International Partnership Focuses on the Importance of Foundations
l-r: Michelle Kramer, WOCCU international partnership assistant; Paolo Lezama, board member, Caja Libertad; Victor Corro, WOCCU international partnership manager, Hugo Bustamante, vice president of member relations, Caja Libertad; and César Izurieta, executive vice president of marketing for Caja Libertad pose for a photo by the Mexican flag at World Council offices in Madison, WI.
Madison, WI— A delegation from Caja
the second largest credit union in Mexico,
visited credit union foundations in the United
States this week as part of the World Council of
Credit Unions' International Partnership between
World Council, Caja Libertad and the Arizona
Credit Union System. The delegation learned
about state, national and international
foundations and the impact the have to help them
in establishing their own foundation.
The Mexican delegation included: Paolo
vice president of operations; Hugo Bustamante,
president of the education directive and board
member and César
Izurieta, director of marketing. As a WOCCU
Supporter, Caja Libertad funds international
credit union development. In this trip, the Caja
Libertad representatives evaluated the potential
for establishing a foundation to expand the
philanthropic work the institution supports
Hugo Bustamante noted, "We currently fund
financial literacy programs, health and wellness
activities, programs that help to keep our
cooperative culture alive and numerous community
reinvestment initiatives. But, we think we can
do more, through a separate foundation."
Caja Libertad delegation
The group first met with the Arizona Credit
Union System to learn about the basics of
fundraising. Sandy Watts, marketing and
communications director of the Arizona Credit
Union System explained, "We discussed key topics
like who decides how to spend funds and why, the
grant request system, the organizational
structure, legal status and their foundation's
history." Watts also shared success stories and
challenges foundations deal with when starting
out. During the exchange the group also toured
Arizona Federal Credit Union and Desert Schools
Federal Credit Union.
In Madison, Wisconsin, World Council's
Worldwide Foundation funds manager, Valerie
Breunig, shared her perspective on the
importance of organizational structure, the
benefits a foundation provides and how to find
donors. Breunig worked through potential
business strategies with the Caja Libertad
representatives, reviewed their goals and spoke
in depth on how to raise funds.
The group also met with Kris Hoffman
National Credit Union Foundation's director of
donor relations and received an in-depth view of
fundraising on the national level in the United
States and discussed investment funds,
fundraising, and putting your money where your
The group concluded their meetings in the
States at Selfreliance Ukrainian American
Federal Credit Union in Chicago, Illinois, where
CEO Bohdan Watral and his staff members spoke
about their community reinvestment activities.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.