Fueled by our purpose, we are committed to supporting the financial well-being of our members and communities through financial education programs and philanthropic funding. Our goals are creating financially resilient communities and empowering Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and other underserved populations. Here's how.

Inspired Financial Health

Every year, thousands of BECU and community members enroll in our educational programs designed to build savings, confidence and capacity. In 2023, nearly 13,500 teens and adults accessed our financial health programs in many ways, including financial coaching and counseling services.

Over 3,000 high school and college students participated in a BECU class, webinar or Financial Reality Fair, where they gained real-world planning, saving and budgeting skills through an interactive simulation of adult life.

Another 3,600 adults received free financial education via online modules and in-person sessions. Open to everyone — not just BECU members — the courses include budgeting, small business and first-time homebuying.

Reader Tip: Watch a BECU webinar from home 24/7 to learn about topics such as:

  • Estate Planning Basics for the LGBTQIA+ Community
  • Business Financial Education: Loan Preparedness
  • How to Talk to Your Parents About Their Finances

“The information was well explained. I learned a lot about how to build and manage credit and avoid mistakes.“ — Anonymous High School Student

Created Financially Resilient Communities

Our philanthropic programs consistently empower and enable financial well-being in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. In 2023, we committed $8.4 million in cash and in-kind donations to hundreds of member- and employee-inspired giving and community nonprofits.

We're proud to support nonprofit partners dedicated to increasing fiscal stability and helping the individuals and families we serve build essential money skills.

Here's how we gave back:

Funded Philanthropy

We support local nonprofit partners that help our communities not only survive but thrive. Nonprofit organizations provide job training, mentor inspirational entrepreneurs, encourage students pursuing a postsecondary education and disperse financial wisdom.

Our financial health philanthropic funding focused on the following key areas in 2023:

  • Postsecondary Education and College Access
  • Safe and Affordable Access to Financial Services
  • Financial Education and Literacy
  • Entrepreneur Access and Development
  • Workforce Development
  • Housing Stability and Homeownership

Inspiring Stories

We support dozens of meaningful nonprofit programs that open new financial avenues. Community members can access postsecondary education, workforce development, entrepreneurial programs and financial literacy. These organizations build a stronger, broader network of stability and success. Examples include:

In June 2023, renowned DJs came together to teach BLAST Academy, an annual free one-day session for student entrepreneurs aged 14-18 in the Seattle area to learn all aspects of running a music business. During the sessions, students learned about the technical and engineering side of becoming a professional DJ, including sound technology, music production, engineering software and music entrepreneurship.

Spokane, Washington-based Nuestras Raíces Centro Comunitario alleviates economic stress while addressing housing, healthcare, LGBTQIA+ youth and basic needs. Under a range of programs, this organization envisions communal spaces where individuals can gather and empower one another. Some programs and networks include:

  • Hispanic Business/Professional Association: Promotes and supports Hispanic/Latino networking.
  • Latinos Unidos en Acción ALIANZA (LUNAA): Provides guidance, representation, academic scholarships and mentorship to equip students to achieve their full potential academically, in professional careers and in their personal life.
  • Sin Miedo al Exito: Focuses on supporting individuals with financial literacy, as well as current and potential small business owners within marginalized groups.

Meet the organization at Spokane's largest community street festivals, small business workshops or networking events.

Washington Women In Need (WWIN) provides scholarships, coaching, networking and virtual workshops to those who identify as women. WWIN awards $5,000 renewable scholarships to undergrads pursuing a bachelor's degree, offers one-on-one certified career coaching to students and graduates, and makes an online networking hub available. As a result, recipients realize their goals and make a difference in the Evergreen State.

Advanced Equity

Community Equity Commitment: We prioritize community investment with a racial equity focus to address financial and racial inequities in our communities. We're improving lives through increasing equitable access to resources and results.

Giving to the Black Community

Now in year four of a five-year commitment of $5 million, BECU’s Black Community Development Project (BCDP) gave $1 million to nonprofit organizations improving the Black community's overall emotional, physical and financial health and well-being. A Black leader heads each nonprofit and employs a multicultural staff representative of the communities served.

