History, Mission & Guiding Principles

Vancity Community Foundation & Vancity

With an initial contribution of $1M, Vancity Credit Union established Vancity Community Foundation in 1989 to further enrich community well-being by building directly on the values and guiding principles of the Credit Union.

In the same way Vancity members pool their deposits and savings to invest in each other and make positive impacts in the community, donations made to Vancity Community Foundation are pooled to make investments and to support non-profit organizations that create positive impact in community.

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 519,000 member-owners and their communities in the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka'wakw territories, with 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay.

As Canada's largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $19.8 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

Our Vision

Our vision is redefining wealth. We help communities thrive and prosper by using and leveraging financial tools, and providing direct support to community organizations in innovative ways, through an independent non-profit legal structure and donated contributions.

Our Mission

Our mission is to be a catalyst for community change.

Guiding Principles

Together Vancity and Vancity Community Foundation are uniquely positioned to play a leading role in helping to build communities that are resilient, ‘rich’, whole and healthy in truly transformative ways. Our guiding principles describe the key drivers of healthy communities.  Ensuring these principles are alive in our work means they will also be alive in members’ lives and in our community.

  • Cooperative principles and practices: flourishing in the community
    We believe cooperatives are rooted in economic democracy that can meet community and individual needs not met by markets and government. They bring people together freely and enable individuals to achieve goals that they could not achieve alone.
     

  • Social justice and financial inclusion: enhanced in our members’ communities
    We believe financial services are essential to everyday life.  People who have difficulties accessing and using financial services experience real disadvantages not only in terms of the monetary costs of financial exclusion but also in terms of feeling excluded from mainstream society.
     

  • Environmental sustainability: enhances our members’ lives and their communities
    Vancity is a recognized leader in this category—embedding environmental principles, objectives and strategies into its business operations, including services to members. This means that not only are we committed to being environmentally conscious in our operations, but in our leadership in the community including the advice we provide our members and our financial support for organizations active in developing technology and services directed at improving the environmental efficiency of our communities or developing new energy offerings to meet growing demand while protecting our planet.

Our guiding principles provide the lens with which we lean into the community and deepen our relationships in order to uncover new opportunities to redefine wealth and innovate for impact by responding to unmet and emerging market needs.

Living Wage Employer

Vancity (and Vancity Community Foundation) is a living wage employer. Paying a living wage allows individuals and families to meet their basic needs and contribute to their communities. A living wage means strong local economies, sustainable cities and healthy communities. To learn more, visit the Living Wage for Families Campaign.