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WASHINGTON – The board of the National Credit Union Foundation has looked outside the credit union industry and chosen someone with broad philanthropic experience to fill the Executive Director position formerly held by Gary Officer. Officer, who has been credited with playing a key role in both growing the NCUF and helping broaden its contacts with the overall philanthropic community, resigned in April. Newly named NCUF Executive Director Steven Delfin said he didn’t know Officer but has heard a lot about him, and knows Officer will be a tough act to follow. Delfin, who took over on Oct. 18, also acknowledges that he will have a bit of a learning curve to overcome given that he’s coming to an organization so rooted in the credit union industry – an industry where he has no official experience. “I have been a credit union member in the past,” said Delfin, formerly the director of community relations at Booze, Allen Hamilton, a $2.3 billion management consulting firm. “And my family was part of credit unions when I was coming up,” Delfin added. While Delfin might not know much about credit unions, he has a lot of experience with community development work, including serving as chairman of the board of trustees for the ePhilanthropy Foundation. He also holds numerous board and committee positions for organizations such as America’s Charities, Net-Impact, c-Market and CharitySkills, the NCUF said. “We’re thrilled to have Steve on board,” said Chuck Purvis, NCUF’s chair and EVP at Coastal Federal Credit Union in Raleigh, NC. “His broad background and extensive experience will play a critical role in growing and strengthening the foundation.” Delfin’s 25-year career includes stints in executive positions with the National Association for Home Care, “Youth Power” (formerly Just Say No International), the American Red Cross National Headquarters, and United Way of America. He most recently managed his own public relations firm providing strategic public relations and fund raising counsel to nonprofit organizations, health care providers and corporations, the NCUF said. A highly respected leader in both the nonprofit and business communities, Delfin has delivered hundreds of speeches, seminars and workshops on a range of topics including corporate social responsibility, charities and corporate sponsorships, “cause-related marketing”, the Internet and public education, volunteer leadership development, crisis communication, and fund raising. Delfin said that, from his perspective, his experience with all aspects of the philanthropic effort, from the raising of funds to the disbursing of funds and the building of public awareness, is what most qualified him for the new job he started this week For example, Delfin played a key role in Booze Allen’s effort to use the Booze Allen Classic, a Professional Golf Association tournament formerly known as the Kemper Open, to raise money specifically for charities in the Washington D.C. area. His chairmanship of the board of the ePhilanthropy Foundation, an organization that helps nonprofits move steadily into more online giving, has also given him a particular strength in the use of technology and the Internet to raise money. Still, Delfin acknowledged that the NCUF would bring a number of unique challenges. In addition to being rooted in the credit union industry, the foundation is rather uniquely funded. Unlike other philanthropic efforts that rely on direct donations or grants to fund their efforts, credit unions invest money in accounts with U.S. Central and share their interest from their investments with the NCUF according to a pre-established formula. In practice this means that the NCUF can weather downturns in institutional giving which can follow economic slow-downs better than other foundations, but it also means that the NCUF remains vulnerable to low interest rate environments of the type that have prevailed over the last couple of years. Delfin explained that, in his view, both the NCUF’s unique structure and mission position it well to use its investments as leverage to reach out to other public and private funders in the future, and said he planned on continuing the efforts that Officer began. -

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