In 2010 Thrivent Financial introduced a new charitable grant program known as Thrivent Choice®.

According to Thrivent Financial, which is a not-for-profit membership organization, “giving back has always been important,” and since 2010 through Thrivent Choice® and its Choice Dollars® program more than $370 million has been granted to churches, educational institutions as well as many other not-for-profit organizations. 

When the program was introduced, the Thrivent Financial office in Redwood Falls got involved, and over the years the grant program has brought more than $1 million to the Redwood and Renville counties area.

In fact, the total amount given through the Redwood Falls office is $1,310,210.

The program is unique in that it enables members the power to recommend where those Choice Dollars® are distributed.

According to Nancy Hansen of the Thrivent Financial office in Redwood Falls organizations in the area can begin being selected after enrolling in the Thrivent Choice® program. Once added to the list anyone can select them for the allocation of the dollars that are dedicated as charitable funds through the program.

Eligibility to direct Choice Dollars® is “based on a benefit members involvement in Thrivent Financial via their level of fraternal benefit society product ownership,” such as life insurance, health insurance or annuities as well as volunteer leadership.

When the local office staff was able to total up the amount that has been granted by its members, it recognized the significant impact it was having on the area and its communities. The grants in excess of $1.3 million have been granted to local churches of various denominations, faith-based organizations, libraries, schools, foundations, clubs and other not-for-profit programs.

Hansen said the office was pretty excited when the amount was totaled, adding the staff had no idea that it was able over the past eight years to have that kind of impact.

She added the local office gets calls on a regular basis from the corporate offices because of its effective use of the program, adding it has been able to grant 70 percent of those funds dedicated to the Thrivent Choice® program, while the national average is closer to 20 percent.

Thrivent Financial is the largest fraternal organization in the country, and the Thrivent Choice® program is one of many that it offers.

Another that is having a major impact is its Action Teams program through which fundraisers, benefits and organizations are able to utilize Thrivent funds to help offset costs used to support their event, program or activity.

Through its Action Teams program seed money is allocated for the purchase of materials for a craft, promotion of a fundraising benefit or items that can be distributed to those who attend an educational event. As an example, funds could be used to purchase plates and silverware for a benefit meal.

Each time an event is held with support from Thrivent Financial, a Thrivent Action Team is established, and through the Redwood Falls office there have been 1,700 Action Teams.

With a $250 allocation for each Action Team, that means more than $425,000 has been distributed to assist with these community events.

Thrivent Financial has always taken an innovative approach to its efforts in support of communities, said Hansen. To learn more about the programs available through Thrivent Financial, visit thrivent.com.