Philanthropy, I-CUDE and Fun During “WF Day” at WCUC 2021

Worldwide Foundation Day at the World Credit Union Conference celebrated I-CUDEs, engaged through global games and looked to the future of credit union philanthropy across three sessions

July 15, 2021

MADISON, Wis.—Three virtual events kicked off the first of three days of content contributed by the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions during “WF Day” at the 2021 Virtual World Credit Union Conference.

Global Giving

At a roundtable discussion on credit union philanthropy during and after COVID-19, national credit union foundation leaders in the United States, Canada, Australia and Brazil said industry financial commitments remained strong despite the pandemic, allowing them to assist member institutions in need throughout the crisis and continue their credit union professional education programs.

But some regions saw a major decline in charitable funding at a time when they could least afford it.

“We actually received our lowest donations in 2020 in comparison to the last seven years,” said Denise Garfield, General Manager of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU) and the CCCU Development Foundation. “Our Foundation is very small, but our disasters are huge, unfortunately. And the Caribbean region is plagued almost annually with hurricanes—and this year with a volcano in St. Vincent.”

Participants identified digitization, and economic and mental health recovery from the pandemic as the main areas of support credit unions will need assistance with over the next 12 to 18 months. They also agreed that developing partnerships and providing experiences for supporters are becoming more important aspects of fundraising for the industry.

“We will need support from strategic partnerships and credit unions from all across the country and I think COVID put that off in the distance, but we have a renewed sense of energy to do that very quickly,” said Robert Kelly, CEO of the Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL).

Bridge the Gap via a Global Gathering

Worldwide Foundation also provided an update on how its initiatives have helped credit unions worldwide address key challenges during its Global Gathering event, a virtual replacement for the annual supporters’ reception at WCUC.

Through four dynamic videos, Worldwide Foundation updated its donors on how its campaign helped bridge serious credit union gaps that exist worldwide through its Bridge the Gap campaign, including the:

  • Digital Gap. VyStar Credit Union in Jacksonville, Florida conducted a workshop to help World Council of Credit Unions’ Economic Inclusion Project (EIP) integrate digital credit solutions into their work of helping Venezuelan migrants and local vulnerable populations access formal financial services.
  • Safety Gap. The National Credit Union Federation of Korea (NACUFOK) donated more than 60,000 facemasks, which Worldwide Foundation distributed to 40 credit union systems worldwide to keep employees and members safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Worldwide Foundation also provided grant funding for personal protective equipment to credit unions in Ukraine and the Caribbean as well.
  • Gender Gap. In Senegal, World Council’s Gender Lens Investment for Credit Unions Activity continues to develop a toolkit to help local credit unions support women’s empowerment and economic entrepreneurship.
  • Leadership Gap. Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) and WYCUP program initiatives continue to respectively help women and young professionals grow into leadership roles across the global credit union community. Both groups will host their own respective Worldwide Foundation days at WCUC next week, with GWLN hosting events on Monday, July 19 and WYCUP hosting activities on Tuesday, July 20.

Worldwide Foundation also introduced a new program—Global Bridges: an end-to-end journey experience for credit unions to leverage that provides staff leadership development, while helping solve global credit union challenges.

Learn about how Worldwide Foundation can craft a global credit union journey for you and your organization by visiting

11 earn I-CUDE designation

Over 300 International Credit Union Development Educator (I-CUDE) alumni and enthusiasts also joined Worldwide Foundation Day to learn more about the seven global CUDE programs and to honor the 11 I-CUDE graduates from four countries that make up the Class of 2021.

Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions reviews all annual I-CUDE applications and approves designation.

“WF Day was all about delivering value to our donors and new audiences by celebrating our global DE peers, updating our donors while having fun and sharing how we will address future philanthropic challenges. It was a great experiment to see what our constituents resonated toward,” said Mike Reuter, Executive Director of Worldwide Foundation.

Still to come

The 2021 World Credit Union Conference continues Friday with Workshop Day. Attendees will be able to attend three interactive workshops:

  • Optimize Your Performance by Enhancing Your Environment
  • Treating Workplace Equity and Inclusion as a Psychological Health and Safety Issue
  • Always Forward – Moving from Fear to Focused-Driven Business

Follow daily conference activities on FacebookTwitter and Instagram with #WCUC2021.

The 2021 World Credit Union Conference runs through Wednesday, July 21.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform 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 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 86,055 credit unions in 118 countries serve 291 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

Author Photo
Contact: Greg Neumann
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1 608-395-2048
Global Giving: What the Future Holds
Global Giving: What the Future Holds
Bridging the Safety Gap
Bridging the Safety Gap
Worldwide Foundation Executive Director Mike Reuter
Worldwide Foundation Executive Director Mike Reuter

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