Heritage’s communitys@ver account: fundraising for the Seeing Eye Dogs made easy

It’s not always easy giving money to where it’s needed most, especially during the festive season when spending can exceed budgets. But with the help of a Heritage communitys@ver account, members can fundraise effortlessly at any time of the year.

An on-line savings account, the Heritage communitys@ver comes with a difference: the community group you nominate gets paid a community grant calculated off the money you and your fellow supporters accumulate in your communitys@ver account.

Heritage has more than 160 registered community groups benefitting from its communitys@ver account including sporting clubs, schools and not-for-profit organisations, but the most successful fundraising organisation by far has been Seeing Eye Dogs Queensland.

Now merged with Vision Australia, Seeing Eye Dogs Queensland is a primary support network for Queenslanders who are blind or who have low vision, enhancing their mobility and independence by providing Seeing Eye Dogs, free of charge.

Each Seeing Eye Dog requires two years of training to graduate, costing $30 000 per pup.

Because of their phenomenal effort, the not-for-profit organisation requires consistent community assistance to continue providing their services.

Last quarter Seeing Eye Dogs Queensland earned more than $850 from the balances of members’ communitys@ver accounts, with the potential to earn even more this quarter ending in December 2010.

Heritage Head of Third Party Channels Mr David Ure said that Heritage’s communitys@ver initiative is part of the People first approach it stands by.

“As a mutual building society, Heritage finds ways to give back to the communities it operates in through sponsorships, community grants and initiatives like the communitys@ver.”

“This account is unique because it essentially lets members fundraise off their hard-earned savings without lifting a finger.”

Heritage sustains a long-standing affiliation with Seeing Eye Dogs Queensland through a range of initiatives, including sponsoring their own Seeing Eye Dog pup Harvey through the organisation’s puppy sponsorship program.

Harvey is the Society’s second sponsored Seeing Eye Dog after Jada, who was successfully matched with an owner earlier in 2009.

Heritage’s sponsorship contributes to training Harvey into a fully functional Seeing Eye Dog who will one day be matched with an owner.

David added, ”At Heritage we are proud to say that we offer a level of community support that far exceeds our larger banking competitors despite our smaller mutual structure.

“Our People first approach which also includes lower fees and charges, higher deposit rates and a more personalised service approach as compared to the major banks is the driving force for more and more people switching to the mutual movement.”

* Based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.