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Evaluating CSR in a Major Credit Union The opportunity To assess the value of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by a major financial corporative, Alterna.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluating CSR in a Major Credit Union The opportunity To assess the value of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by a major financial corporative, Alterna."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluating CSR in a Major Credit Union The opportunity To assess the value of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by a major financial corporative, Alterna Savings Community Loan Funds, Ontario, Canada Evaluating agency: Carleton University Center for Community Carleton University Innovation Applying a mix of methods and tools at multiple levels: Logic model Blended value assessment tools (expanded value added statement Social return on investments Interviews and focus groups Internet-based surveys Financial performance analysis. Source: Center for Community Innovation Carleton University, Alterna Savings, Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships

2 Corporate Engagement with CED: strategies and benefits Corporation Human Resources Procurement Community investment Intermediary Due Diligence Monitoring Syndication Volunteers Grants Access to facilities Procurements Loans CED Organization Revenue Skills Technologie s Markets Social solutions Healthier Economics Stronger leaders Benefits to Credit Union members Reputational Gains: Government relations- Brand Difference - customer loyalty- employee recruitment/retention- savings -procurement-a social license to operate Loans

3 For policy makers Understanding how to lever the assets of a financial institution to create businesses and jobs, build skills and reduce poverty among vulnerable populations Learning how to measure what matters in micro lending and the social economy Demonstrating to key stakeholders the value of leading-edge CSR practice by a major credit union in the context of a recession Mobilizing the appropriate tools to evaluate results of micro-lending to vulnerable populations Extend Alternate Savings commitment to local social economy For Alterna Savings Credit unionCommunity Loan Funds

4 About Alterna Savings Community Loans Funds (2009) Created April 1, 2005, from merger of CS Co-op and Metro Credit union Ontario based, regional offices are in Toronto and Ottawa 24 Branches 81 proprietary ABMs 129, 000 members Owns Altrna Bank, a schedule 1 charter bank Locally owned and controlled members Serve anyone who lives or works in the province of Ontario Democratic governance structure-any member can run for the Board of Directors Approax. 85% of funds deposited are retuned to the community in the form of loans and mortgages to members-money stays local

5 Alterna Savings Community Loans Funds CSR Pillars Community Economic development with social economic mission and vision Accountability to CSR Philanthropic activities for the local communities Provide financial literacy to its clients Commitment to environmental development Promote local living economics Support local social economy Facilitating networking among clients Refer clients to community resources where needed

6 CSR Evaluation Strategy Logic Model Survey Ethics Application Interviews Report on Impacts on Borrowers Focus Groups EVAS Analysis of Corporate Benefits Policy Dialogue Session

7 CSR Logic Model Program Component InputsActivitiesOutputsIntermediate outcomes Final Impact outcomes Small Business Development Loans Alterna’s capital (Credit Union) members’ shares) 1 Full- time CM loan officer Provision of small loans (max $15,000) upon approval of loan requests presented by interested applicants Loans distributed to qualified applicants in a timely fashion (e.g. within a few weeks from the applicants’ Start-up or expansion of small businesses (including purchase of productive assets, workspace rental, e- commerce development Micro Level Borrowers Messo Level (corporate) Macro-level (policy) Free financial literacy programs and professional development opportunities Volunteer work by both Alterna staff and recognized local business professionals/ instructors Business financial literacy programs offered to both members and prospective applicants – Members display table and information Board at the Alterna branches Networking Cafe-conducted as planned -Presentations made by Alterna CSR officers at local business development centers and training colleges Members enhanced understanding and adoption of effective business pratices (e.g. business plan development, accounting, marketing, development of partnership among borrowers indifferent fields.

8 The three levels ofCSR Different levelsFinal outcomesImpact Micro-level (borrowers) Promoting self-employment and entrepreneurship among vulnerable population groups in Toronto Increas e applicant’s annual income Contribute to the health and success of the local economy Enhance individual and household’s well- being (housing, nutrition, health) Messo-level (corporate) Increased reputation within the community Enhanced Alterna’s brand differentiation Increased customers loyalty Increased free media coverage and growth in membership Development of new products and services for the most marginalize and vulnarable population groups (e.g. Canadians with poor credit history) Consolidation of Altern’s membership base (through referral and opening of personal accounts (line of A/C) Macro-level (polocy) Foster the creation of new jobs (e.g. micro loan borrowers hiring employees to run their businesses Increasing borrower’s productivity and personal assets Encourage borrowers’ self- sufficiency Reduction in the local unemployment rate Increase in the borrowers’ payment of federal and provincial income taxes Drop in the number of borrowers relying on government assistance.

9 Strategies, issues and insights Investing more heavily in the evaluation of microloan program generates detailed client-success data, which has both social and commercial value What is he link between results for microloan borrowers and the credit-union’s overall business performance? Which indicators and levels of the evaluation,matter most to which stakeholders, and what type of evidence is most credible and for each stakeholder group? What is the optimum allocation of time and money across various evaluation components and activities? What is the most effective way to convert these evaluation findings into persuasive lesions for policy-makers?

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