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CREDO

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CREDO (formerly Working Assets) is a private for-profit U.S. corporation that makes it's money from Cause-related marketing that offers mobile and long distance phone service, as well as a credit card service, to a politically liberal demographic. [1] It provides a small percentage of its annual profit to non-profit liberal and activist organizations. As Inger Stole writes, "Sometimes a company deliberately ties its identity so closely with its CRM efforts that it, by design or pure coincidence, appears to be a non-profit outfit itself. Working Assets, a for-profit company headquartered in San Francisco, is one example." [2] CREDO is formally allied with 350.org.

Business mission

According to its website, CREDO/Working Assets was founded in 1985 to help people make a difference in the world by doing the things they do every day anyway. "Each time you use one of our services — CREDO Mobile, CREDO Long Distance or the Working Assets Credit Card — we automatically send a donation to nonprofit groups working for peace, equality, human rights and the environment. To date, we've raised over $65 million for progressive causes. But we're not just donating money, we're making change. Our CREDO Action Web site gives you the resources you need to stay up to date and speak out for the causes you support."[3]

Activism

CREDO/Working Assets is a citizen-action group. In every phone bill, they update you on "vital issues and provide easy ways to speak out – with a free call or a low-cost advocacy letter sent on our members' behalf. We explain what's at stake and encourage you to make your voice heard. Every month, our members generate over 80,000 calls, letters and e-mails to Congress, the White House and corporate leaders regarding decisions of critical public concern."

In the 2008 election, they registered 2.5 million people to vote and they organized an election protection program of volunteers who monitored polls across the country.[3]

CREDO urges switch from Republican funding AT&T

In 2010, CREDO sent out emails encouraging people to switch from AT&T phone service to the more liberal CREDO. The president of CREDO, Michael Kieschnick, pointed out the following:

  • AT&T was the top contributor — with a $351,500 contribution — to members of the House Tea Party Caucus, led by the extremist Michele Bachmann (R-MN).
  • AT&T contributed to the Senate Conservatives Fund, which raised money for Christine O'Donnell, Joe Miller, Ken Buck, Sharron Angle, and Rand Paul — all Republicans backed by the Tea Party.
  • AT&T's political action committee was recently ranked by Opensecrets.org as one of the biggest political contributors in the 2009-2010 cycle.[4]

Name change

In November 2007, Working Assets changed its name to CREDO.

  • The names of its phone services are CREDO Mobile and CREDO Long Distance.
  • Its credit card, however, kept its original name, Working Assets Credit Card.[5]

Organizations funded by CREDO/Working Assets

Civil rights

Peace & international freedom

Economic & social justice

Environment

Voting rights & civic participation

Personnel

Websites

Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Website, Working Assets, accessed November 2010.
  2. Cause-Related Marketing: Why Social Change and Corporate Profits Don’t Mix Inger Stole, PRWatch.org, July 14, 2006.
  3. 3.0 3.1 About page, Working Assets, accessed November 2010.
  4. "AT&T contributes money to Tea Party", Examiner.com, November 9, 2010.
  5. Ryan Kim, "Working Assets Wireless becomes Credo Mobile", San Fransisco Chronicle, October 31 2007.
  6. Michael Kieschnick Bio, New Politics Institute
  7. Laura Scher Bio, Credo, accessed November 2010.

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