At Innovation, your opinion matters to us. We’re always looking to hear what our members have to say in order to serve them better.
Meanwhile, giving back to the community has always been a cornerstone of our model at Innovation. So, given a chance to decide, what cause would you like us to support? What truly matters to you? We found out in the most direct and simple way. We asked.
We created a community survey to help to give our members a voice. The questions were designed to find out what community category mattered most to you. You could choose from many different categories: Arts and Culture, Diversity and Inclusion, Education, Environment, Health and Wellness, Poverty, and Sport and Recreation. All of these are important issues and causes to get behind. It was undoubtedly difficult to choose! We constantly invest in community programs to support many of these causes, so it was interesting to see which would win the majority of our members’ support. Before we get into how we conducted the survey and the results, take a second to think about it. If you really had to choose, which category would win your vote?
We wanted to make sure we’d get as many responses as we could, so we used different approaches. Members were surveyed through two ways, through a pop-up on our microsite, and via email. If you visited our microsite, you were able to easily make your selection in real-time. If you received an email, you could complete the survey at your leisure. Whether it was the ease of the pop-up or the convenience of an e-mail survey, it worked! We received more than 2,000 votes from Innovation members across Canada with the majority of votes from Saskatchewan members. This included both rural and urban centres with a near 50/50 split. About 51.7% of the community survey votes were from rural Canada. Meanwhile, 48.3% votes gathered by the community survey came in from urban centres. As you can see, the survey was able to get responses from all kinds of Innovation members. This meant we were bound to get a pretty good idea as to what our members wanted.
And the winner is…
The winning category— out of Arts and Culture, Diversity and Inclusion, Education, Environment, Health and Wellness, Poverty, and Sport and Recreation— was Health & Wellness. It received 22% of the votes. That means Innovation members chose to support Health & Wellness over all the other categories. It makes sense, of course. With the COVID-19 global pandemic, health, specifically mental health, has come to the forefront of public consciousness. Added to the fear of the virus and the loss of loved ones, we’ve also had to experience lockdowns, job loss, isolation, lack of socialization working from home, home-schooling— in fact, a complete shift away from normalcy. During this time, it has become apparent just how important it is to maintain good mental health. It is also clear that mental health issues are normal, common, and need to receive support and attention, just as much as physical health.
Poverty and Education were the two other categories that won a large number of votes. 19% of Innovation members voted to support poverty alleviation measures, while 16% supported education. What do these numbers tell us? Well, they confirm a heart-warming fact we always knew. You care deeply about the community and your fellow Canadians. That the larger community would help and support a member of the community to overcome obstacles such as poverty and live with dignity is a testament to the goodness of humanity. The votes towards Education also show how committed you are to helping youth create a better future for themselves. Access to education acts as a steppingstone towards so many opportunities and can help uplift entire generations.
As you can see, the community survey gave us many insights into what matters to you. However, that was not all it achieved. Innovation had pledged to donate $5,000 towards the winning category. Since Health & Wellness was the winning category, a $5,000 donation was made to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Saskatchewan Division to be used for the H.O.P.E Learning Centre. For over a hundred years, CMHA has actively promoted and supported the development of positive mental health. CMHA helps to provide access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health. They are at the forefront of developing responsive, cutting-edge services and supports, one of which is the H.O.P.E. Learning Centre, a Recovery College.
The acronym H.O.P.E. stands for ‘Helping Others through Peer Education’, and that’s exactly what happens at this learning centre. It follows the Recovery College model which “aims to provide an opportunity for people to discover their true potential, to use their life experience in positive ways to promote their recovery and to be able to share that knowledge and expertise for the benefit of others in the community.” Recovery Colleges are unique learning centres where “…people with experience of mental health issues, peers, family members and mental health professionals use their knowledge and experience to work collaboratively and on equal terms to co-develop and co-deliver courses on a range of topics that support well-being and recovery.”
At H.O.P.E., students find an environment that fosters collaboration and supports their recovery. They are empowered and engaged, not just passive learners. The Recovery College model is designed to bring about a transformation in individuals and organizations. You can learn more about the H.O.P.E Learning Centre, by visiting their website. You can also visit the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Saskatchewan Division website and learn more about their initiatives, activities, and events.
All of us at Innovation are incredibly humbled to have been able to support such an initiative as the H.O.P.E. Learning Centre. We’re also grateful to fulfil exactly what our Innovation members wanted, and it is their wish (and votes) that prompted this donation. Apart from helping us channel our donation, the community survey did serve another purpose too. The results will help us better align our community initiatives.
As you know, Responsible Banking™ is at the core of Innovation. One of the three pillars of Responsible Banking™ at Innovation is ‘Give’. Give refers to the ways we give back to the communities that we serve. Our community initiatives include sponsorships, community development, and scholarships. Over the last decade, Innovation has donated over $6.89 million. Apart from these, our staff actively volunteer with different charities and organizations, donating their time and expertise. We also run a Summer Student program, to help students explore careers and gain experience in the financial services industry. Innovation has also been designated as a Caring Company by Imagine Canada. Caring Companies contribute a minimum of 1% of their pre-tax profits to the communities where their employees live and work. Of course, Innovation goes beyond expectations, consistently donating over 2% of our pre-tax profits. We’re not sharing this to toot our own horn. Instead, we hope it shows just how seriously we take our commitment towards serving and bettering our communities.
After we gathered the survey results, we simply had to check if our initiatives and sponsorships were aligned with what Innovation members had declared mattered most to them. We looked at our current sponsorship investment and analyzed the data we’d collected through the community survey. Our current main focus areas were Community and Sports & Recreation. While the category of Sports & Recreation did receive plenty of support from the survey voters — at 15%, it was the fourth-highest voted category, just 1% shy of Education — it was not the top priority for Innovation members. We can now align our community investment with exactly what matters to our members. This would mean providing more support towards initiatives around Health & Wellness, Poverty, and Education.
Our community survey accomplished quite a bit, didn’t it? A clear idea about what you want, insights into your values and ideals, a donation towards a cause you deeply care about, and an opportunity to serve you even better in the future. Now we can truly say that at Innovation, our members are never just customers, they are the ones who drive our every action.