iQ donations for kids up 10 percent

Vancouver-based iQ Credit Union is on track to give nonprofits at least $277,000 through the iQ for Kids Foundation this year.

The foundation’s fundraising already is up 10 percent from the end of 2007, benefitting 14 nonprofits and Portland-based Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, which will benefit from a gift of $256,000 this year. The credit union has supported the children’s hospital since the late 1980s.

The foundation also supports five Clark County events and several local school districts, and awards scholarships to high school graduates and teachers.

“We were started by teachers so we’re very involved with supporting them,” said Danette LaChapelle, the credit union’s senior vice president of marketing.

The credit union was founded in 1940 as Vancouver Teachers Credit Union. Its foundation developed in 2005 and focuses on local schools and children’s programs, particularly those where iQ employees are leaders.

“Staff feel good about that,” LaChapelle said. “They understand what they’re raising money for and they can feel good about what they’re giving to.”

The foundation is a 501(c)3 independent of the credit union, but much of its funding comes from donations by iQ’s 197 employees. They contribute by paying about $10 per month to dress down on Fridays or selling items such as entertainment coupon books.

Outside the foundation, iQ established its Campus Branch program. Students at five Clark County high schools and the Clark County Skills Center can apply for branch positions and earn school credit while learning business skills. They receive summer training and run the branches during lunch breaks with teachers.

“It’s a live branch with real money and real accounts,” LaChapelle said. “They’re learning business skills they can take with them no matter what they do.”

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