DUBLIN, Ohio (6/12/08)--Ten years after it began fundraising, the Ohio Credit Union Foundation (OCUF) has passed the $1 million mark in grants made to credit unions.
"This is a special milestone that reflects positively on the value-driven mindset and giving nature of credit unions in Ohio,” said Kathy Kanipe, CEO of Parish FCU, Toledo, and chair of the OCUF Board of Trustees. “The Foundation will continue its great work, supported by its board members and hundreds of generous donors, and I see no reason why we will not be celebrating a similar milestone in another 10 years, if not sooner.” The grant that eclipsed the $1 million mark was awarded earlier this year to Chivaho CU, Chillicothe to assist Chivaho CEO Laura Roberts her with her third year of tuition for CUNA Management School. The foundation grants also assisted Roberts with two previous years of management school. She will receive her diploma this summer. OCUF was incorporated in 1997 and began grant making in 1998 to support individual credit unions’ education and outreach initiatives that promote financial independence. It focuses on five major values:
* Promoting financial education to benefit credit union members, Ohio students, and the public; * Helping credit unions implement programs in their communities that fulfill their social responsibility to make financial services affordable and accessible to all members; * Providing professional development grants to assist credit union employees and volunteer leaders; * Offering financial relief to credit unions, their employees, members, and their communities in the wake of natural disasters; and * Empowering people to improve their financial well-being, based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, and equity.
The foundation also supports national credit union efforts and is the third largest contributor to the Biz Kid$ television program. In 2007, it also provided $10,000 to the National Credit Union Foundation to assist California wildfire victims and $5,000 to the World Council of Credit Unions for earthquake relief in Peru. OCUF's 2008 fundraising goal is $280,000, an increase of nearly 60% from the $167,000 raised in 1998. The foundation plans to award $250,000 in grants in 2008.