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Nusenda Credit Union Receives National Recognition for Financial Education, Employee Volunteer Efforts

Nov 17, 2018

Nusenda Credit Union will be recognized at the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. in March, 2019, as a first-place winner of the Louise Herring Philanthropy-in-Action Member Service Award, and an honorable mention for the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award, for its work in the communities it serves through Co-op Capital and employee-based volunteerism program.

The Louise Herring Award is given to a credit union demonstrating the internal application of the credit union philosophy to help better financial matters and increase financial education for its members; the Dora Maxwell Award is presented to credit unions for outstanding social responsibility projects in their communities. The national awards, which are given in several credit union asset sizes, were selected among the winning entries at the local credit union league level.

Also that at event, the Nusenda Foundation will receive the Credit Union National Foundation's (CUNF) Herb Wegner Memorial Award for innovative, creative, and risk-taking work and leadership. This award was announced in October.

"One of the seven cooperative principles of credit unions is concern for community — and the Nusenda team is a steadfast community partner in the places we call home every day," said Ann Brooks, chair of the Nusenda Credit Union Board of Directors. "Through our volunteerism and public service, programs that break barriers and foster equal economic prosperity, financially sound member education and advisement, and collaborative partnerships with like-minded organizations statewide, Nusenda is a model of innovation and community service for credit unions worldwide."

The Nusenda Foundation's Co-op Capital program, often called the 'alternative to the alternatives,' is a character-based, community circle micro-lending program that provides access to financial capital to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color who have no access to collateral, are credit-challenged, or lack support of alternative financing. Instead of relying on these typical lending qualifications, Co-op Capital 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 int he 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.

Nusenda Credit Union's employee volunteerism programs have expanded in 2018. the programs give employees the opportunity to give back, with their branch or department, to support local organizations such as PB&J Family Services, The Girls Inc., Locker #505, Ronald McDonald House Charities of New Mexico, Galloping Grace Youth Ranch, the state Children, Youth, and Families Department, and more. Ten organizations statewide have already received assistance from Nusenda employee volunteer teams; nine more are scheduled through the end of 2018.

For a list of all winners and categories, please refer to CUNA's official news release.

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