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Most companies go into business to make money. Over thirty-five years ago, we went into business to make change.
It all started in 1985, at the peak of the Reagan era, and greed was running rampant on Wall Street. But a small band of idealists refused to buy in — or sell out. Instead, we pursued an American dream of our own: to build a business that works for progressive social change.
We launched Working Assets with credit cards in the ’80s, added long-distance phone service in the ’90s, mobile phones in the new millennium and renewable energy in 2018.
Throughout the years, our members have enabled us to donate tens of millions to the causes they care about. We've empowered our members to become activists, through letters, calls, petitions and protests. And, along with our allies and grantees, we've realized historic victories for the environment, LGBTQ rights, civil rights, voting rights, expanding health care, protecting Social Security, and so much more.
During this time, we always held true to our mission to support the causes we care about by connecting our customers to great products and services.
With over $91 million donated to nonprofit groups making real change, we’ve succeeded better than we ever imagined.
As a company committed to progressive social change, we tend to measure our success—and our growth—with the yardsticks of our activism and our donations to nonprofit groups.
Working Assets Funding Service is established with the launch of the Working Assets Credit Card—a credit card that generates donations to progressive nonprofit groups every time the cardholder uses it.
In keeping with our commitment to inclusiveness and participation, we launch a donations ballot so our credit card members can vote on how to distribute the money raised for nonprofit groups. The ballot remains an integral part of the donations process to this day.
Donations to nonprofit groups since 1985 reach $1 million.
We launch long-distance telephone service, with 1% of customer charges going to the progressive nonprofits we fund; members can also round up their bill, with the extra amount going into the donations pool. We also introduce a monthly bill like no other—a bill that’s a vehicle for activism. It includes Citizen Actions that highlight timely political issues and urge members to make free calls to targeted decision-makers or opt to send them a CitizenLetter®.
Although our bills are already printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper (a rarity in 1992), we decide to plant 100 trees for every ton of paper we use. Since then, this program has raised more than $700,000 for tree planting organizations here and abroad.
Our Citizen Actions focus for the first time on two issues: calling for a single-payer health care system and urging an end to the ban on gays in the military. We begin our special bill round-up program so members can pitch in extra donations to meet urgent needs. We raise more than $50,000 for Bosnia relief efforts. A year later, we raise $50,000 for aid to survivors of the Rwandan genocide. Médecins du Monde, a recipient, says our donation was the first and most significant U.S. contribution.
We offer a free, prepaid calling card to the first 10,000 members who call Congress and protest then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s infamous Contract with America.
We launch the Flash Activist Network (FAN)—a unique rapid-response program that delivers faxes to key decision-makers on urgent political issues. We also launch a Citizen Action against sweatshops, asking that they pay workers a living wage.
Every Working Assets customer who called or wrote to the Department of Labor to express their concern over sweatshops in America has earned the right to call themselves trendsetters.
— Robert Reich, Former Secretary of Labor
Donations to nonprofit groups since 1985 reach $10 million.
We start a Citizen Action urging the Senate to pass the CHILD Act, which increases the tobacco tax to generate $8 billion for health insurance for kids in low-income families. It’s the most far-reaching step Congress had ever taken to protect children’s health.
I want to thank all of the customers of Working Assets who called or wrote in support of this year's landmark legislation to expand heath care to the uninsured children of low-income working parents. With your help, we were successful in winning the most significant expansion in the availability of children's health insurance since the creation of Medicaid.
— Senator Ted Kennedy
We launch mobile phone service. We also ramp up our activism with ActForChange.com (now CREDO Action), a website for members and activists to send emails to targeted leaders. In our first big action, more than 200,000 emails are sent to Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris urging them to count every vote in the Bush vs. Gore 2000 presidential election.
Our largest special round-up ever raises $195,000 for victims of the 9/11 tragedy. We also raise $110,000 in a special round-up for international family planning groups after President Bush reinstates the “gag rule,” prohibiting such groups from receiving federal funding if they even mention abortion.
As the Bush-Cheney saber-rattling continues with talk of going to war with Iraq, we raise $151,450 in a special round-up to oppose the looming war.
As the rush to the Iraq war intensifies, we team up with MoveOn.org and TrueMajority to run a full-page ad in the February 12 New York Times against the impending invasion of Iraq.
To push for better voter turnout in the 2004 elections—and to fight against voter suppression—we launch the Election Protection program and donate more than $1 million to groups working on voter registration.