Catalyzing Nonprofit Capacity

Nonprofit capacity building activates a nonprofit's organization and leadership skills, resources and competencies. The nonprofit can climb to the next level of success and achieve even more in the community.

As part of the BCDP members nominated seven grassroots nonprofits for $150,000 in total. Here are our 2023 recipients.

Corporate Social and Credit Union-Inspired Projects

With support from BECU, the Black Future Co-op Fund partnered with the Seattle Foundation to build generational wealth, preserve Black culture and celebrate the Washington Black community's incredible resilience.

For the fourth year, we granted funds to the African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC), a nonprofit organization of African-American professionals, volunteers and members increasing the credit union community's diversity.

We also worked with Alliance for Education, which supports excellence in education by advancing educational justice and racial equity for students in Seattle Public Schools. The partnership also accelerates student achievement through the preparation, support and retention of exceptional teachers who reflect the school district’s rich diversity.

At Eastern Washington University, BECU helped launch the Black Entrepreneur Opportunity Fellows Program. As students grow their own businesses, they benefit from coaching and conferences, mentorship and immersive activities.

Black Black Friday

Starting on Nov. 24, 2023, Seattle shoppers joined us with enthusiastic support for local Black-owned businesses. Created by online intentional-spending guide, Intentionalist and ad agency DNA, the Seattle-based Black Black Friday campaign was sponsored by BECU and Business Impact NW.

The campaign offered a prepaid card at a 20% discount to encourage patronage at Black-owned businesses. More than 120 participating local businesses accepted the card, including restaurant Jerk Shack, roaster and cafe Boon Boona Coffee, textile shop Our Fabric Stash and custom candle bar Noir Lux Candle Co. Card sales approached $200,000, making Black Black Friday a remarkable success.

“It's (Black Black Friday) about supporting the communities that make Seattle great.“ — Hrvst Studios, a Seattle-based production company specializing in film, music and live experiences

Honored Member Passions

Every year BECU members like you help nominate, select and honor nonprofits and member volunteers that make our communities a better place. Together, we're an unrivaled combo.

10th Annual People Helping People Awards

Since launching the People Helping People Awards program in 2013, BECU has donated more than $4.1 million to over 145 local nonprofits.

In 2023, 71 nonprofits were granted a total of $525,000 through the program. BECU received nearly 900 nominations for nonprofits in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and South Carolina. Thank you for your nominations and votes — we're excited to see who you nominate in 2024!

We selected Nancy Harris as Member Volunteer of the Year for her service with OneWorld Now!, an organization building tomorrow's international leaders. Nancy's participation as a student evolved into an internship and ongoing volunteering, and she now serves as board chair.

Community popular vote selected Emma's Exceptional Equipment Exchange. The organization bridges the gap between what insurances cover and what individuals with disabilities need to enjoy comfortable and safe daily living.

BECU employees chose Cares of Washington by popular vote. The nonprofit supports people with disabilities and low incomes to realize their purpose, potential and strength, connecting them to employment opportunities and basic needs resources.

Past PHPA recipients voted to award PFLAG Skagit this honor. The organization aims to support, advocate for and educate the LGBTQIA+ community by providing an opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Congratulations, everyone and thank you, BECU for an incredible celebration of so many amazing humans!“ — Melanie M., BECU Member

Focused on a Greener Future

BECU is dedicated to becoming a more environmentally sustainable organization, resulting in positive community-wide impacts for generations to come.

Delivered Donations and Grants

As part of our sustainability efforts this past year, BECU’s Sustainability Office also donated an additional $30,000 to six Washington nonprofits focused on environmental restoration and management, environmental justice and sustainable agriculture.

Networked with Credit Union Peers

The BECU Sustainability Office attended the United in Sustainability Summit, where credit unions from around the world traded best sustainability practices with industry peers through seminars, panels, case studies and expert-led roundtables. In turn, leaders bring those practices back to cooperatives and implement community-enhancing changes.

"The United in Sustainability Summit provided a great opportunity to share how the BECU Foundation's Green Equity Initiative is helping refugee women become artisans and address climate change through our grantee – Refugee Artisan Initiative (RAI) – and their unique upcycling program." — Natasha Rivers, BECU’s Director of Sustainability and Measurement

Offered Green Merch

We partnered with Woodinville, Washington-based Footprint Promotions to offer BECU employees eco-friendly branded items made out of recycled fibers or recycled water bottles. In 2023, we also helped them launch a search tool for environmentally friendly items on Footprint Promotions’ website, such as apparel, cups and electronics.

