Founded in Goshen in 1945 to assist Civilian Public Service members after World War II, Everence continues that tradition of helping, with a focus on faith and a mission to help others do good work.
Founded in Goshen as a Mennonite mutual aid, Everence is a full-service financial organization with more than $6 billion in assets. Services offered include a credit union, financial planning, investments, insurance and charitable giving, among other services. It is a nonprofit, with branch locations throughout the nation.
Credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperatives comprised of people with shared interests. A credit union offers the same services as a bank, including savings and checking accounts, access to ATMs, loans, health savings accounts, and credit and debit cards.
“We maintain our corporate offices here,” says Allison Pletcher, marketing manager for the organization. “We employ nearly 400 people in all, and Goshen is where we have our largest concentration of employees.”
From its origins as a Mennonite mutual aid, the organization was renamed and rebranded in 2008. Acquisitions of other financial organizations also rooted in Mennonite communities nationally have helped Everence grow “exponentially,” Managing Director Brent Miller says.
“Everence is unique in the fact that not all financial services deal with charities,” Miller explains. “We celebrate charitable giving.”
One of the key components of Everence’s mode of operation is the desire to integrate faith-based values with financial decisions. It appeals to people who want to make sound decisions regarding their money, but want to do so in ways that benefit their community and live up to the ideals of their faith. A special focus is on nonprofits in the community, either as members or as recipients of charitable donations from members and Everence employees.
Stewardship is the key tenet of the organization’s business model.
“We believe that all we have comes from God, and it’s our responsibility to use our time, talents and financial resources wisely,” Pletcher says. “That’s why Everence focuses on helping people make financial decisions that reflect their faith and values.”
This is especially true when it comes to charitable giving. Nonprofit organizations benefit from the generosity of members, and join the organization as members.
“We want to help nonprofits because the healthier they are financially, the more they can do to help people in their communities or around the world,” Pletcher says.
Members have many ways to donate to local charities. For example, the credit card offered by Everence allows members to designate a charity of their choice to receive 1.5% of the amount charged on the card. This program has generated more than $1.7 million since its inception in 2017.
Members can also set up endowments to benefit a charity. The nonprofit organizations who are also members of Everence can find ways to use non-cash donations to their advantage too, using guidance from the financial advisors on the Everence team.
There have been several times when Everence was able to negotiate the sale of a donation that did not meet the immediate needs of a local organization, Miller says. Examples include cows, pigs, a vacation property in England, antiques, and a dump truck.
“We encourage clients to think outside the box,” Miller says.
While Everence has a history rooted in the traditions of Mennonite faith, its services are open to all.
“Many of our clients come to us because of our emphasis on faith and values, and how their principles affect their decisions about money,” Pletcher says. “It’s not a requirement for membership, but many of our members and clients belong to churches in denominations or associations with historic roots in, or relationships with, the Anabaptist faith community.”
Employees of Everence are also part of the spirit of giving. The company offers scholarships to students, and many employees volunteer with local charities and nonprofits. Miller says the purpose of the organization is simply to give back, be good stewards of clients’ resources, and use time, talent and gifts to benefit others.
The Reverence Goshen office is located at 1110 North Main Street. For more information, visit everence.com or call 574-533-9511. Email the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.