A new purpose economy: federal financial cooperative, Coast Capital, on its journey to becoming a social purpose organization

A history of purpose. 

Credit unions around the world share a history of supporting employees, members, and communities—and, in doing so, they can create positive social change. They also see firsthand the opportunities and growing challenges facing their communities every day. 

That’s why Coast Capital—a federal financial cooperative headquartered in Surrey, B.C.— believes that they are uniquely positioned to help Canadians succeed, by driving the real and lasting change needed in their communities. And two years ago, Coast Capital made the decision to transform the way they do business by embarking on the journey to officially become a social purpose business. 


Our journey.  Our purpose. 

In developing Coast Capital’s social purpose of Building Better Futures Together, they considered the unique skill set they held that would allow them to create value for society and drive meaningful change for Canadians. 

Today, it has become Coast Capital’s North Star that informs every decision they make. It is the engine that powers their business. It’s at the heart of every interaction with their members, employees, and community partners.  

And as Coast Capital continues their journey of building better futures together, they are bringing that purpose to life in three strategic ways:  


They are building and championing more equitable and inclusive employment.  

Coast Capital is building the best, most inclusive workplace for their employees and working with partners and members to create opportunities for others to thrive in their careers. 


The United Way’s Social Purpose Institute outlines six compelling benefits of the practice.  

A social purpose: 


The power of partnership 

Social purpose is a collaborative practice that requires organizations to come together, work together, and share openly.  

As Coast Capital moves through this journey, embracing the “we” of their business has helped them unlock new value and opportunities with leading partners across industries in Canada. No one organization can solve social issues independently, and partnership is key to moving the needle on real, tangible change. 

A great example of what can happen when like-minded organizations come together with a mutual purpose is a recent joint pilot project Coast Capital launched with DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society. 

With an appetite to fund a program under Coast Capital’s defined strategic imperative to build and champion more equitable and inclusive employment, a partnership was launched to help skilled newcomers to Canada, who after years of training and experience in their country of origin, experience overwhelming challenges as they seek to enter, and adapt to, a new labour market. 

Through the Express Grant for Foreign Credential Recognition for Women program, sponsored and funded by Coast Capital, female professionals are provided with funding to access resources and achieve the Canadian qualifications necessary to fast-track their professional settlement process, and better position them to make an impact in their communities. 

Partnerships like these remind us that real and lasting change cannot be achieved in isolation. Social purpose work is a journey and not a destination—and together, we can work to contribute to an equitable society, where we each have the opportunity to thrive.  


Embracing social purpose at Coast Capital has had an incredible impact on the way they work. Just last year, Coast Capital invested over $4 million in 117 partnerships and programs aligned to their purpose. Learn more about how Coast Capital is driving positive social impact for its employees, members, and communities.