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Carolinas CU Foundation announces new endowment to fund community grant program

Wednesday, June 27, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Looking to the future, the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation has announced the creation of a Community Endowment Fund (CEF) to fuel its community impact projects. Revealed first at the League’s 2018 Annual Meeting, the Foundation’s new fund is an innovative concept much like the Community Investment Fund that once served as the sole source of revenue for the Foundation.

Watch this video to learn about the new Community Endowment Fund. Among others, the video features Local Government Federal Credit Union CEO Maurice Smith, who originated the idea of an endowment at the Foundation. LGFCU has announced that it is providing 25 percent of its stabilization refund to the CEF. Retiring League President John Radebaugh is also providing a permanent $10,000 honorary donation from CO-OP Financial Services to the endowment, as highlighted in a letter of thanks to John following the Annual Meeting.

In her remarks at the Annual Meeting, Foundation President Lauren Whaley elaborated on the structure of the new endowment. “Unlike a traditional endowment, a credit union will retain ownership of the deposit in the Community Endowment Fund and just the interest is being donated,” shared Whaley. “Both members and non-members of Vizo are eligible to participate, and 100 percent of the interest that is earned will go back into local communities through a new grant program.”

Learn more about this new way to give.

The new grant program, currently under development, will focus on providing funding to non-profit organizations that center on teaching, feeding and/or healing children of the Carolinas. The ultimate goal for funding the CEF is $10 million to fully support the dual-state community grant initiative. Credit unions are encouraged to consider supporting the CEF with a portion of the stabilization refunds expected later this year.

“I believe that this new Community Endowment Fund offers the Foundation a financially responsible model to ensure funding of high-impact projects throughout the Carolinas,” Whaley continued. “As investors, you will become an Endowment Trustee and help the Foundation direct this new grant program. We also hope to engage and re-energize our chapter network, who can work collaboratively to identify local non-profits in need of our support.”

The Foundation remains committed to its funding pledge of $900,000 for Victory Junction’s Reach Program through 2019. This pledge is supported by direct financial contributions from credit unions and business partners and less than $80,000 is left to raise to meet the fundraising goal.

It’s worth noting that the Foundation’s Community Investment Fund at Vizo Financial continues to fuel the Foundation’s academic and needs-based scholarship program for credit union members, small credit union grants for professional development, and other program-related expenses. Any portion of interest on any investment a credit union has at Vizo can be shared with the Foundation. Also, Vizo is now doing periodic investment specials to benefit the Foundation though the Community Investment Fund. A special thanks to the following credit unions for their continued engagement and support for the Community Investment Fund: Carolina Foothills FCU, Charlotte Metro FCU, Greenville Federal CU, Greenville Heritage FCU, Lion’s Share FCU, SC Telco FCU, and Truliant FCU.

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