There are seven cooperative principles that help define what a co-op is and how it operates. By adhering to these principles, credit unions share a common ground with co-ops that serve industries such as grocers, utilities, and even retail. The seventh cooperative principle is “Concern for Community,” which credit unions manifest in many ways. From rehabilitation loans that drive home sales in blighted communities to donating to charitable causes that matter in their community, credit unions across the country build caring for others into their day-to-day operations.
Credit unions play their role, but a new movement is now underway that aims to entice all Americans to think about others for one day this holiday season: Giving Tuesday. The ultimate goal of this new movement is to turn consumers away from those holiday cyber specials — AP estimates 247 million shoppers spent on average $423 this past holiday weekend with total spending topping $59 billion — and instead spend a little of their cash on those in need. The movement is the brainchild of the 92nd Street Y in New York and the United Nations Foundation.
So far, more than 2,100 charities have signed on to the movement. Throughout this extra-long holiday season — which stretches across 32 days and five weekends — the charities will report back to the organizers on how much money they raise and what volunteers contribute as well as other data that will help define the success of Giving Tuesday.
The effort coincides with recent data from TruStage, an arm of CUNA Mutual Group, that indicates three-quarters of credit union members intend to donate at the same level or higher for 2012. Credit unions across the country are ramping up their holiday giving efforts as well according to my colleague Aaron Pugh in yesterday's Off the CUff post.
Heifer International created the following infographic in support of Giving Tuesday.