Credit union industry exceeds goal of CUNA Mutual Group challenge by donating nearly $1.3 million to Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions

Generosity ensures $1 million in matching funds for World Council of Credit Unions

MADISON, WI (August 3, 2021) — Credit unions and other industry groups donated nearly $1.3 million to Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions in just over three months to meet the CUNA Mutual Group Challenge and ensure $1 million in matching funds for World Council of Credit Unions.

CUNA Mutual Group, the largest international provider of insurance and retirement services to credit unions, launched the Challenge in April to help support World Council’s work to champion and grow credit unions and cooperative finance worldwide.

Challenge donations to Worldwide Foundation, the charitable and engagement arm of World Council, helped advance the purpose of four key initiatives:

  • Credit union development;
  • Project Storm Break relief aid;
  • Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN); and
  • World Council Young Credit Union Professionals (WYCUP).

As importantly, the Challenge offered Worldwide Foundation a chance to reinforce its brand as the industry’s gateway to an international credit union journey for institutions and individuals through its Global Bridges program.

“I went on a 2018 Worldwide Foundation Field Engagement to Thailand and gained a new understanding of how credit unions there where prioritizing the social welfare of their communities. I brought that back to North Carolina and wove it into our strategic plan, which will allow us to better serve members and be more competitive,” said Maurice Smith, CEO of Local Government Federal Credit Union and Civic Federal Credit Union, which both donated to the Challenge. “To appeal to credit union leaders in the United States on the important missions of both the World Council and Worldwide Foundation, we must show how they provide value in advancing our own institutions. We can broaden our horizons by going to the World Council and asking, ‘how is the rest of the credit union world operating and servicing members?’’

CUNA Mutual Group’s matching contribution of $1 million comes as World Council celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021, positioning the organization to successfully support credit unions in growing economies by promoting financial inclusion, strengthening institutions, and providing policy and regulatory support for the next 50 years.

“The contributions made as part of this challenge will go a long way in providing disaster relief, financial education and empowerment to women and young professionals in areas that need it most,” said Robert N. Trunzo, President and CEO of CUNA Mutual Group. “The credit union leaders that stepped up to this challenge to not only meet the goal, but beat it, have demonstrated the cooperative spirit of our industry and proven we’re stronger together.”

About World Council of Credit Unions

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach. World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 87,914 credit unions in 118 countries serve 393 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at


Greg Neumann

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