Al­liance Credit Union giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity

The Mercury News Weekend - - CONSUMER GUIDE - By Andy Cof­faro COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Find­ing a trust­wor­thy fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion can be a tricky en­deavor some­times — es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing there are some that don’t al­ways have your best in­ter­ests in mind. Some in­sti­tu­tions care more about the board mem­bers they re­port to than their mem­bers, but that’s not the case at Al­liance Credit Union in San Jose.

“All the things we do here re­volve around peo­ple, be it our mem­bers, em­ploy­ees and lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties,” said Brian Dorcy, pres­i­dent and CEO. “Pro­vid­ing com­pre­hen­sive fi­nan­cial ad­vice, a wel­com­ing and in­clu­sive at­mos­phere, and con­tin­u­ously giv­ing back to char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions are just a few of the prin­ci­ples that have be­come our mantra.”

With that in mind, here are seven prin­ci­ples Al­liance Credit Union lives by to pro­vide its cus­tomers with the best fi­nan­cial ser­vices pos­si­ble.

1. Vol­un­tary and open own­er­ship

One of the many ways in which the credit union works to pro­vide a com­fort­able and nur­tur­ing cli­mate is by open­ing its doors to all pa­trons with­out dis­crim­i­na­tion of any kind.

Mem­bers are wel­come to shop on the web­site, visit us for an in-per­son chat and join the co-op when it’s most con­ve­nient for them, with zero has­sle.

2. Demo­cratic owner con­trol

Un­like tra­di­tional banks that re­port to ex­ter­nal share­hold­ers, com­mu­nity mem­bers just like you help steer the Al­liance Credit Union ship. Ev­ery mem­ber (or owner as the credit union likes to say) has an equal say and can feel con­fi­dent their voice is heard. 3. Owner eco­nomic par­tic­i­pa­tion

Mem­bers con­trib­ute equally — and demo­crat­i­cally con­trol — the cap­i­tal of Al­liance Credit Union. This gives mem­bers power they oth­er­wise wouldn’t be able to en­joy at other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions. Thus, all the eco­nomic ad­van­tages of the co- op come back full cir­cle to the mem­ber as they are rein­vested into the credit union or are used to pro­vide ser­vices and de­velop new prod­ucts to of­fer an even bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence. Th­ese ex­pe­ri­ences in­clude lower loan rates, higher sav­ings yields and fewer fees.

4. Au­ton­omy and in­de­pen­dence

We be­lieve in pro­vid­ing as much au­ton­omy as pos­si­ble to fur­ther en­sure that the needs of our mem­bers are con­tin­u­ously met and ex­ceeded. This in­cludes mak­ing sure our co­op­er­a­tive re­mains a co-op and doesn’t get dis­tracted by share­holder de­mands as other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions do.

5. Ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing and in­for­ma­tion

Along with pro­vid­ing ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­ri­als on the ben­e­fits of be­long­ing to a credit union, we also have in­dus­try lead­ers ready to speak with you about your unique fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion.

Are you look­ing to buy your first home? What about a brand new au­to­mo­bile? Are you try­ing to de­ter­mine the best way to pay col­lege tu­ition?

Th­ese ques­tions and countless oth­ers are ad­dressed by ex­perts equally as in­vested in your fi­nan­cial suc­cess. By giv­ing you as much back­ground and in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble, you’re em­pow­ered to make the best fi­nan­cial de­ci­sions pos­si­ble. 6. Co­op­er­a­tion among co­op­er­a­tives

Al­liance Credit Union be­lieves we best serve mem­bers and strengthen the co­op­er­a­tive move­ment by work­ing closely with lo­cal, re­gional and na­tional struc­tures.

7. Com­mu­nity ded­i­ca­tion

Giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity is just as im­por­tant as ful­fill­ing the fi­nan­cial needs of ev­ery mem­ber.

Just a few re­cent ex­am­ples in­clude act­ing as the pri­mary spon­sor for the Bill Wil­son Cen­ter’s an­nual fundrais­ing lun­cheon to sup­port their pro­grams for fos­ter chil­dren cop­ing with home­less­ness. The com­pany also spon­sored an event with Teen Cen­ter to pro­vide teen mothers with Mu­sic in the Park tick­ets they oth­er­wise wouldn’t have had ac­cess to.

We also have a close-knit net­work of ad­di­tional non­prof­its that ad­dress the is­sue of home­less­ness. When Teen Cen­ter reached out for re­sources when an emer­gency arose that left a teen mom with­out hous­ing, Al­liance was able to re­fer them to our part­ners at Des­ti­na­tion: Home for as­sis­tance.

Ad­di­tional char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tions the credit union part­ners with in­cludes MyPath, YMCA, San Jose Down­town As­so­ci­a­tion, Sil­i­con Val­ley Chil­dren’s Fund, Big Brothers Big Sis­ters and dozens more.

Th­ese seven prin­ci­ples will con­tinue to drive suc­cess at Al­liance Credit Union well into the fu­ture. Whether we’re pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial know-how for life’s most sig­nif­i­cant de­ci­sions or help­ing to raise funds for home­less­ness, th­ese seven prin­ci­ples are the back­bone for mem­ber, em­ployee and com­mu­nity pros­per­ity.

The Curt­ner Av­enue branch of Al­liance Credit Union is one of sev­eral in Santa Clara County.

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