ICUL Service Corporation
September 2012


Important News

ICU Foundation provides more than $28K in second round of grants for 2012

Live stream press event hosted for MBL Issue

Are you ready for International Credit Union Day?  Theme highlights key difference

Time to schedule your credit union's planning session

League’s summer of giving continues

ICU Foundation provides more than $28K in second round of grants for 2012
The Illinois Credit Union Foundation (ICU Foundation) recently awarded $28,750 in Small Credit Union Development (SCUD), Community Service, and Marketing and Business Development grants, bringing the total awarded for the year to more than $74,300.

SCUD grants totaled $17,250 and were awarded to 10 credit unions.  Purposes for the SCUD grants included computer hardware and software, equipment and upgrades, and other operational needs.  The recipients were: Alton & Southern Railroad Employees Federal Credit Union (East St. Louis), CSX Chicago Terminal Credit Union (Calumet City), D-B Employees Credit Union (Johnston City), Decatur Policemen Credit Union (Decatur), Flossmoor Credit Union (Homewood), Menard Credit Union (Menard), Mercer Credit Union (Aledo), Peoria Fire Fighters Credit Union (Peoria), Peru Municipal Credit Union (Peru), and United Catholic Credit Union (Granite City).

The Foundation also awarded $3,000 in Community Service grants. This program is designed to encourage and reward chapter or credit union participation in local community projects.  Credit unions and chapters can qualify for grants by hosting an established event, creating an event, or volunteering at an established event.  Blackhawk Area CU (Savanna) will utilize their grant to facilitate the Bonzai financial education project and Oak Lawn Municipal ECU (Oak Lawn) was a recipient for its “Stock the Pantries” project.  In addition, these grants were also provided to the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation and the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation for Children’s Hospital service projects in Charlotte, NC and Tampa, FL, respectively to help support credit unions' tradition of honoring each national political convention city with a "leave-behind" project that will serve the local communities long after the conventions have left town.

In addition, three credit unions received Marketing and Business Development grants that totaled $8,500.  The recipients were: Three Rivers Community Credit Union (Mt. Carmel), Valley Bell Credit Union (Elgin), and Western Illinois Credit Union (Macomb).  Established in 2006, these grants help credit unions with assets of up to $30 million to start or expand outreach efforts. The maximum grant award is $5,000 per credit union per year.  Requested uses for these grants included support for a membership outreach event, a plan to provide service to new a community charter area, and a Web site upgrade as part of a community charter expansion.

There is one more grant request deadline remaining during 2012 - October 31. In addition, scholarships are reviewed on an on-going basis while funds last.  Online and downloadable grant request forms are available via the League's Web site.  Eligibility is limited to Illinois credit unions and chapters.

Established in 1978 to foster credit union ideals and philosophy throughout Illinois, the Foundation has awarded more than $2.4 million in scholarships, community service grants, assistance for small credit union development, emergencies and natural disasters, limited income credit unions, and community involvement projects.  In 2011 alone, the Foundation awarded $47,439 in SCUD grants, $8,000 in community service grants, $11,500 in Financial Independence and Revitalization Effort (FIRE) grants, $20,668 in marketing and business development grants, and $41,190 in scholarships.

Live stream press event hosted for MBL Issue
On September 12, CUNA hosted a press event in the nation's capitol to highlight how member business lending (MBL) legislation will help small businesses, create new jobs and feature key U.S. Senate and House supporters -- and will be streamed across the Internet live so that credit unions, as well as congressional lawmakers across the country, had the opportunity to watch from the convenience of their offices. 

The event, which featured remarks from key MBL sponsors Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), as well as CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney and MBL coalition partners, came as members of Congress were returning to Washington. Washington political newspaper The Hill presented the MBL event as part of its "Issue Forum" series, and representatives from the paper moderated presentations about the MBL legislation and what it could mean to small businesses in need of capital.

As part of the program, Rhett Buttle, of The Small Business Majority, and Eli Lehrer, of the R Street Institute--both respected leaders of their respective Washington think tanks-- also presented a joint research report focusing on job growth, the role small business plays in the economy and the support that credit unions can offer to small business in the economy's recovery with expanded business lending authority. Credit union and small business representatives also spoke.

