COVER HEADLINE: PEOPLE ABOVE PROFIT.
COVER SUBHEAD: 2006 Community Outreach Report.
COVER TAG/LOGO: More than just money. BECU.
1ST SPREAD: THINKING BEYOND BUSINESS.
COPY: BECU’s core purpose is to help people achieve their goals. All people. Regardless of age, gender, race, creed, or financial worth.
As a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, we believe it is also our responsibility to help our communities. Because strong communities can mean a better quality of life for more people.
Our primary community outreach efforts include offering incentives for members to save so they can begin to build assets, making it easier for first-time home buyers to get a loan, providing financial education to those who need it, supporting local schools, and lending our support to other credit unions, as well.
BECU’S activities truly illustrate the difference between banks and credit unions. Credit unions exist to serve their member-owners, not to make a profit for shareholders. Unlike most banks, we don’t issue stock or pay dividends to outside shareholders. Instead, earnings are returned to members in the form of lower rates on loans, higher interest on deposits, and lower fees.
The rewards of being different may not show on the bottom line. But to us, they are invaluable.
QUOTE: “What distinguishes BECU from other financial institutions is our decision-making process. Here, our first thought is how decisions will affect the members, instead of the bottom line.” - Gary Oakland, BECU President/CEO
2ND SPREAD: THE VALUE OF GIVING BACK MORE.
COPY: In 1935, a group of 18 Boeing employees came up with the idea that if they pooled their resources, they could provide each other with access to affordable loans, which could be used to buy tools. It was the middle of the Great Depression, and loans were tough to come by. So each employee generously chipped in 50 cents, and the BECU philosophy of “people helping people” was born.
What began as $9 in assets has now grown to more than $6.7 billion, with over 470,000 member-owners. Today, all residents in the state are eligible to join. And people continue to do so, for reasons that go far beyond better rates and lower fees.
Our commitment to doing what’s right for the member as opposed to what’s beneficial for the shareholder is a mission unique to credit unions. Because we’re about much more than financial value. We’re about human value.
In that respect, not much has changed since 1935. We continue to help our members build assets, to work together to strengthen communities both socially and economically, and to reach out to the under-served.
3RD SPREAD: MORE INCENTIVES TO SAVE.
COPY: With the savings rate in the U.S. at an all-time low, BECU has developed programs that encourage and reward people for starting that all-important savings habit.
Through our Member Advantage(SM) and Early Saver(SM) programs, members earn substantially higher rates on the first $500 they keep in a savings or checking account. And they are charged no maintenance fees. It’s a great incentive for first-time savers to begin to build assets for a successful future.
SUBHEAD: White Center Redevelopment Project
COPY: White Center, a unique and culturally rich neighborhood, is currently undergoing revitalization efforts to strengthen its community -- and BECU is there to help. By partnering with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, along with other non-profits and community groups, we’re providing a variety of financial services to residents, with the goal of helping families save for a home, education, and other building blocks of a better life.
We opened a Neighborhood Financial Center in the neighborhood. We provided a $30,000 grant to the King County Housing Authority to help create a homeownership plan for their community development project. And we are encouraging residents to save through our Member Advantage(SM) and Early Saver(SM) programs.
These valuable programs teach people how even a little money can really begin to work for them.
4th SPREAD: [PHOTO OF MAI NGUYEN] “The new BECU Savings Program is an important incentive for residents of White Center to be able to save for their family’s future. With interest rates higher than standard on the first $500 they save, it’s a great motivation to get started. Watching that money grow can then inspire people to save for something big—like a home.” -Mai Nguyen, Program Consultant for Making Connections
5TH SPREAD: MORE ABILITY TO BUY.
COPY: Providing our members the means to buy a home is one of the most important and rewarding things we do. Homeownership provides the foundation for financial security and fosters strong communities. That’s why BECU helps people live the American dream by offering innovative, affordable home loan programs, providing seminars for first-time home buyers, and supporting organizations that promote homeownership.
SUBHEAD: Home Loan Payment Relief Loans
COPY: In an effort to make homeownership more affordable, BECU has committed over $300 million in Home Loan Payment Relief Loans (HLPR--“Helper” Loans) from January of 2006 through December of 2007. Helper Loans provide lower mortgage costs for members of modest means, allowing more people to buy more homes and begin building personal wealth as the equity in their home accumulates. Helper Loans are available to members whose household income is either at or below the area median income level. In 2006, over 550 BECU members were assisted with HLPR Loans.
6th SPREAD: PHOTO OF SELAM: “I searched for loans with many financial institutions. I was diligent in finding the right one. Turns out it was right where I banked! With no PMI, no down payment, and an amazing loan officer to help me through the process, BECU’s Helper Loan was the best option. Thank you for working with me to purchase my home. I am truly grateful.” - Selam F, .Renton, WA
7TH SPREAD: MORE HOUSING FOR MORE PEOPLE.
COPY: Impact Capital is designed to build strong communities by providing organizations with the tools and resources they need to develop quality affordable housing. It promotes economic development in rural, urban, and suburban areas throughout Washington. Impact Capital works by leveraging investments, offering tailored loans, and building capacity through technical assistance and operating support.
SUBHEAD: $5.5 Million To Impact Capital
COPY: BECU has committed $5.5 million to Impact Capital in grants and low-interest loans over the next 10 years. These funds will serve as a catalyst to create new housing opportunities for individuals and families of modest means in the Puget Sound region.
Some of the projects we’re currently supporting through Impact Capital include:
- Hofmann House II – a rehabilitation of a single-family home that will provide housing for up to six women in recovery from serious mental illness.
- Duvall Community Center & Family Housing – new construction of a two-story building with a community center to be owned by Friends of Youth, and transitional housing to be owned by HopeLink.
