Black Community Development Project

The Black Community Development Project is led by our Social Impact team with support from the Black Alliance Cooperative Employee Resource Group (ERG) and is dedicated to helping to improve the overall financial health and well-being of the Black community.

The Black Community Development Project (BCDP) has been developed in response to BECU's desire to take meaningful action to become a more racially equitable organization. To help ensure BECU continues to position itself as a cooperative that cares and is dedicated to positive change for the Black community, we recommend a multi-focused approach aimed at engaging members, Credit union & Cooperative, Employees, and Community. This includes a $5 million commitment over the next five years ($1 million per year) to support racial equity in communities located in Washington and select counties in Oregon, Idaho and South Carolina. BECU will invest philanthropic dollars through:

  • Focus on improving the overall financial, emotional, and physical health and well-being of the Black community.
  • Support nonprofits that are led by Black leaders and staffed by a predominately Black and multicultural staff representative of the community being served.
  • Ensure funds are used to support projects and initiatives that promote justice and equal opportunities in the areas of education, economic development, housing, financial health, health (physical and Mental), cultural enrichment, workforce development and civic/advocacy.

Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants

Starting in 2020, BCDP Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants became part of the People Helping People Awards, one of BECU's signature programs focused on engaging our members in community giving. Members nominate black-led nonprofits in need of financial support through the PHPA application form. As a part of our commitment to support Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), we donated $150,000 to small, nonprofit and grassroots African American/Black led organizations working to grow and expand their capacity and impact.

Criteria for inclusion:

  1. More than 50% of organization leadership and staff self-identify as Black/African American.
  2. Annual revenue is less than $100,000.
  3. Provide services in the areas of Education, Arts and Cultural Enrichment, Workforce Development, Health and Wellness, Environmental Justice, Basic Needs or Community Building.
  4. Meet BECU and IRS eligibility requirements for 501(c)(3) organizations

2023 Grant Recipients

Community Impact Grant

In alignment with the BECU Philanthropic Financial Health strategy, the BCDP Community Impact Grant focuses on reducing barriers and creating opportunities to improve the financial health of the Black community through:

  1. Financial Stability (Education or Workforce Development)
  2. Financial Resilience (Entrepreneurship or Credit Repair/Wealth building)
  3. Financial Education & Literacy (Homeownership)

In 2021, six organizations were awarded 2-year grants of $72,500 each year in support of financial health outcomes:

Credit-Union Inspired Projects

Black Future Co-op Fund (with the Seattle Foundation): 5 year/$200,000 per year grant to a statewide collective hub for efforts to eradicate poverty, support criminal justice reform, build generational wealth, preserve Black culture, and celebrate the incredible resilience of Washington's Black community. Learn more about the Black Future Co-op Fund.

African-American Credit Union Coalition: 5 year/$100,000 per year grant to the nonprofit organization comprised of African-American professionals, volunteers and members working to increase diversity within the credit union community. Learn more about the African-American Credit Union Coalition.

Alliance for Education: Through a 4 year/$45,000 per year grant, funds will be distribute to Alliance for Education in support of Seattle Public Schools to help advance educational justice and racial equity for students through the Office of African American Male Achievement and retention training to diverse educators through the Seattle Teacher Residency program.

Eastern Washington University Foundation & Black Entrepreneur Opportunity Fellows Program Four year/$15,000 per year grant. BECU and Eastern Washington University have identified an opportunity that supports students of color to pursue their interest in and potential formation to become successful entrepreneurs. Through the BECU Black Entrepreneur Opportunity Fellows Program, students of color will receive coaching and mentorship, while participating in experimental learning, immersion activities, key conferences associated with EWU's Center for Entrepreneurship Program.

Employee-Inspired 2:1 Match

BECU employees can receive a 2:1 match of donations to 10 organizations identified by the Black Alliance Cooperative. To date, donations from employees have resulted in $44,271 going directly to nonprofit organizations.

Events and Other Giving

Part of BECU's commitment to supporting the Black community includes engaging in opportunities to support the rich cultural heritage of the community and provide opportunities for all people to experience and enjoy Black focused events. In 2022, BECU participated and funded in the following: