Engaging Our Community

Inspiring peaceful, just, and prosperous communities.

As we work to inspire peaceful, just, and prosperous communities, Kindred partners with organizations, faith communities, credit unions, local businesses, members and the list goes on! We connect our people, networks, financial resources, physical space and products and services with community partners to further impact on important themes. 

From transformative initiatives like the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement at Conrad Grebel University College to supporting individual members in times of crisis, our approach responds to the many communities we are a part of through genuine relationships and a spirit of partnership. When you join Kindred, you become part of a vibrant network that connects local movements to global change.

See Kindred’s Community Inspiration Framework come to life!

Maya Morton Ninomiya’s artwork captures a conversation between Ben Janzen and Amy Zavitz from Kindred’s Values Integration team, as they share their thoughts about the framework—a living guide for how we make this work tangible in the communities we serve.

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How Kindred engages with the community.

Kindred’s unique approach to incorporating values into our everyday banking, investing, and lending services, as well as our operations, is designed to empower members in their financial lives and beyond. From access and inclusion to literacy and capability building, we strive to build programs, products, and services that allow community members to better navigate the complexities of our Canadian financial system.

From farms to food banks, community gardens to grocery distributors, the food systems in our communities are key to our health and well-being. We engage with many different partners to improve access to healthy food and contribute to the development of a sustainable food system.

As the effects of climate change impact all our communities, Kindred works to understand the impacts of our operations and take meaningful actions that support the economic, social, and environmental changes needed to transition to a more sustainable economy. 

Kindred builds strong partnerships to advance the availability of affordable housing in our communities. From homelessness and rent affordability for those on fixed incomes, to the need to provide adequate homes for newcomers, Kindred recognizes affordable housing as an urgent need where we can have an impact. 

As a financial cooperative, we go beyond financial transactions to find meaningful engagement with our financial peers, faith groups, and community partners on a range of interconnected themes that affect us all. 

The Ways We Work

Kindred builds relationships with community organizations through sponsorships, volunteering, and gifts-in-kind. We believe that our communities benefit from this support and that our actions inspire our staff and members to live out their values in visible ways. Our partnerships and people, our giving and programs, combine to create a unique approach that inspires peaceful, just, and prosperous communities.

Charitable Giving and Volunteering

Kindred Charitable Fund

The Kindred Charitable Fund has distributed $1.3 million in support of churches and charitable organizations since its inception in 1999. A total of 163 groups have benefited from these grants, which have impacted people and communities across Ontario. Applications for the Kindred Charitable Fund are accepted every year between September 1 and October 31.

Employee Volunteer Program

Giving back to our communities is ingrained in what we do. So much so that Kindred gives each staff person one full volunteer day each year to donate their time to the charity of their choice. Staff members have volunteered at numerous organizations including: KW Counselling Services, Terroir Symposium, Habitat for Humanity, Ontario Mennonite Relief Sale, Ray of Hope, and KW Pregnancy Centre.

Sponsorships and Grants

Kindred supports a range of local events and programs related to our themes each year. Sponsorships and grants for these initiatives typically range from $250 to $2,000. We invite connections to our branch and head office teams to learn more and explore partnership opportunities.

Microfinancing in Developing Economies

Kindred maintains a partnership with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) through a $600,000 invested loan in MEDA Risk Capital Fund. The objective of the fund is to support MEDA’s mission by investing in promising companies and private equity funds, which benefit poor communities while having a high likelihood of financial success. The fund, managed by Sarona Asset Management, has several investments in microfinance institutions and strategically supports the economic, environmental and governance development of communities in emerging and developing countries.

Community Programs

Each One, Teach One

Each One, Teach One (EOTO) is an innovative financial literacy program that trains employees of financial institutions to deliver basic financial skills workshops in community settings. Delivered in plain language in schools, church basements, neighbourhood houses, and community centres, the approach of Each One, Teach One is to meet individuals where they are, when they seek training. Topics include basic banking, budgeting, and understanding the credit bureau. 

Peace Innovators Scholarship & Mentoring Program

The Peace Innovators Scholarship & Mentoring Program equips young leaders with skills to tackle a problem they're passionate about in the community. They're given the chance to network with other leaders in high schools across Ontario, and by the end of one year, launch an event or campaign to address their cause. This program is provided through a partnership between Kindred, Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement, and The Ripple Effect Education (TREE). A new cohort starts each year; and applications are accepted in the spring. Learn more about the Peace Innovators Scholarship & Mentoring Program.

How do we measure our progress?

We’re committed to being transparent to our members and community. Our annual reports offer detailed financial results, as well as information on how Kindred puts a ‘real economy’ lens on our financial activity. Kindred is a Certified B Corporation, which means we’re part of a global community striving to create shared prosperity for all. As a B Corp, we maintain and prove adherence to rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency, and these standards are an important part of who we are and what we stand for. Kindred is a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, a Living Wage Champion and we participate in many other beneficial alliances, networks, and associations that work to move our purpose further. From socially responsible investing to values-based banking, Kindred is Banking with Purpose.

Donate to the Kindred Charitable Fund

You’re invited to make tax-deductible donations to the Kindred Charitable Fund. Making a donation is a great way to support your local churches and charities. Donations can be made by cheque, cash, or account transfer. Please make cheques payable to Abundance Canada and designate to the Kindred Charitable Fund. Tax receipts will be issued by Abundance Canada for the full amount of the donation. To make a donation, please contact us.

​Get Involved!​

 If you would like to find out more about how to get involved in our community programs, are interested in becoming a community partner, or would like to make a donation, please contact us.