- Kenyon Family Housing – four buildings that will provide 40 units of housing to low-income residents in Seattle’s International District.
- St. Andrews Housing Group – a float loan to be used for the acquisition of two apartment complexes in Issaquah for low-income individuals.
- Vera Project – funds to transform a 6,500 square-foot conference room into a 9,000 square-foot youth cultural center for a live music venue, art studios, gallery, café, classrooms, and recording facilities.
QUOTE: “Impact Capital’s mission, simply put, is neighbors helping neighbors improve their communities for those who live there--and partners like BECU make the pursuit of our mission possible.” - Heyward Watson, CEO, Impact Capital
8TH SPREAD: MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN.
COPY: We see financial literacy as the best defense against falling into financial distress. Too often, people learn how to manage their money by trial and error—sometimes with devastating consequences, such as falling into debt, making unwise purchases, or simply wasting money. But knowledge is power, and BECU is bringing it to the people, all across Washington.
For more than a decade, we’ve provided financial education to our members, our schools and our communities—at no charge. We offer in-depth information on subjects such as understanding and clearing up credit reports, finding a realistic spending plan, protecting oneself from identity theft and fraud, buying a home, setting financial goals, and more. We also provide free investment and trust seminars. BECU has conducted over 500 free seminars to more than 6,700 individuals this year alone.
In addition to education in classrooms, Boys & Girls Clubs, Head Start programs, and community youth programs, the following are some other organizations we’re proud to have supported through our financial education programs:
- Washington CASH
- Seattle Job’s Initiatives
- Washington Women’s Employment Education
- Urban League
9th SPREAD: [PHOTO OF RIGBE RESSAHATSION] “Thank you for your continuous support for Washington CASH (Community Alliance for Self Help). I use your materials and budgeting tools in helping my clients make their small businesses work. It’s tough for low-income women, people with disabilities, and new immigrants to start or expand a self-employment venture. But with help from BECU, we’ve had more of an impact than you can imagine.” - Rigbe F., CASH Project Coordinator
10TH SPREAD: MORE RESOURCES FOR SCHOOLS.
COPY: As a community credit union, BECU exists for one purpose: to help people achieve their goals.
And the path to success in life begins with education.
That’s why we’ve dedicated a host of resources to supporting our schools. And made it easy for teachers, principals and even PTAs to access those resources. Since August of 2006, BECU has awarded over $65,000 in grants, reaching over 35 schools in 13 different school districts, from Marysville to Tumwater. We also offer student scholarships to recognize leadership, academics, and service to the community. This year we awarded thirty-two $2,000 scholarships to graduating seniors or continuing college students. We also offer paid internships that give students real-world experience in a financial institution. We do this not because we have to, but because we believe helping to educate young people is one of the best investments we can make.
SUBHEAD: BECU Grant Program
COPY: With Washington ranked one of the lowest in our nation for education spending, it’s nearly impossible for schools to provide all the teaching materials, technology, equipment, and programs students need for their academic growth and achievement. But thanks to BECU, school representatives can apply for up to $5,000 in grant money to use for essential classroom and teaching materials. Maybe it’s new books for a library. Maybe it’s a special program they’d like to bring in. Or maybe the school could really use some new computers. We do our best to make the process simple, and try to honor as many worthy grant requests as we can.
11th SPREAD: [PHOTOGRAPH OF SARA KALEO]
QUOTE: “We used our $475 grant to purchase the ‘Bridges in Mathematics’ teaching program, and what a difference it has made in my students’ understanding of math! Not only are they better prepared for the WASL, they are learning to build an innate number sense that they will be able to carry with them all through life. It may not seem like much money, but the BECU grant has been a huge help to the 3rd grade students at Oak Heights!” - Sara K., Teacher, Oak Heights Elementary School
12TH SPREAD: MORE SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITIES.
COPY: Cooperation among credit unions is a unique characteristic of the credit union industry. By working together, we can serve our members most effectively and strengthen the credit union movement overall. To this end, BECU has supported some small community credit unions in various ways. For instance, we funded advertising production for TULIP (Thurston Union of Low Income People), and helped NW Baptist Federal Credit Union with their marketing materials, audit support, and more. To us, they’re not competition. They’re partners.
SUBHEAD: Corporate Giving
COPY: BECU has a policy of supporting organizations whose missions are to enhance education, assist with homeownership, and/or provide financial literacy. Whether it’s a new tech center, a teacher incentive program, or a mentoring program for at-risk students, we will do our part to help. Some of the organizations we’ve assisted this year include:
- PBS’ Biz Kid$ TV series
- Alliance for Education
- Everett Community College
- Highline Schools Foundation
- Bellevue Schools Foundation
- Washington Business Week
- Housing Hope
- Habitat for Humanity
For a more comprehensive list of those we’ve helped in 2006, see the back pages of this brochure.
SUBHEAD: Staff Volunteerism
COPY: The BECU employees actively participate in our gift-matching program, volunteer their time at local organizations, and help raise money, as well. They have volunteered at local schools and participated in programs such as Credit Unions for Kids (benefiting Children’s Miracle Network), Junior Achievement, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Relay for Life, and many other worthy causes—all this year alone.
It’s not that we require volunteerism. It’s just the BECU way.
13TH SPREAD: PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE. It’s worth more than all the money in the world.
14th & 15th SPREADS: (Four-page list of all the organizations BECU has supported.)
COPY: This report highlights some of BECU’s outreach efforts and events. BECU has also supported the following organizations with donations, grants, sponsorships, or employee volunteers.
LOGOS (on 15th SPREAD):
more than just money/BECU
Equal Housing Lender
BACK COVER: LOGO: more than just money/BECU
P.O. Box 97050
Seattle, WA 98124-9750