BECU Commits $5 Million Over the Next Five Years to Support Racial Equity

The Seattle-based credit union is partnering with nonprofits through the Black Community Development Project.

11/10/2020

BECU, headquartered in Seattle, announced it is committing $5 million to supporting Black communities and racial equity in Washington over the next five years. This is BECU’s first step in a larger effort to invest in programs that support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

“This commitment is one of many ways that BECU is demonstrating our commitment to racial equity on behalf of our employees, members, and communities,” said Benson Porter, BECU President and CEO. “These funds will support local nonprofits that are making meaningful impacts in our communities every day, and whose work supports the well-being of Black families and businesses around Washington state.”

Through the Black Community Development Project, BECU is partnering with local nonprofits led by Black leaders that focus on improving the overall emotional, physical, and financial health of the Black community. These nonprofits employ a predominately multicultural staff that is representative of the communities being served.

“The project was created through a close partnership between our Social Impact team and the Black Alliance Cooperative, a BECU employee connection group that understands the needs of the community and how to best serve them,” said Solynn McCurdy, BECU’s Senior Vice President of Social Impact. “We’re extremely proud to support these dedicated organizations who are leaders in serving our communities with programs focused on education, housing, workforce development, civic engagement and more, and invest in future programs for BIPOC communities.”

BECU’s commitment this year through the BCDP includes:
  • Nonprofit capacity building donations: $150,000 to five grassroot nonprofits, nominated by BECU employees and members and selected by the members of the Black Alliance Cooperative.

The 2020 recipients in each category include:

  • Community impact grants (invitation-only): $450,000 to nonprofits addressing historical and institutional systems of racism, bias, and inequity faced by the Black community and other under-represented communities.
    • Eligible nonprofits were invited by BECU to submit grant proposals based on past or current involvement with the credit union via either employee volunteerism, previous or existing funding partnership or regional representation of a specific BECU service area.
    • Recipients will be selected and announced in December.
  • Corporate social and credit union-inspired projects:
    • Black Future Co-op Fund (with the Seattle Foundation): $200,000 to a statewide collective hub for efforts to eradicate poverty, support criminal justice reform, build generational wealth, preserve Black culture and celebrate the incredible resilience of Washington’s Black community.
    • African-American Credit Union Coalition: $100,000 to the nonprofit organization comprised of African-American professionals, volunteers and members working to increase diversity within the credit union community.
  • Employee-inspired gift match:
    • BECU employees can receive a 2:1 match of donations to 10 organizations identified by the Black Alliance Cooperative.
    • To date, donations from employees have resulted in $19,605 to these organizations.

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