Donations to nonprofit groups since 1985 reach $50 million. This includes more than $500,000 each for Rainforest Action Network, Oxfam America, Children’s Defense Fund, Doctors Without Borders and Global Fund for Women—and more than $1 million for Planned Parenthood.
We rebrand our phone services to CREDO Mobile and CREDO Long Distance, and our activism network to CREDO Action. We also become the first mobile company in the U.S. to offer a solar-powered phone charger.
Total donations to Planned Parenthood since 1985 reach $2 million. We’re proud to be one of the largest corporate donors to Planned Parenthood. Fast Company magazine also names us among the top five “bravest brands,” recognizing our effective activism on controversial issues, especially opposing the Iraq war before it began.
We continue our fight to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and push heavily for a “public option” in the health care reform bill advocated by the Obama administration. We take a giant step in our activism and launch a ground campaign to fight a slick effort by Texas oil companies—Proposition 23 on the California ballot—to effectively kill the nation’s strongest global warming law. We help defeat Prop 23 resoundingly.
CREDO Action grows to more than 2 million activists. We fight the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline on every front: phone calls, petitions, CitizenLetters, rallies, Congressional meetings and more. Six CREDO employees and dozens of members are arrested outside the White House, including CEO Michael Kieschnick and political director Becky Bond. The pipeline decision, which was considered a sure thing, is delayed.
In an unprecedented step, we launch the CREDO SuperPAC, raising $2.5 million from 70,000 donors, and we defeat five of the worst Tea Party Republicans in Congress. Our activist base grows to 3 million as we carry out more than 500 campaigns over the year. We also engage at the state level and fight for—and win—ballot propositions on marriage equality, Citizens United and other issues.
We launch the new CREDO Visa credit card in October 2013. Whenever you use it, we donate 10¢ to progressive nonprofit groups working hard for women’s rights, the environment, equality, peace and social justice. The CREDO credit card is issued in partnership with Comenity Bank, which has been in business for more than 25 years.
The world moves faster than ever these days. To make an impact, we have to move just as fast. To do that, we accelerate the pace of CREDO donations, starting in January 2014. Rather than wait till the end of the year to send much-needed funds to the progressive nonprofits we support, as we have in the past, we distribute donations at the end of every month.
We celebrate our 30th anniversary by surpassing $80 million in donations to leading progressive organizations. CREDO Action’s nearly 4 million activists win major victories for progressive change in 2015, which include stopping the Keystone XL pipeline, securing strong Net Neutrality rules, preventing Republicans from sabotaging the Iran nuclear deal, defending Planned Parenthood from Republican attacks, putting a stop to Arctic drilling and more.
By simply using CREDO products, CREDO members continue funding progressive change across the country. We donate over $2.3 million to progressive groups standing up for women, civil rights, the environment and more. CREDO Action’s millions of activists win huge victories to protect transgender students, raise the minimum wage, stop the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure and defeat the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership.
With the election of a misogynistic racist to the White House, CREDO focuses its full power to resist Trump’s dangerous agenda. With the help of millions of activists, CREDO Action engages in petition campaigns, call campaigns and protests targeting key decision-makers to oust bigots and industry shills from the Trump regime, protect immigrants, stop the Muslim ban, defeat efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and more. In addition, the CREDO Mobile Donations program reaches more than $86 million in all-time donations to progressive organizations.
We launch CREDO Energy, renewable energy credits sourced from 100% wind power. Through our partnership with Energy Rewards, we provide CREDO members in select states with the ability to downsize their carbon footprint with simple access to 100% clean energy for their homes. Like all CREDO products, CREDO Energy helps members power the progressive movement, with a portion of revenue contributed to the donations CREDO makes to progressive causes—now $150,000 every month.
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
CREDO senior leaders put themselves on the front line of the Brett Kavanaugh protests with partners from Women’s March, Center for Popular Democracy Action, UltraViolet and other progressive groups, interrupting the first day of the Kavanaugh hearings in the Hart Senate Office building in DC to tell the U.S. Senate that the hearings are a sham and that we stand with CREDO members in opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Arrested for our efforts, CREDO leaders are proud to take a stand as leaders of a company whose social mission is ingrained in our corporate and brand DNA.
CREDO Mobile launches an entirely new and updated website to make purchasing a mobile phone and deciding to have your choice of mobile carrier reflect your values easier than ever.
CREDO Donations top $90 million, funded solely through the revenue from CREDO products like CREDO Long Distance, Working Assets Credit Card, CREDO Mobile and CREDO Energy.
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