Last year we opened a bank account for Laurel -- she's really proud of it. She saves up money to put in her account and is always game for rolling loose household change (we tell her if she's willing to roll it, she can deposit it into her account...she just deposited $21 in loose change this week, actually). And while normally I don't get excited about banking matters, I am really looking forward to ableBanking opening so we can transfer her savings. Normally I would not write about a bank opening, but stick with me -- helping out your favorite nonprofit is involved!
First, I want to disclose that ableBanking is a client of Women Online. In my advisory role on the project I am not obligated to post about ableBanking, but I love their model and want to share it. In a nutshell, as an online-only savings bank, ableBanking will save on overhead and thus be able to offer better rates and no fees for customers. But the big differentiator? They are foregoing fancy ads and redirecting their marketing budget to charity -- on behalf of their customers.
Once ableBanking is open, simply open an account ($250 minimum to open) and you then can designate $25 (a huge amount compared to other banks offering charitable percent donations) to any nonprofit you choose. Even better, ableBanking is committed to ongoing charitable giving and will donate one quarter of a percent of your balance every year to the charity of your choice.
As I said, I find this model totally awesome and it also offers a wonderful means to talk to kids about charitable giving. And most immediately, before the bank opens, ableBanking is engaging a charitable campaign. Simply nominate a beloved Massachusetts 501(c)3 non-profit by January 31, 2012 and the five most nominated nonprofits will each receive a $1,000 donation from ableBanking. This is a big sum for many struggling nonprofits and nominating takes about 5 seconds. So GO DO IT! Also, don't worry, nominating doesn't commit you to opening an account -- submitting your e-mail will add you to a distribution so they can let you know when the bank is open, but then you can choose at the time whether or not to take action.
Personally, I am rallying for Laurel's school PTO. Like many schools, they do so much and are so committed and are always in need of cash flow. I double checked with my friend Elise (who seems to know everything about anything related to the PTO!) that it is a 501(c)3 and was thrilled to receive confirmation. I'm going to try to rally all of my friends and their friends at the school to nominate.
And what about you? It takes only a few seconds to nominate your favorite nonprofit and then a few minutes more to rally friends and family via e-mail. While yes, of course I want to win $1,000 for our school PTO, I'm rooting for all of the nonprofits you all care about.
One technical note: For kids under 16 years of age, ableBanking accounts will need to be opened in an adult's name with the child listed as a beneficiary. Those 16 years and up can open a joint account where the teenager is the primary account holder. Either way offers excellent fodder to involve kids in charitable giving discussions!
Image credit: vintage Mexican piggy bank via Etsy