Foundation formed, as staff-led initiative, to serve the community more efficiently
Latham>> To ensure that they have a voice in Sunmark Federal Credit Union’s charitable efforts and in an effort to create a more formal structure for year-round community giving, staff members have come together to form the Sunmark Charitable Community Foundation.
The Sunmark Charitable Community Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit partner to Sunmark Federal Credit Union that will be led by a Board of Directors made up of staff and former staff members, will seek to embody the credit union philosophy of ‘People Helping People’ and help various communities, support financial education and improve the quality of life for those in need.
“’People helping people’ is what credit unions are all about,” said Sunmark Interim CEO Frank DeGraw. “Sunmark has always been about stepping up and helping out, whether it is a co-worker, a neighbor, or the local community project. The Foundation is the next evolution of taking these projects that are near and dear to our staff members’ hearts and finding ways to use our collective resources to lend a hand.”
Sunmark Federal Credit Union has grown from a small credit union for the Schenectady GE Turbine Department in 1937 to the third largest credit union in the Capital Region, serving 48,000+ members at branches located throughout the area. Throughout the years, the staff members at Sunmark have built a robust program of volunteer efforts including participating at community events and walks, volunteering at local food pantries, teaching in area schools through Junior Achievement and collecting toys and gifts for Adopt-A-Family programs during the holidays.
As the community needs have changed, so has Sunmark’s charitable response.
“Previously, our charitable giving had no formal structure,” said Bryan Delehanty, Sunmark senior vice president. “The Foundation will allow us to spread the wealth and afford us opportunities to do more in our communities. We have some amazing staff members that have been volunteering for the same organizations for years. Our hope is that another aspect of the Foundation will be as a way to educate the community, but more importantly, tell other staff members about these special relationships and encourage new volunteers and support.”
In previous years, Sunmark designated a recipient for the proceeds of their annual golf tournament for a specific cause or community organization. The golf tournament has raised significant donations in recent years for diverse organizations including the Arthritis Foundation NENY Chapter, the Fisher House at Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany and Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital in Schenectady.
The proceeds from Sunmark’s 2015 Golf Classic, which will be held on at Shaker Ridge Country Club in Loudonville, will serve as the seed money for the Foundation. “Our goal is to raise $35,000 and then turn around and give it all away,” said Delehanty.
The Sunmark Foundation supports local, nonprofit organizations in the Capital Region by providing financial contributions, in-kind services, and volunteer support. Giving requests will be assessed at monthly meetings of the Foundation’s Board. Grant recipients are not required to be members of Sunmark but are required to be located within Sunmark’s six-county footprint (Albany, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Schoharie).
Request for Funds and Charitable Giving Guidelines are available on Sunmark’s website at https://www.sunmarkfcu.org/
About Sunmark Federal Credit Union:
Since 1937, Sunmark Federal Credit Union ($470 million in assets; 48,000+ members) has been helping members in the greater Capital Region community improve their financial position by offering a full range of mortgages, insurance products, retirement accounts and of course, savings and checking.
Sunmark is committed to the financial health and well-being of each member by offering tools that educate and inform and products and services that make it easier to reach financial goals such as planning a budget, saving for a home, repairing credit or getting out of debt.