SEATTLE (October 28, 2020) — BECU, one of the country’s largest community credit unions, today announced a $5 million commitment over the next five years to support Black communities and racial equity in Washington. This is BECU’s first step in a larger effort to invest in programs that support Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
Through the Black Community Development Project (BCDP), BECU will partner with local nonprofits focused on improving the overall emotional, physical, and financial health and well-being of the Black community, are led by Black leaders and employ a predominately multicultural staff that is representative of the communities being served.
“This commitment is one of many ways that BECU is demonstrating our commitment to racial equity on behalf of our employees, members and communities,” said Benson Porter, BECU’s president and chief executive officer. “These funds will support local nonprofits that are making meaningful impacts in our communities every day, and whose work supports the well-being of Black families and businesses around Washington state.”
“The project was created through a close partnership between our Social Impact team and the Black Alliance Cooperative, a BECU employee connection group, who understand the needs of the community and how to best serve them,” said Solynn McCurdy, BECU’s senior vice president of Social Impact. “We’re extremely proud to support these dedicated organizations who are leaders in serving our communities with programs focused on education, housing, workforce development, civic engagement and more, and invest in future programs for BIPOC communities”
BECU’s commitment this year through the BCDP includes:
- Nonprofit capacity building donations: $150,000 to five grassroot nonprofits, nominated by BECU employees and members, and selected by the members of the Black Alliance Cooperative. The 2020 recipients in each category include:
- Cultural Enrichment: NW Tap Connection
- Economic: Horn of Africa Services
- Education: Red-Tailed Hawks Flying Club (Black Pilots of America, Inc.)
- Health and Wellness: Our Sister’s House
- Civic Engagement: To be announced later this year
- Community impact grants (invitation-only): $450,000 to nonprofits addressing historical and institutional systems of racism, bias, and inequity faced by the Black community and other under-represented communities.
- Eligible nonprofits were invited by BECU to submit grant proposals based on past or current involvement with the credit union via either employee volunteerism, previous or existing funding partnership or regional representation of a specific BECU service area.
- Recipients will be selected and announced in December.
- Corporate social and credit union-inspired projects:
- Black Future Co-op Fund (with the Seattle Foundation): $200,000 to a statewide collective hub for efforts to eradicate poverty, support criminal justice reform, build generational wealth, preserve Black culture and celebrate the incredible resilience of Washington’s Black community.
- African-American Credit Union Coalition: $100,000 to the nonprofit organization comprised of African-American professionals, volunteers and members working to increase diversity within the credit union community.
- Employee-inspired gift match:
- BECU employees can receive a 2:1 match of donations to 10 organizations identified by the Black Alliance Cooperative.
- To date, donations from employees have resulted in $19,605 to these organizations.
BECU is federally insured by NCUA. With more than 1.2 million members and more than $25 billion in assets, BECU is the largest not-for-profit credit union in Washington and one of the top five financial cooperatives in the country. As a member-owned credit union, BECU is focused on helping increase the financial well-being of its members and communities through better rates, fewer fees, community partnerships and financial education. The credit union currently operates more than 50 locations in Washington and two financial centers in South Carolina. For more information, visit www.becu.org.