DENVER (April 3, 2020) – CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, today announced a series of charitable contributions totaling $1.4 million in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a specific focus on relief efforts in rural America.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for communities across the country, including rural communities that lack adequate health infrastructure,” said Kevin Riel, chair of the CoBank board of directors. “In addition, it is severely taxing nonprofit organizations and other institutions that provide a wide range of vital services to people in need, including hunger relief, education, social services, aid for veterans and other programs. Corporate philanthropy will be an important pillar of the nation’s overall response to the pandemic, and our board is committed to making resources available from CoBank in order to alleviate the wide-ranging impacts of this crisis.”
CoBank’s charitable response to COVID-19 will include the following:
- $1 million increase to Sharing Success program for 2020. Sharing Success is CoBank’s signature charitable contribution program, providing dollar-for-dollar matches of donations by eligible customers to nonprofit organizations in rural communities across the country. For 2020, the CoBank board of directors has increased the size of the fund from $4 million to $5 million, specifically to address community needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, CoBank has increased the program limit for each customer from $7,500 to $10,000. For additional details about the program, visit the Sharing Success page on the CoBank web site.
- $200,000 grant to the National Rural Health Association. NRHA is a nationwide national non-profit membership organization, which provides a wide range of programs and services for its more than 21,000 members, including direct technical assistance for the nation’s rural hospitals, health clinics and community health centers. CoBank’s contribution will support NRHA’s Rural COVID-19 Technical Assistance Center rapid response efforts, including assistance for rural healthcare organizations to obtain Personal Protection Equipment and other essential medical resources.
- $150,000 contribution to University of Colorado Foundation. The contribution will be designated to support the UCHealth system’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic in Colorado as the state’s leading provider of acute care for victims of the pandemic.
- $50,000 matching fund for CoBank employees. CoBank will provide dollar-for-dollar matches of charitable contributions by its associates to all 501(c)(3) charitable organizations responding to COVID-19.
“Over many years, we have found that the most impactful way for CoBank to deploy charitable funds is to do so in partnership with customers, employees and other Farm Credit institutions,” said Tom Halverson, CoBank’s president & chief executive officer. “That is the approach we are adopting with COVID-19. We urge all of our customers and associates to take advantage of our matching programs and join with CoBank in the collective effort to overcome this crisis.”
CoBank is a $145 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.
CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.
Director, Corporate Social Responsibility