CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, Thursday announced the creation of a $3 million charitable fund designed to benefit cooperatives and charitable groups they support throughout rural America.
Under the bank's new "Sharing Success" program, CoBank will match contributions by its cooperative customers to nonprofit organizations of their choice. Contributions made during the remainder of 2012 will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis, from a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $5,000.
"Shared success is a hallmark of the cooperative business model, so we're absolutely delighted to be announcing this new program," said Robert B. Engel, CoBank's president and chief executive officer.
"Throughout rural America, cooperatives of all sizes are working not only to provide value to their members but to improve the quality of life in their local communities. We hope all our cooperative customers will take advantage of this new fund, and use it to leverage the support they provide to worthy causes in the areas they serve," he said.
The launch of CoBank's Sharing Success program coincides with the United Nations' "International Year of Cooperatives" in 2012. Throughout the year, the U.N. and cooperative organizations are using programs and special events to celebrate the many contributions of co-ops and the strength of the cooperative model.
"I commend CoBank for its generous decision to establish this fund," said Wilson Beebe, chairman of the National Cooperative Business Association. "I can think of no better way for a cooperative to take part in the International Year of Cooperatives than by participating in the Sharing Success initiative."
CoBank will begin formally accepting applications for funding from cooperatives on August 1, 2012. The program will run through December 31, 2012 or when the $3 million matching fund is exhausted, whichever comes first. Cooperative customers interested in participating should contact their CoBank relationship manager for an application and detailed program requirements.
Additional information is available here.