Since its beginning in 1936, Nusenda Credit Union has operated under a fundamental principle: do well, so that we can do good. This principle has fueled the credit union’s growth from its nine founding members to more than 167,000 member-owners. The credit union returns the benefits of this shared participation and success by doing good for you and doing good for the community.
Nusenda Credit Union believes that giving means more than just writing a check. Our financial and non-monetary contributions are shared with our partner organizations and nonprofits to strengthen and support the needs of the communities where you live and work. Our unique approach to philanthropy incorporates the “Power of WE” as our members help guide our investments toward five focus areas: Education, Healthcare, the Arts, Environment and Wildlife, Community Services and Support.
The credit union’s primary program for members to designate community support is Community Rewards. This program is made possible through the financial partnership of Nusenda Credit Union and its member-owners, who contribute with each qualifying use of their debit cards. Contributions are shared with partner organizations and nonprofits that strengthen and support the needs of the community. In addition to Community Rewards, Nusenda Credit Union is committed to providing member-owners and employer group partners throughout New Mexico with access to extensive financial capability training and education. We strongly believe that by providing financial capability education, we can give community members the tools to improve their financial well-being.
Nusenda Credit Union Foundation exists to support the credit union’s new and existing philanthropic programs, financial and technical innovations, and educational initiatives. Its mission is to create stronger communities where members live and work through collaborative partnerships and by investing in innovative solutions to improve education, health, social and economic outcomes.
The Nusenda Credit Union Foundation operates as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in partnership with the operations of the credit union. The Nusenda Credit Union Foundation will support new and existing programs such as Community Rewards, Powering Success, Co-op Capital, Running Start for Careers, and more.
Here are examples of Nusenda Credit Union’s innovative approach to community philanthropy:
- Financial knowledge and capability are key factors in the economic success of New Mexicans, both now and for generations to come. Nusenda Credit Union is uniquely dedicated to this cause, creating a Common Core State Standards-aligned financial capability curriculum for teachers and students. We have a dedicated educator on our team that has developed financial education materials. Nusenda Credit Union has created an in-depth, comprehensive program focusing on long-term financial capability. The program helps individuals transition their financial literacy knowledge into lifelong tools and skills to manage their finances. This curriculum covers 18 topics, including budgeting, building wealth, investing, and saving, among others.
- Partnering with Nusenda Credit Union, Albuquerque Public School’s (APS) Parent University offers Nusenda’s financial capability workshops that focus on how making informed financial decisions can help parents plan for their children’s future and facilitate their students’ school success. Financial workshop topics include saving for college, managing credit, purchasing a house, purchasing a car, and much more. APS Parent University is designed to help parents and families become more engaged in their children’s schooling and education. The program provides parents with workshops and informative sessions on topics related to their children’s success in school.
- Nusenda Credit Union has maintained a long-standing partnership with the University of New Mexico (UNM) to help students succeed throughout their pursuit of a higher education. In support of this partnership, the credit union has developed several programs to help students understand and manage their finances, including micro-assistance, financial capability curriculum and training, financial workshops, on-campus banking, Wi-Fi access, and much more. Nusenda Credit Union’s financial capability curriculum is utilized in UNM’s University 101 program, a semester-long course designed to introduce freshman student to UNM with college study skills, professor teaching styles, and other information that will help to ease their transition into college.
- Nusenda Credit Union and UNM have created a student retention program that improves graduation rates and provides financial capability workshops for students. Called Powering Success, the program has repurposed existing funding for student retention to collateralize a program that provides funding to students who have financial emergencies that might have forced them to drop out of college. This unique program is a first in the United States and improves both retention and college graduation rates. Nusenda runs the program for the University and can provide emergency funding within a 24-hour period. This program has received national recognition including recognition as a recipient of the Spotlight on Poverty Ideas For Action award and a Catapult! award to move the program from pilot to implementation. It has also recently received funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to make this program available for students who are in or who have been in foster care.
- As a member of the Running Start for Careers program, Nusenda Credit Union, in partnership with Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), APS, and the City of Albuquerque, developed the Financial Services Career Exploration course. High school juniors and seniors learn about careers available within the financial industry while earning high school and college credit. Students gain valuable job skills and on-the-job-training from industry experts. Once students complete the Financial Services Exploration course, they can apply for a paid internship with the credit union, where they receive additional college credit. This program has received national recognition from the White House as providing innovative solutions.
- Nusenda Credit Union has also piloted innovative programs, such as the Co-Op Capital program, where associations can create and collateralize loan programs that benefit both the member association and local entrepreneurs. This program is based on the principles of micro-lending but relies on the trusted relationships within member organizations. We also work with our employer group partners to provide solutions, enabling them to save money with electronic paychecks; this also assists employees without bank accounts. These services are provided at no cost to our partners or their employees.
- In partnership with UNM and the City of Albuquerque, Nusenda Credit Union is a founding partner of Innovate ABQ, an effort to connect the research power of UNM with government and private resources to accelerate job creation and economic opportunity, both now and for generations to come.
Nusenda Credit Union has been recognized locally and nationally for the innovative nature of the programs we have created. This commitment to community is focused on improving financial outcomes for our member-owners, our employer group partners, and the larger community.
More than $160 million has been returned to members and New Mexico communities since 2006. We call that the Power of WE®.