Kindred Credit Union: A History of Making Peace with Your Money for 60 Years - Part Three

3 minute read
Kindred Credit Union Waterloo Branch and Staff

As we mark the 60th anniversary of our credit union, it’s strange to think that 1964 was that long ago! When we look back, 2016 was an important year that marked the largest change in the credit union’s history: a new name. In the past eight years we’ve emphasized how people have a better choice for banking - Banking with Purpose.

We’re still Banking with Purpose in 2024 and, as our marketplace has changed, we have adapted and we continue to adapt, with our foundation remaining strong.

Kindred Credit Union
The decision to change our credit union’s name was the culmination of a year-long collaborative process.

Adopting the name Kindred Credit Union was about the desire to be more expressly invitational to a broader audience and fulfill the credit union’s purpose. It was an affirmation of our purpose and our desire to build a vibrant credit union for future generations offering cooperative banking that connects values and faith with finances, inspiring peaceful, just, and prosperous communities. The credit union could extend a welcoming and open hand to new members - ones who were looking for a unique and compelling way to connect their values and faith with their finances.

Being “Kindred” is a reminder that our founders purposefully chose the credit union model to provide services that brought together those who could serve and those who were underserved. It means supporting each other in community to achieve mutual wellbeing – something that so accurately reflects our founders’ original vision. After all, ‘kindred’ means those of a similar nature or shared purpose.

At a Special General Meeting on February 29, 2016, the credit union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new name.

Brent Zorgdrager, the CEO at the time, said: “This decision by our members will allow us to sustain a vibrant credit union for generations to come. Kindred Credit Union is a name that is relevant to our current members and… is also attractive and welcoming to potential members.” Changing our name to Kindred allows us to reach a broader audience, thereby growing our community impact, and further fulfilling our purpose.

That same year, Kindred was B Corp certified, and in 2017, reached $1 billion in assets while joining B Lab’s 2017 “Best for the World” list – which was repeated in 2018! That same year, Kindred achieved the platinum level on the Aon Best Small and Medium Employers in Canada list. By 2019, we were invited to join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) , a global network of values-based banks and credit unions using finance to deliver sustainable economic, social, and environmental development.

We continue to be B Corp Certified, part of the GABV alliance, and a Living Wage employer. As of 2024, we have over 28,000 members – Mennonite, Amish, Brethren in Christ, individuals from other denominations and faith groups -- and Ontarians who share our values and purpose.

As of our 2023 Annual Report, Kindred’s assets are over $2.2 billion, with 250 employees across eight branches and Head Office. The Kindred Charitable Fund has approved and more than $1.57 million in grants since 2001 and our Community Inspiration GIC has provided bonus interest (donations) to congregations and charities totalling over $940,000 since 1998. Including other charitable giving, in total, we’ve provided just shy of $4.2 million since 2001.

It’s not all about the numbers to us, though. We’re a business driven by our shared values that acts to build a better world through cooperation with other likeminded individuals and businesses. We believe financial decisions are not values-neutral; they can impact the world in amazing, positive ways. We believe in a better choice for banking—a place where your money can be a force for good. And that’s why in 2024 and beyond we’re looking forward to helping you Make Peace with Your Money.

When you Make Peace with Your Money, you also have peace of mind. It’s the contentment that comes with being a good steward of the money, time, and other resources that have been entrusted to you. It’s the comfort that comes from having a plan for how you give, live, and grow your money.

It’s also the confidence of knowing that your money is entrusted with a financial cooperative that shares your values and supports the common economic and social needs of its members. It’s the harmony you feel when you connect your values and faith with finances and the satisfaction of knowing that through cooperative banking, you are helping to inspire peaceful, just, and prosperous communities.

Keep up to date with more blogs about Kindred Credit Union as we unveil more content about our roots, founders, and branches by subscribing or following us on social media. We’re excited to share our history, purpose, and products and services with you.

Kindred Credit Union

At Kindred, we believe you have a better choice for banking. We believe values and faith are central to life, and financial decisions are not values-neutral. In fact, we think financial decisions can impact the world in amazing ways—so our values are integrated into everything we do. We call this Banking with Purpose.

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