Alternatives Impact is the 501(c)3 affiliate of Alternatives Federal Credit Union. We raise funds to support community programs and a shared mission: To build wealth and create economic opportunity for underserved people and communities. Previously, these programs were primarily supported by federal and state grants, which are dwindling or disappearing.
To meet the growing demand for these programs in Tompkins County, New York, we actively seek support from individuals, corporate and family foundations, businesses, and government agencies.
The Free Tax Preparation Program (VITA): free service where volunteers help eligible tax filers receive their maximum available tax credit. 1,833 tax filers served by 61 volunteers; $3.8 million returned to Tompkins County.
Individual Development Accounts (IDAs): matched savings accounts and financial education that help people build assets (higher education, first home, small business). 90 new accounts open; 40 accounts closed to purchase first home, for microenterprise, or for higher education.
MoneyWise: Seven-week course provides adults with tools to confront and conquer personal financial challenges. Four sessions held, 77 MoneyWise graduates.
Student Credit Union: financial education and savings program for school-aged children and youth in Tompkins County.
561 students saving weekly in 11 Tompkins County schools (public, private, home school) served by 74 volunteers.
The Bill Myers Internship: opportunity for one high school student, selected each year, to gain hands-on work experience at Alternatives Federal Credit Union.
My family's credit union has been Alternatives since '96; We liked the mission, and who could resist banking in a converted house? In 2005 I started thinking about a retail start-up called "Home Green Home" that would sell healthy and eco-conscious home furnishings and renovation supplies. The Business CENTS class helped me to understand and develop the elements of a business plan, and set me on the path to taking the big leap.
At every stage, I've felt well supported by Alternatives' friendly staff. From one-on-one consultation to business banking and credit needs, I've received quick, helpful service at Alternatives. We always look to partner with organizations that share our values, and Alternatives fits the bill.
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