Introducing Nusenda Foundation's Financial Education Innovator Award

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What We Do

When the Nusenda Foundation was developed in 2014, its vision was to realize the full potential of the communities in which we serve. Its intention was to place under one umbrella the causes that Nusenda Credit Union has rallied around for decades, and to formalize our processes so that our community investments can help our fellow New Mexicans grow and thrive in the most impactful and meaningful ways.

Through holistic and comprehensive partnerships with organizations across the state, we work together to champion programs that are carefully cultivated to authentically serve our unique and diverse population and the challenges they face. These programs remove barriers to education, healthcare, and economic success; and they support, in part, the arts, wildlife and the environment. These strategically focused alliances reap higher benefits than if we all worked alone.

In 2016 – 2017, we provided more than $2.5 million in community and financial impact and in-kind support to our community partners, which are instrumental in helping organizations in need, and embody our commitment to do well, so we can do good in the communities where we live, work, and play.

We also oversee large grants into our communities that provide resources for entrepreneurship, education, and community development projects. These grants came from organizations such as Living Cities, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and the Albuquerque Community Foundation.

We invite you to explore our partner programs to learn more. You’ll also find information on applying for Community Rewards funding, or for Nusenda Credit Union/Foundation sponsorships.

The work that we do here at the Nusenda Foundation is just a sliver of the overall effort of a large group of New Mexicans who collaborate with the aim of positively impacting the lives, careers, and futures for generations to come in the Land of Enchantment.

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Nusenda Foundation's Award-Winning Programs in the News

Co-op Capital Program Named One of Top 25 Innovations in American Government Programs in the U.S. by Harvard Ash Center

Jul 31, 2018

The Ash Center on Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University has recognized Nusenda Credit Union’s Co-op Capital program and its partnership with City Alive and the City of Albuquerque, as a top-25 program for the 2018 Innovations in American Government awards.

Co-op Capital is a micro-lending program created by Nusenda Credit Union. In partnership with City Alive and the City of Albuquerque, Co-op Capital has expanded its mission to widen access to capital to groups that are typically shut-out from traditional financial avenues because of lack of collateral, credit, or alternative financing.

Instead of relying on these typical lending qualifications, the Co-op Capital program flips the traditional lending model and bases lending on trusted relationships between partner organizations – such as nonprofits, community organizations, and educational institutions – and individuals needing capital in the communities they serve.

The Co-op Capital program to date has distributed more than $675,000 to help borrowers obtain college degrees, open new businesses, or grow existing small businesses.

"Our partnership with Nusenda and City Alive helps small, local businesses here in Albuquerque get affordable, safe loans,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. “Alternative loans through programs like these are key to closing racial wealth gaps, tackling income inequality, and creating an economy that works for everyone. This recognition from Harvard's Ash Center on Democratic Governance and Innovation shows that when we change the way we do business, we get the results we need in our city.”

“We know that it’s important to address challenges that local businesses and entrepreneurs face,” 
said Nusenda President/CEO Terry Laudick. “While community circle micro-lending is not a new concept – especially internationally, we believe that this ‘alternative to the alternatives’ is a great tool to help our fellow New Mexicans succeed in business – and in life.

 “This achievement speaks to the work of the Co-op Capital program, the City Alive initiative, and the innovative, forward-thinking spirit of our city; and validates its effectiveness in tackling some of our toughest community challenges.”

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School explores the relationships between democratic governance and the persistence of urgent social programs. The award aims to recognize and promote excellence and creativity in the public sector. Since its inception in 1985 with funding from the Ford Foundation, more than 27,000 applications have been submitted from municipalities, counties, states, and various government entities nationwide; nearly 500 government initiatives worldwide have been recognized for their achievements to date. Previous awardees include New York state, Los Angeles County, and the city of Austin. New Mexico entities have also previously been recognized, including the state’s Department of Workforce Solutions, Santa Ana Pueblo, Luna County, and the city of Santa Fe. 

Thanks to support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, in 2018 the Co-op Capital program expanded to include 10 new affiliate organizations, including the South Valley Economic Development Center, Family Independence Initiative (FII), Three Sisters Kitchen, and The Street Food Institute. Through their participation in Co-op Capital, these partner organizations will support city-wide goals for entrepreneurship, economic development, and family financial mobility. 

For more information on the Ash Center and the Innovations in American Government award, visit

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