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10 Tips for Starting Your Own Foundation

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By Jaidyn Crookston | August 24, 2022 | 12 Minute Read

Want to Expand Your Institution’s Community Impact? Start a Foundation!

Del Norte LOV Foundation

Every financial institution strives to serve its community in various ways. For some, this means holding events, investing in community organizations, and donating to nonprofits. For others, this means starting and running a nonprofit foundation. One such nonprofit is the Del Norte LOV Foundation, an independent foundation associated with Del Norte Credit Union (DNCU) in New Mexico.

 

The Del Norte LOV Foundation has benefited everyone involved, including DNCU and community members. Not only has the Del Norte LOV Foundation elevated community support and given DNCU employees a purpose and philanthropic voice, but it has also deepened the credit union’s nonprofit partnerships, helped reach financial literacy goals, and given thousands of dollars back to the community. 

 



So how does the Del Norte LOV Foundation work? And can starting your own foundation really expand your bank or credit union’s community impact? Let’s find out. 

 

Like the idea of starting a foundation? Download this free PDF for some tips and tricks.

 

 

 

How does the Del Norte LOV Foundation work?

 

The Del Norte LOV Foundation was founded in 2017 by credit union employees and was publicly launched in early 2021. While DNCU employees have always been committed to helping the communities they serve, they wanted to focus their support on youth and families in New Mexico. After realizing the good they could do by running an independent foundation, starting one was a no-brainer.   

 

Since then, the Del Norte LOV Foundation has worked with more than 180 nonprofits and charitably distributed more than $150,000 in community support.

 

The foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of youth and families in New Mexico with a vision to advocate for the communities it serves, promote financial literacy, and improve the lives of youth. It does this through community engagement, financial literacy classes, scholarships, grants, sponsorships, and more. 



 

DNCU employees are an integral part of this foundation. Not only do employees help organize events and donate to the foundation through an optional payroll deduction, but the foundation itself is run by credit union employees. 

 

Connie Tooker Nuñez is the director of the Del Norte LOV Foundation. While directing the foundation is Connie’s full-time job, she’s also a credit union employee and relies on other employees to help with the foundation and give the support she needs. 

 

The foundation’s board is made up of credit union employees and members of the community. This keeps everyone on the same page and ensures that the foundation is doing everything it can to help those who need it most. 

 

With the support of DNCU and various other nonprofits and community organizations in the area, the Del Norte LOV Foundation has grown to be one of the most impactful organizations in New Mexico. 

 

How the Del Norte LOV Foundation benefits the credit union

 

While it may seem counterintuitive to invest so much time and money in an independent foundation, DNCU has actually seen several benefits from this partnership. Some of these benefits include:

 

Higher employee involvement

 

Studies have found that when you give employees everything they need to thrive and make a difference, they’re more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and stay at your institution. 

 

DNCU employees who participate in the Del Norte LOV Foundation feel a sense of purpose and a philanthropic voice. Because DNCU employees have the chance to help others and make a difference through the foundation, DNCU has seen a lower turnover rate, happier and healthier employees, and a better work environment. 

 

Elevated community support

 

As with any nonprofit organization, it took time for the Del Norte LOV Foundation to gain trust in the community and establish partnerships with other nonprofits and community organizations. It’s establishing a reputation, and is expanding every day, with more and more organizations wanting to partner and hold events. 

 

Community organizations love the Del Norte LOV Foundation because of the support it gives to them and community members. The Del Norte LOV Foundation has already partnered with more than 180 nonprofits and charitably distributed more than $150,000 in community support.  And community members know that the foundation is part of DNCU, so they also support the credit union and thank them for what the foundation has done.

 

 

Like the idea of starting a foundation? Download this free PDF for some tips and tricks.

 

 

 

More awareness for the credit union and important topics

 

Using #SpreadtheLOV, the Del Norte LOV Foundation has even found traction on social media. Posting pictures of events and asking community members for support means that the foundation is becoming more and more recognizable around town. It’s a well-known local fact that the Del Norte LOV Foundation is an extension of DNCU’s own community efforts, so as people talk about the good the foundation does in the community, DNCU naturally gets more love as well. 

 

Increased credit union membership 

 

As word about the foundation spreads, more and more people have learned about DNCU and the awesome benefits that come with being a member (like supporting an awesome foundation, for one!). The credit union is more prominent at events and is able to do some really cool stuff through this partnership that leads to people becoming members. For example, the Del Norte LOV Foundation/DNCU marketing van joined a car cruise to raise support for the foundation. This also served to get the credit union’s name out there and help community members see them as a way to help their fellow community members. 

