News & Trends

Community Connect Spreads Kindness Virtually in 2020

October 9, 2020

Community Connect Logo

While social distancing keeps us apart, Netspend’s customers and communities have never been closer to our hearts. With the end of 2020 approaching and as we continue adjusting to a “new normal” that feels anything but, Netspend has taken stock of the impacts COVID-19 has had on our customers and communities. The global pandemic has magnified challenges faced by those with limited access to traditional banking systems, highlighted a lack of fairness in digital banking, and accelerated the need for banking alternatives.

Community Connect Fosters Understanding, Kindness (and Fun) 

Netspend is proud to provide access to financial solutions for customers through our prepaid debit cards and flexible mobile banking solutions. A decade ago, we realized we couldn’t stop there. We wanted to pay it forward. From this, our annual Community Connect program was born. Instead of a conventional corporate holiday party, we decided to dedicate that budget and time to celebrate our customers and communities.

Community Connect 2019

Community Connect brings Netspend employees together to commit random acts of kindness– paying for groceries, gas, bills, meals, household expenses, and even Thanksgiving dinners– for unsuspecting residents in our communities. Throughout the day-long event, our employees see first-hand the resilience, resourcefulness, and drive of our community members. They meet with and hear stories about the expenses, time, and energy required to commute to multiple jobs, find consistent childcare, cover everyday expenses, make car payments, cover medical bills and prescription costs, and manage money. 

In 2019, over 400 Netspend  team members gifted unsuspecting Austin residents over $30,000. 

This year, we are more driven than ever to help our communities thrive as we face this time of uncertainty.

The 10th Annual Community Connect Goes Virtual – and Global 

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Community Connect. But, it will look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We spent a lot of time considering the best ways to help our communities while also respecting public health and abiding by social distancing guidelines.

“During these unprecedented and challenging times, we have more responsibility than ever to support our customers and our communities. I’m grateful that our team members were able to find creative and impactful ways to give back to nonprofits and residents in Austin, Alpharetta, San Mateo, and India. I hope our virtual Community Connect event will inspire others to support those who need a helping hand, especially as we begin the holiday season.” 

-Kelley Knutson, Netspend President 

The 2020 Community Connect Giving Day will be 100% virtual while still offering employees opportunities to engage with our customers. Each of our global offices — in Austin, Texas; Alpharetta, Georgia; San Mateo, California; and New Delhi, India — will be participating in a fully employee-led virtual day or giving. Our generous team members have volunteered their time to ensure we are maximizing our giving and impact in 2020 to reach those in need across the world.

The Kindness Market is Booming at Netspend 

Four giving initiatives will help bring Netspend together with our customers this year. The Kindness Market initiative allows Netspend employees to cast votes for donations to selected nonprofits and community gifts like groceries, gas, and utility bills. We’ll create a ripple effect of hundreds of Acts of Kindness as we divide into teams and rack up points for good deeds like mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn, thanking a professional mentor, and complimenting a family member. The number of points each team scores will determine the funding given to the team’s chosen nonprofit.

Our kindness spree would not be complete without celebrating our customers. For this year’s Community Connect, we will present a select few employees with a Kindness Grant to help them spread kindness in their communities further. We’ll also be asking our customer service department to nominate deserving Netspend customers for a Customer Credit on their prepaid card and make donations to our customer’s favorite nonprofit organizations.

We hope that Community Connect 2020 shows our customers, partners, and employees that we are all in this together, even though we can’t be close to one another this year.