Launched in 2004 by the AACUC and the National Credit Union Foundation, the fund is a donor-designated fund within NCUF's Community Investment Fund. Credit unions can participate by making investments in their corporate credit union and directing the investment be placed in the CIF. One-half of the investment income is returned to the investing credit union. The remaining portion of the investment income is split between the coalition and the league or foundation of the state of original investment.
NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin recently presented a check for $60,875 to AACUC Chairwoman Barbara Stephens during the coalition's networking meeting and reception held during CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference last month. The check represented 2008 donations to AACUC from NCUF through the Pete Crear Fund.
Last year's $60,000 donation is down $20,000 from 2007 due to a drop in interest rates, according to Hubert Hoosman, AACUC treasurer and funding committee co-chair. He acknowledged that a couple of credit unions have withdrawn from investing in the fund because of liquidity and concerns with U.S. Central Corporate Credit Union's status. Those same credit unions have opted to donate directly to Shreveport, La.-based AACUC and through their local leagues.The funds will be used to advance some of the AACUC's ongoing projects, Hoosman said, including among them three $2,000 scholarships to college students, sponsorship of an AACUC member to CUES' management schools, and underwriting help for the World Council of Credit Union's annual African Congress. The fund will also continue to provide tuition for three native African credit union managers to attend WOCCU's Strathmore African Management Institute, a training school in Nairobi, Kenya. On Feb. 23, WOCCU said it decided to put the institute's program on hold pending the implementation of a SACCO market survey. Credit unions are known as SACCOs in Kenya. While new students cannot enroll in the June session, current tier-three students are allowed to attend, according to WOCCU.
"It's been viable. [The Pete Crear fund] has been very important in providing assistance to execute our programs," said Hoosman, who is also president/CEO of Vantage Credit Union in Bridgeton, Mo. "We see no need to alter our programs."
As with all CIF investments, interest generated by the Pete Crear Fund is split between the investing credit union, NCUF and the credit union foundation or league in the state of investment origin, according to NCUF. The foundation's portion of the return is directed into the Pete Crear Fund for use by the AACUC.