 

As the foundation has built relationships with new nonprofits and raised more awareness, more and more people have learned about the credit union and become members. 

 

 

How the Del Norte LOV Foundation benefits the community

 

The Del Norte LOV Foundation doesn’t only benefit the credit union. It also provides benefits for the community and community members. Here are a few of those benefits: 

 

People helping people

 

Amazing things happen when a community comes together for a common cause. And as DNCU has seen, community members love a good foundation to support and talk about. The foundation has built relationships with thousands of people through charity events, scholarships, financial education classes, and more. And as people benefit from the foundation, they want to give back to the community themselves. 

 

Scholarships, sponsorships, and grants 

 

Three ways the Del Norte LOV Foundation accomplishes its mission to support the youth of the community are with scholarships, sponsorships, and grants. 

 

Del Norte LOV Foundation is providing $13,000 in scholarships to 2022 high school senior graduates who are DNCU members. Community organizations and other nonprofits have the ability to apply for and request sponsorships. Over the last two years, the Del Norte LOV Foundation has distributed more than 70 sponsorships totaling more than $90,000. And since its public launch in January 2021, the Del Norte LOV Foundation has provided 15 community grants, totaling $37,500 (at the time this article was published). All of this funding is used to benefit the community in some way, and nearly every part of the community has been impacted in one way or another. 

 

Financial education for community members 

 

The Del Norte LOV Foundation runs several financial education programs for the youth and adults of the community. The foundation prioritizes teaching kids to save, maintain a budget, manage a checking account, and understand a credit score. 

 

DNCU and the Del Norte LOV Foundation partner with Banzai for a lot of its financial education opportunities. The credit union sponsors nearly 100 schools on Banzai and has taught over 10,000 students using this platform. The school program was so successful that the foundation now sponsors Banzai Direct, a vast interactive library of financial education content, that’s open to all community members. 

 

 

Nonprofit partnerships

 

When one nonprofit organization wins, it’s often true that they all win. The Del Norte LOV Foundation has played a big part in raising money for other nonprofits in the area and supporting causes that affect the community. Partnering with other nonprofits has given the Del Norte LOV Foundation a larger audience and helped make an even bigger impact.  

 

Like the idea of starting a foundation? Download this free PDF for some tips and tricks.

 

 

 

How the Del Norte LOV Foundation uses Kadince to track and manage its financial literacy program, sponsorship requests, employee volunteerism, and more

 

DNCU uses Kadince to track and manage a large portion of the Del Norte LOV Foundation’s programs, partnerships, sponsorships, grants, and more. 

 

Kadince’s easy-to-use software means no more confusion about what your bank or credit union is doing in the community. All the data is kept in one place, so nothing is ever misplaced or lost. With Kadince, you’ll have a clear picture of your foundation’s efforts and will be able to set goals, track donations, plan events, and more. 

 

You can check out the Del Norte LOV Foundation’s sponsorship request form here

 

According to Connie Tooker Nuñez, “DNCU and the Del Norte LOV Foundation are proud partners with Kadince. We use the Kadince Community module features, workflow management, and forms to deploy our mission-driven programs with a focus on volunteerism, education, and financial literacy. Everyone at Kadince is super helpful and have been instrumental in creating our back-end processes to make the Del Norte LOV Foundation’s programs a success.”

 

If you want to learn how Kadince can help your own institution’s programs be a success, schedule a demo

 

 

What are you waiting for?

 

If you’re trying to expand your bank or credit union’s community impact, starting a foundation may be the way to go! But that doesn’t mean starting a foundation is easy. Your foundation will need a lot of work to really grow and start making a big impact in your community. 

 

If you have support from your bank or credit union and are willing to put in the work, a foundation can benefit both your institution and your community. Like DNCU, you might end up with higher employee involvement, elevated community support, increased membership/customer rates, and more. (Not to mention a super cool foundation to brag about!) 

 

Want some tips and tricks for starting your own foundation? Download this free PDF. 

 




The ideas in this article came from our webinar with Connie Tooker Nuñez (Del Norte LOV Foundation Director). To learn more about Del Norte CU’s LOV Foundation, check out our webinar recording 



None of Kadince, Inc., its affiliates, or its respective employees, directors, officers, and agents (collectively, “Kadince”) are responsible or liable for any content or information incorporated herein. Read full disclosure.


Jaidyn Crookston | Content Manager, Kadince


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