100 Best Companies to Work For 2014: Nonprofits

| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

Nonprofit | 1st Place

Verity Credit Union

Location: Seattle / Employees: 126 / Top Score: Communication

Verity’s popularity with its employees is due partly to its excellent health and wellness benefits. In addition to affordable health insurance premiums, every employee, spouse and dependent receives fully funded vision and dental coverage for routine care. The credit union provides a $200 annual wellness subsidy and a transportation subsidy that assists transit users and actually puts cash in the pockets of those who bike or walk to work. (And, yes, Verity’s headquarters does have showers.)

When asked why they love their jobs, Verity’s employees also point to Verity University, an in-house continuing education program that offers nine different majors, takes an average of two years to complete and culminates with a final project that boosts an employee’s résumé. Verity Chief Human Resources/Chief Marketing Officer Justin Martin calls it the company’s “crown jewel of career development.”

Employees from all six branches and the home office gather for quarterly breakfast and financial update from the executive team, and customer-facing workers meet every month for team building and training.

Verity also coordinates three fundraising campaigns each year: a food drive for local charities, a campaign for Seattle Children’s Hospital, and a holiday fund for needy families that is offered via Pike Market Child Care and Preschool.

If all this sounds unusual for a financial institution, it’s because Verity is unusual — in the best sense of the word. “Every year, every quarter, every month, we look for ways to gather feedback and make the next month, next quarter, next year an even better experience for our employees,” Martin says. “We really don’t want to be satisfied with the status quo. We’re constantly looking to innovate in how we can make this a better workplace.”

Nonprofit | 2nd Place

Bellwether Housing

Location: Seattle / Employees: 85 / Top Score: Communication

Since 1980, Bellwether has purchased, developed and managed low-cost housing in the most job-rich areas of the city, ensuring a thriving community for all Seattleites. The nonprofit currently manages more than 1,900 apartments throughout Seattle, housing more than 3,000 people. Bellwether’s 85 employees undoubtedly feel good about what they do, but they feel even better thanks to industry-leading benefits: up to 35 days of paid time off; a generous 403(b) retirement plan, and a top-down policy of open-door communication that many employees raved about in the Best Companies to Work For survey.

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