The event was live streamed online via

Grassroots Action Needed:
Congress should enact legislation which increases the credit union member business lending cap from 12.25% of assets to 27.5% for well-capitalized credit unions and adds significant safeguards to ensure that qualifying credit unions do this additional lending safely and soundly.  This approach has been endorsed by the Obama Administration.

Please contact your Senators (Richard Durbin and Mark Kirk) and Representatives TODAY and ask them to co-sponsor S. 2231 (The Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill) and H.R. 1418 (Small Business Lending Enhancement Act)
. Pre-written letters are available for your use at the Credit Union Grassroots Action Center, where you can quickly personalize and send messages to the appropriate legislators based on the address you enter.  Contact Don Edwards or Pat Huffman for any questions or additional information at (800) 942-7124. 

Are you ready for International Credit Union Day? Theme highlights key difference
The message is simple, direct and embraces the key concept behind credit unions: Members Matter Most. Those three words, which comprise this year's International Credit Union (ICU) Day® theme, speak to the heart of the credit union philosophy.

"In the face of all challenges, credit unions have always existed to serve their members," said Brian Branch, World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) President and CEO. "The clear and simple message, 'Members Matter Most,' summarizes credit unions' reason for being."

ICU Day, celebrated annually on the third Thursday of October, takes place this year on Oct. 18, 2012. This year is also the United Nations' International Year of Cooperatives, a year-long celebration that began Oct. 31, 2011, and has provided greater visibility to credit unions and other cooperatives worldwide.

This year's theme was submitted by Sinéad Butler from the Marketing Services Department of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU). 'Members Matter Most' was one of more than a dozen themes submitted by representatives from Abacus Australian Mutuals, Credit Union Central of Canada, Credit Union National Association (USA) and WOCCU.

Committee members also voted on the design of this year's ICU Day poster, which incorporates photos of credit union members from Mexico, Poland, Tanzania and other countries from around the world. The seven cooperative principles in English, Spanish and French form the poster's background.

"Members are the heart of the credit union system. This year's theme speaks perfectly to the sentiment all staff carry through on every day," said Bill Cheney, CUNA President and CEO. "Further, it differentiates credit unions from other financial institutions as member-owned financial cooperatives. At credit unions, members matter most."

Official ICU Day graphics are available to download on WOCCU's Web site at Promotional materials and other ideas to help celebrate International Credit Union Day are also available.

Time to schedule your credit union's planning session
With fall approaching, it’s a good time to think about strategic planning. Your regional directors have a variety of planning options to meet individual credit union needs. Offered as an extension of the services available through League membership are several free and fee-based consulting services designed to build the strength and well-being of your credit union. The affordable consulting services include:
  • Basic Planning
  • Strategic Planning
  • Future Search
  • Compliance Reviews
  • Employment Practices
Please contact the Regional Management Department or see the League's Web site for further information.

League's summer of giving continues
League staff have participated in three community service projects to help out those in need this summer.

First, ICUL completed its fourth annual summer food drive, this time to benefit the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Naperville.  The pantry's most needed items were collected in the drive.

Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry has served the Naperville area since 1984. Business and community partnerships are integral to the success of Loaves & Fishes, now serving all of DuPage County.  In the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, Loaves & Fishes provided nourishment to 112,468 individuals in 28,824 distributions. 

It additionally initiated Pathways to Empowerment programs to assist people with issues preventing them from being self-sufficient. These on-site programs are offered by partner agencies on topics such as English language proficiency, nutrition education, basic financial skills, job search support, income tax preparation, and public benefits enrollment.

As of June 2012, family visits are up 61 percent and total new families 71 percent over the same time in 2011. Loaves & Fishes is serving record numbers of people because of its collaboration with the community.

Also this summer, ICUL staff provided 18 pints of blood for Heartland Blood Centers, an independent not-for-profit blood center serving 38 hospitals in a 12-county area in northeastern Illinois, as well as northwestern Indiana.  Under a volunteer donor system, Heartland works toward collecting more than 172,000 units of blood annually.

Lastly, several "Jeans Days" were held to assist local and national charities and causes voted upon by the staff.  The recipient organizations included The Salvation Army, the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

"As a result of the great response by our staff, we continue to participate in these important activities during the summer months and throughout other times of the year to help those in need in our communities," said Dan Plauda, ICUL President/Chief Executive Officer.

Our Mission: To Serve You