Simplified Recycling

BECU hosted a twice-annual Shred and eCycle Event in Everett, Federal Way and Tukwila, Washington that also gives to neighbors in need. The event also occurs annually in Bellingham and Spokane, Washington. The Shred and eCycle events keep materials out of the waste stream and improve member security by shredding sensitive documents and collecting old cell phones and laptops for recycling.

In collaboration with Bike Works, a local area nonprofit, our Tukwila location also accepted bike donations that were refurbished for children and adults in need. In 2023, BECU donated nearly 130 bicycles and more than 51,700 pounds of e-waste to recycle. Additionally, BECU collected nearly 101,000 pounds of paper to shred and recycle.

“I feel incredibly grateful to be working for an organization that is committed to creating spaces to lean into purpose as a whole and as individuals to better serve our community.“ — Rafael S., BECU Employee

Supported Solutions

The BECU Foundation is an independent nonprofit 501 (c)(3) corporation that provides grants and scholarships with support from BECU. In 2023, the BECU Foundation supported secondary education, housing stability and green equity initiatives.

Awarded Student Scholars

A scholarship today can boost a young person's long-term earning power, financial stability and career trajectory. Since 1995, the BECU Foundation has awarded $4.5 million in BECU Foundation Scholarships to over 1,450 BECU student members.

Students receive $2,500 a year in scholarships after demonstrating a commitment to community service and social responsibility while demonstrating leadership and academic potential. BECU Foundation Scholarships are renewable for one year following the initial award year.

Learn More: Washington State Opportunity Scholarship

The Foundation also aided the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, offering two Washington student scholarship options in high-demand trade, health care and STEM fields:

  • Baccalaureate Scholarship: Eight scholarships of up to $22,500 in financial aid and access to career-launching support services. This scholarship is for high-demand STEM and healthcare majors at eligible Washington state public/private colleges or universities. The scholarship continues from freshman year through the fifth year or college graduation, whichever is sooner.
  • Career and Technical Scholarship: Twelve scholarships of up to $1,500 quarterly for associate degree, certificate or apprenticeship programs from any of Washington's community and technical colleges. CTS continues through the scholar's fourth year or program completion, whichever is sooner.

Helped with Housing Stability

In 2023, we provided $875,000 in Housing Stability Grants to eight local nonprofits combating hardships contributing to homelessness. Recipients direct those funds toward preventing eviction and housing loss using rent assistance, home repairs, housing counseling, landlord-tenant mediation and other services.

Learn More: Rebuilding Together South Sound

The nonprofit Rebuilding Together began with Texan neighbors helping neighbors repair homes. In 2001, Washington State's affiliate began offering similar help to low-income seniors, people with disabilities and families with children. Today, Rebuilding Together South Sound ensures Seattle's South Sound homes and nonprofit facilities are safe, warm and accessible. This charitable group's volunteers fix or rebuild homes at no cost for low-income homeowners.

“As a cooperative, we are committed to combating the challenges facing our members and communities. To support this work, the BECU Foundation expanded our philanthropic efforts to include grantmaking that addresses systems of economic inequity.“ — Gloria Dixon, BECU’s Director of Philanthropy and Executive Director of the BECU Foundation

Sustainability Giving

Through the Green Equity Initiative Grant program, we extended awards between $50,000 and $100,000 to support seven public nonprofits for a total of nearly $800,000. The 2023 recipients include:

Learn More: Olympia Community Solar

The nonprofit Olympia Community Solar provides affordable solar installation grants to tribes, nonprofits and public entities. Businesses and residents in Washington’s Thurston, Mason and Skagit counties can also benefit from the below-market-rate installation of this intelligent renewable-energy tech.

Using grant funds, the Low-Income Clean Energy Deployment Initiative will support deploying projects like the Quixote Communities' Solar Project across 30 tiny homes in Olympia. The solar panels will save the community more than $551,000 in energy costs over the next 40 years.

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