Local change: giving back made easy

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    Would you like to enjoy the warm, fluffy feeling of supporting our front range community? It only takes a few minutes to have a lasting, positive impact on our local youth, nonprofits, and emergency relief initiatives – that’s encouraging.

    Several years ago, the Elevations Foundation and Elevations Credit Union launched the Local Change program to allow the credit union’s debit card users to round up their purchases and donate to worthy causes in Colorado. If you haven’t heard of this popular program, here’s the inside story from the foundation’s executive director, Eric Lentz.

    What is the Elevations Foundation?

    “We’re a vibrant, young, growing not-for-profit foundation with a mission to create opportunities for a better community,” explains Eric of the organization founded in 2010 and rated 501 (c) 3 not for profit, a separate entity from Elevations Credit Union works with the credit union and its members and employees.

    Reflecting the values ​​of the credit union, the foundation has contributed nearly $ 3 million to community programs and assistance over the past 11 years. Of that money, $ 500,000 was distributed in the form of scholarships to high school graduates from the area who dreamed of entering higher education.

    “It changes the narrative for so many children, frankly. College is a financial hurdle. A cultural challenge for some. We want to make this transition easier – that’s why we award the scholarships. That’s why we have our scholarship program, ”says Eric.

    Another $ 500,000 has fueled community grants for local nonprofits. And when it comes to local disaster relief, the Elevations Foundation has contributed nearly $ 1.7 million.

    What is local change?

    One way for Elevations Credit Union members to support the Elevations Foundation’s initiatives is to participate in Local Change, a simple donation process linked to their Elevations Credit Union debit card. Each time the card is purchased, the total amount spent is rounded up to the nearest full dollar and the excess is passed on to the foundation’s programs. In this way, your extra change supports local change within our community.

    “It’s an easy way for members with debit cards to support the foundation without really thinking about it,” notes Eric. “The pennies that come up from your purchases all go to great causes in the community – our scholarships and our scholarship programs.”

    How can I become part of Local Change?

    Getting started with the program is easy. Any member of Elevations Credit Union with a debit card (including our Forever Buffs members who are fans of the University of Colorado) can sign up using either a simple online form or by chatting with a cashier in one of our branches.

    As soon as a member is enrolled in Local Change, the program runs automatically behind the scenes. No need to tell the cashier when checking out at a local store or making online purchases. Elevations Credit Union will automatically transfer the change to the Elevations Foundation, and you can feel confident that you are helping the community in an affordable, high-impact way.

    How does our community benefit from local change?

    In addition to the scholarship program and disaster relief, the Local Change program is currently focused on funding local organizations that serve the mental health needs of our community, early childhood development, and those promoting environmental education and sustainability.

    Especially for 2021, the foundation supports several organizations in these three core areas, including the Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County, the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition and the Cottonwood Institute from Denver.

    “I love the fact that almost 12 years ago the credit union had the foresight to create a separate 501 (c) 3 that philanthropy could actively fill within our membership base, community, and with credit union staff,” comments Eric. “We can turn these philanthropic dollars over and do a good job in the community.”

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