As a mission-based cooperative lender, CoBank believes in giving back to the communities where our customers and associates live and work. In 2018, the bank made a total of $8.8 million in charitable contributions through our diverse corporate giving programs.
Sharing Success Program
Every year, CoBank partners with its customers to help build vibrant rural communities through its signature Sharing Success program. In the eight years since Sharing Success was established, CoBank and its customers have together contributed more than $36 million to charitable organizations across the country.
In 2019, the bank announced a significant enhancement to the program, increasing the annual fund to $4 million and raising the maximum match per customer to $7,500.
Support for Community Organizations
CoBank has established strong, ongoing partnerships with several nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping those in need. One of these key partners is United Way, a charitable organization that supports education, health and financial stability. Through the bank’s workplace giving program, employees can designate a portion of each paycheck to the United Way.
In 2018, these contributions totaled nearly $280,000 and were supplemented by additional corporate donations to local chapters. Other strategic charitable partners include Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Food Bank of the Rockies and No Barriers USA. The bank backs these organizations with significant contributions and many receive additional support in the form of board service by CoBank executives and employee volunteerism.
Board and Associate-Directed Giving
Every year, each member of the CoBank board of directors is able to designate $25,000 in contributions from the bank to the nonprofit organizations of their choice. In addition, each CoBank associate may direct a $500 charitable contribution annually and is allowed a paid day off from work to volunteer in his or her community. In 2018, donations made by CoBank through its board- and associate-directed giving programs totaled nearly $1 million.
Volunteer Service Award Program
Through its Volunteer Service Award program, CoBank honors employees who are making a difference by contributing their time and expertise to improve the quality of life in their communities. Winners are selected annually by a committee of peers and are able to direct a $5,000 contribution from the bank to the charities they support.
Each year, CoBank considers special, onetime contributions as a result of requests from customers and other stakeholders or in response to external events. One of the many organizations the bank supported in 2018 is Farm Rescue, a nonprofit organization that helps farm families who are experiencing a major injury, illness or natural disaster. Through the financial support of donors like CoBank, Farm Rescue has helped hundreds of farm and ranch families in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. By providing assistance with planting, haying and harvesting, Farm Rescue allows farm families in crisis to continue viable operations so they can preserve their livelihoods and their legacy.