In a move that it said will continue to strengthen and deepen the Development Education program, the National Credit Union Foundation has allowed credit unions making investments in its Community Investment Fund to designate some or all of those funds to support the development education program.
The new designation will be called the Development Education Fund. The new fund will join others where investing credit unions make specific designations for their funds. The others include the African-American Credit Union Coalition (Pete Crear Fund), the World Council of Credit Unions (International Development Fund), and the NCUF & State Credit Union Foundations (General Fund).
When investing credit unions designate the General Fund, the foundation grants half of its NCUF dividend to each investing credit union's state foundation or league. The foundation uses the remaining portion of the CIF dividend to support its national programs.
But when the credit unions designate the Credit Union Development Education Fund, Pete Crear Fund or the International Development Fund, half of the CIF dividend that goes to support the activities of these funds is disbursed as 42.5% directly to the particular fund, 42.5% to the credit union's state foundation or league and 15% to NCUF as a fee for maintaining a separate fund.
Tom Candell, interim executive director for the foundation, said the NCUF already has some credit unions which have made investments in the new fund and that the new fund will enable the foundation to operate the program without spending as much money out of its budget.
"We already have a fund for scholarships," Candell said, "so the money won't be used for that. But the tuition fees we charge don't cover the costs of each class so this will help us to defray those," he added.
The foundation has served as the chief sponsoring organization for the DE program since 2006 after having had a succession of sponsors and homes.
Tom Decker is the director of the foundation's CU Center for Social Impact Management and oversees the Development Education program.
"The money from the designated investments will allow us to continue to grow the programs and to add some enhancements that we have wanted to add for a while but have not been able to yet," Decker explained. Among them are a continuing education program that would not reiterate the basics of cooperative and credit philosophy but reintroduce development educators, known as DEs, to the changing ways that those philosophies are being put to use in the world.
"We have about 1000 graduates now," Decker said. "And these are a community of enthusiastic, vocal and committed people. They love credit unions and want to stay involved."