BECU Announces 2021 Black Community Development Project Recipients

Submitted by BECU.

As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, BECU today announced the 2021 nonprofit recipients of its Black Community Development Project (BCDP), a $5 million commitment over the next five years ($1 million per year) to support racial equity in its communities in Washington and South Carolina.

“In our second year of this project, BECU is even more resolved in our commitment to invest in programs that help lessen economic disparities and promote equitable opportunities in our communities,” said Benson Porter, BECU’s president and CEO. “I am inspired by the work of these organizations and by our employees leading this project. Guided by our purpose and by working together, we can make an impact on the emotional, physical, and financial well-being of BIPOC communities.”

Little Church on the Prairie

Driven by the project’s focus, BECU is partnering with local nonprofits focused on improving the well-being of the Black community, are led by Black leaders and employ a predominately multicultural staff that is representative of the communities being served.

“As part of our efforts to become a more equitable organization, we have better aligned our philanthropic strategy to support nonprofit programs focused on creating a more equitable economic playing field,” said Gloria Dixon, BECU’s director of Philanthropy and executive director of the BECU Foundation. “Through the Black Community Development Project, we are proud to financially support these deserving organizations in a significant way and help fuel their work to promote justice in our communities.”

BECU’s 2021 commitment through the BCDP includes:

Nonprofit capacity building donations: $150,000 to expand the work of seven Black-led organizations in need of funding, nominated by members through BECU’s People Helping People Awards and selected by members of the Black Alliance Cooperative, a BECU employee resource group. The 2021 recipients in each category include:

Pierce College

  • Advancing Education (Pre-K through College): Educators for Antiracism
  • Arts and Culture: Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center (T.U.P.A.C.)
  • Preserving Health and Promoting Wellness: Cierra Sisters
  • Preserving or Restoring the Environment: Our Climate Education Fund
  • Providing Basic Human Needs: Project Be Free
  • Strengthening Local Communities: Braided Seeds and Snohomish County Black Heritage Committee

Community impact grants (invitation-only): Two years of funding ($75,200 per year) focused on reducing barriers and creating opportunities to improve the financial health of the Black community in one or more of the following categories: Financial Stability (Education or Workforce Development), Financial Resilience (Entrepreneurship or Credit Repair/Wealth building) and Financial Education and Literacy (Homeownership or Un/Under Banked Communities).

  • This year’s recipients include: B.U.I.L.D., Charleston Area Urban League, Foundation for Tacoma Schools, Mother Africa, Technology Access Foundation and Your Money Matters Mentoring.
Edward Jones - Bart Dalton

Employee-inspired gift matches: BECU employees can receive a 2:1 match of donations to 10 organizations identified by the Black Alliance Cooperative. As of November 5, donations from nearly 60 employees have resulted in $38,160 being granted to these organizations.

Annual 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 (AACUC): $100,000 to the nonprofit organization comprised of African-American professionals, volunteers and members working to increase diversity within the credit union community.
  • Through a one-year grant, funds will be distributed to Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools to help advance educational justice and racial equity for students through the school district’s Office of African American Male Achievement and retention training to diverse educators through the Seattle Teacher Residency program.
Charles Wright Academy

Source: The Suburban Times