organization that ran on love, and there was nothing it loved more than its community. After all, it was the community that created the credit union in the first place, and serving those people was at the heart of the credit union’s mission.

“Where should I volunteer?” It’s a common question, and one that, regrettably, sometimes gets in the way of taking action. While the vast majority of Americans believe volunteering to be an important activity, only about a quarter of us actually do it.

National Volunteer Week. From April 21st through 27th, we express our appreciation for the millions of Americans who achieve exceptional things through service by donating their time and passion to causes that matter. Let’s be honest: A week? That’s it?

Though they often don’t get enough credit for it, nonprofit employees are at the frontline of social innovation and social change. Nonprofit managers take on the job—or ten—of building a better future through community development, fundraising, outreach, marketing and publicity. Take Jessica Corcoran, Communications Director at Start Making a Reader Today (SMART).
Okay, I’ll admit it: We’re obsessed with credit unions. In terms of models for social good, it’s challenging to find a better example. Credit unions, as institutions owned by the people they serve, have a unique perspective and opportunity to enact change and growth in the lives of their constituents. Charitable businesses and nonprofits looking to make a real difference need look no further for inspiration.
Believe it or not, Valentine’s Day happened just one month ago. Whether your V-Day was one to remember (or one to forget), it already seems like a long time since we devoted a day to love, in all of its forms. That’s the problem with Valentine’s Day: It’s a day long, and how much love can you really stuff into a mere twenty-four hours? As you probably already know, we at CafeGive love love—so much so that we couldn’t relegate it to one day alone.
I’ve written before about starting a partnership between a nonprofit and a corporate entity, from the nonprofit perspective. This article examines the same process from the corporate point-of-view. Like nonprofit managers, many corporate PR staffers exercise great care in choosing a partner for their giving programs.
In terms of American history, the credit union is younger than the car. It may be hard to believe, but the first credit union in the United States opened for business just a little over a hundred years ago: St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association opened in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1908—fifteen years after Frank and Charles Duryea produced the first gas-powered automobile in the U.S., and a full 127 years after the earliest commercial bank was established in the United States.
For nonprofit managers, choosing a corporate partner can feel a lot like dating. There are the giddy first encounters. The preliminary Google searches. The awkward conversations over coffee. The nights spent waiting for emails or phone calls. The frustration. The solitude. The embarrassment. The feeling that everyone good is already taken. The feeling that it might just be time to give up. And, every now and then, the feeling that maybe, just maybe, this is the one.
Have you heard the one about the lawyers and the kickball tournament? Employee engagement is no joke. Engaged employees are more productive than their counterparts, and more likely to remain in their jobs. Across all sectors, employee engagement is among the top contributors to profitability and innovation. It’s simple, really: People who want to go to work do their work better.