Author Archives: impact

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 under-served people and communities.

Alternatives Community Programs & 2013 Impact

  • Business CENTS (Community Enterprise Networking and Training Services)resource center offering “Getting Down to Business” course, workshops, consultation, networking - 331 participants, including 229 women and 80 self-identified minorities. 
  • The Free Tax Preparation Program (VITA):  free service where volunteers help eligible tax filers receive their maximum available tax credit - 1833 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, microenterprise or higher education.
  • MoneyWise: 7-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-age children and youth in Tompkins County - 561 students saving weekly in 11 Tompkins County schools (public, private, home school) served by 74 volunteers.

Belle Sherman Elementary School Students

On a Tuesday afternoon, students in the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s directed SIFE (Students with Interrupted Formal Education) program at Belle Sherman Elementary can be found hard at work learning about money and getting hands-on banking experience depositing money into their Alternatives Impact Student Credit Union accounts. The students, Burmese refugees, range from 2nd to 5th [...]

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The Nutritional Wellness Center

The Nutritional Wellness Center is celebrating its eighth year in business. We started on the right foot in 2006 by attending the Business CENTS program and by receiving a business loan. So far we have helped over 1,000 people on their journey to optimal health. Our mission is to help as many people as humanly [...]

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Elliot Martin, Jed Ashton, Lee Hamilton – NorthStar House

At NorthStar House, we use as many local, organic vegetables and meats as we can, so you have our word that we will do all we can to help the community grow in the healthiest way possible. Naturally we bank at Alternatives, not only because they share our goals of community development, but they also [...]

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Joe Nolan – Home Green Home

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 program helped me to understand and develop the elements of a business plan, and set me on the path to taking the big leap.

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Ariana Blossom – Blossom Success Coaching

I was attracted to Alternatives’ educational programs MoneyWise and Business CENTS. I knew I needed to learn more about finances to successfully run a business. I applied for the business IDA (Individual Development Account) – this coupled with the guest lecturers were of great use to my business education. I am now a Professional Success [...]

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