As we approach the close of Quarter 1 2022 (what? already?!?), Northside Funders Group thought you might be curious about what the Association for Black Economic Power (ABEP) has accomplished since the last time we heard from them in December 2021. So, on March 25th 2022 we hosted a virtual event to hear from the team directly. If you missed it, you can read the highlights here or watch the meeting recording (scroll to the end to watch).
Public Recognition and Engagement
The ABEP team got some significant national recognition. Debra Hurston, ABEP Executive Director, traveled to Washington DC to meet with Representative Ilhan Omar to update her on continued efforts to launch the credit union. Additionally, while in DC, Debra was asked to meet with leaders of the regulatory arm of the National Credit Union Association (NCUA), which is responsible for determining whether a credit union application will advance towards approval. Meetings of this nature with regulators are extremely rare, serving is an indication of the national support Village Financial Credit Union has garnered.
But ABEP is working hard to engage stakeholders here at home, too. ABEP, in partnership with community leaders, has hosted two of three virtual Town Hall meetings to engage with local community members and respond to questions about the effort. The next one is planned for March 31st—click on the link to register!
As you may recall from the last event, ABEP has some bold fundraising goals and an aggressive timeline. The focus on fundraising is due to the requirement to demonstrate financial sustainability for the credit union operations post launch. ABEP cannot submit the charter application, which is virtually ready for submission, without at least 50% of these resources raised.
Here is a breakdown of their overall needs and sources.
The Minnesota Credit Union Network has raised around $500,000 from fellow MN credit unions in operating capital to be released when the credit union is launched. Additionally, those same partners have pledged $2.4M in institutional deposits–the requirement for charter submission is $3M, SO CLOSE! Now, the MN Credit Union Foundation just announced a national campaign to close the $500K gap!
Locally, ABEP has just under $600,000 in pending requests to various philanthropic institutions, and another $300,000 targeted. That leaves about 56% of goal unidentified. What a great opportunity for our funding community to step in, eh? NFG did its part by approving a small grant to ABEP to enhance fundraising and communications capacity.
The request to the City of Minneapolis is still under consideration. If you’d like to send a letter of support to the Mayor, ABEP would appreciate it.
As mentioned, the charter application is virtually complete. Once it is submitted (again, that can’t happen without raising the funds required), it can take 90 days for the State Charter to be approved and six months for the Federal Charter (sometimes this can take 2 years or more). In the meantime, ABEP will continue to fundraise, expand marketing and communications, and complete the Credit Union CEO search and Credit Union Board Selection process.
What Can You Do?
- Make a grant!
- Make an institutional or personal pledge for deposit
- Send [email protected] a letter of support for the charter application
That’s it for now on updates. We want to close out by lifting up a comment from NFG member, Old National Bank (also sponsor of this event):
“This effort is so needed! It is foundational for economic development efforts across North Minneapolis and we don’t have time to lose. The Northside is rebuilding now and Village has a role to play.”
-Corrie Maki Knudson, Community Outreach & Financial Empowerment Officer
Thanks for staying engaged!