WASHINGTON -As NCUF Executive Director Gary Officer urged credit unions to grow their visions to match the potential funding available, the NCUF drew nearer to a significant milestone. According to Foundation staff, the NCUF’s Community Investment Fund (CIF) has reached its first $50 million dollars in deposits, granting the Foundation a source of funding that is fairly unique in the credit union world. Where other grant making Foundations have to pace their grants according to their donations and the yearly performance of their stock portfolios, the Foundation is able to fund many of its projects with the income from the CIF. This is a freedom that Chuck Purvis, vice chairman of the NCUF and senior vice president for the $1.1 billion Raleigh North Carolina based Coastal Federal Credit Union and chief organizer of the Fund, said was the point from the beginning. In 1998, Purvis said he noticed that the Foundation was being forced to spend a lot of its time and resources on raising funds in annual fund raising drives. Then with U.S. Central, Purvis said he was aware of how much money credit unions had available to use to make investments, and he struck on the idea of creating an investment fund into which credit unions could invest their money. The Foundation could use a portion of the interest the fund produced to support its own projects, he envisioned. After about nine months of lobbying the boards of the Foundation and U.S. Central voted in favor of the idea, and the NCUF launched the fund with a zero balance but a lot of good will, Purvis said. The state leagues of North Carolina and Illinois took the project to heart and within six months the fund had its first $10 to $15 million, he added. So far the fund has generated $1.4 million for local, state, national and international credit union initiatives, the NCUF said.
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