National Credit Union Foundation celebrates 35 years of changing people’s lives

Donation campaign launched in conjunction with anniversary

The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation), the primary national philanthropic program provider, fundraiser, and grant-maker for America’s nearly 7,000 credit unions, celebrates its 35th anniversary this month.

Originally called the CUNA Foundation, the Foundation was incorporated in October of 1980.  In its early days, the Foundation was focused on international development of credit unions and the credit union movement, as well as scholarships and grants for small credit unions.  In 1992, the Foundation was reorganized to better represent a true charitable foundation focused on the needs of consumers and credit unions’ unique ability to meet those needs.  Today, the Foundation remains closely aligned with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and is widely recognized as the national charitable arm of the America’s credit union movement.

“Over the past 35 years, the Foundation has been a cornerstone of the credit union movement,” said Gigi Hyland, Foundation Executive Director. “To celebrate this landmark anniversary, we’ve launched a special online fundraising campaign. Our goal is to raise $35,000 so we can reach more credit unions across the U.S., and continue to provide them with more tools they need to improve people’s financial lives.”

To make a contribution to the Foundation’s anniversary campaign, click here.

In just the last ten years, the Foundation has awarded over $35 million worth of grants to help credit unions to better serve their members.  The mission of the Foundation is to act as a “catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions.”

Through Foundation programs and grants, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.  The Foundation does this through:

  • Leveraging the Credit Union Difference – through Credit Union Development Education, working to preserve credit unions’ uniqueness through training in credit union philosophy and cooperative principles.  Over 1,400 credit unions from over 34 countries have become CUDEs since 1982.
  • Building Financial Capability – by offering resources to help credit unions better identify and meet consumers’ financial needs through Real Solutions.  Over 2,060 people have participated in Life Simulations104,000 high school students have attended Reality Fairs1,380 people have become certified financial counselors through the enhanced FiCEP program; and 11 credit unions have offered 3,383 loans for a total of $43 million through our Non-Prime Auto Lending pilot. The Foundation also provides toolkits for credit unions to help meet member’s needs, with the newest toolkit designed to help those struggling with medical debt. 
  • Teaching Kids How to Make and Manage Money – Biz Kid$ is a national financial literacy initiative that is exclusively funded by credit unions across the country, and has reached over 7.7 million parents, educators, and students through education outreach projects.  The Foundation also provides Biz Kid$ Financial Education Grants to fund innovative programs that improve the financial education of youth through the Biz Kid$ program.
  • Uniting resources to help credit union members and staff when disaster strikes- CUAid was developed by the Foundation in cooperation with other credit union organizations to provide funding for credit unions during a time of disaster.  Over $5.8 million in disaster relief has been distributed since 2004.

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