The Collective Power of a Dollar: SECU Foundation has a Long History of Supporting Economically Distressed Communities Across North Carolina

SECU Foundation provided $61.4 million to assist Tier 1 communities

RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With one dollar a month, State Employees’ Credit Union’s (SECU’s) 2.7 million members are making a powerful impact in North Carolina’s most economically distressed communities.

Since SECU Foundation was established in 2004, it has provided $61.4 million to support Tier 1 counties, identified by the N.C. Department of Commerce as the state’s most distressed based on factors such as unemployment, household income, and population growth.

“SECU Foundation has a long-standing commitment to tackling economic and social challenges in North Carolina. We are pleased to support local communities, with a special emphasis on education, housing, healthcare, and human services,” said Bob Brinson, SECU Foundation Board chair. “The Foundation has made a tremendous impact in Tier 1 counties, funding more than $61 million for college scholarships, to help non-profits address pressing community issues, and through low- or no-interest loans for affordable housing and workforce housing projects.”

SECU Foundation’s support of Tier 1 communities includes:

  • High School and Community College Scholarships

    SECU Foundation has provided $30 million in scholarships to students in Tier 1 communities through its “People Helping People®” scholarship programs.

    At least one student annually from each school district in the state receives a $10,000 scholarship to attend college at one of the University of North Carolina System’s 16 campuses.

    North Carolina’s 58 community colleges receive two $5,000 scholarships to assist 116 students each year.

    Through the SECU Bridge to Career Program, which is designed to help remove financial barriers for students seeking to obtain state-regulated or industry-recognized credentials, $500 scholarships are also provided for eligible students at each of the 58 community colleges.
  • Grants to Non-Profit Organizations

    SECU Foundation has provided $16.6 million in grants to non-profit organizations focused on supporting Tier 1 counties. In the past two years, the Foundation has awarded grants that directly support residents in Cumberland, Onslow, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Rutherford, Scotland, Wayne, and Wilkes counties to address issues ranging from affordable housing and community revitalization to child abuse and homelessness.

    Notable grants awarded in the past two years include $2 million to One Place in Onslow County to establish a new child advocacy and resource center; $1.5 million to Aces for Autism, which provides educational and clinical services to children with autism across Eastern North Carolina; and $1 million to Partners in Ministry, which provides housing, education, and community resources to residents in the Sandhills.
  • Low-Interest / No-Interest Loans

    Low- or no-interest loans are another way that the SECU Foundation supports affordable housing projects in Tier 1 communities. The Foundation has awarded $14.8 million in loans, with more than 98% of those funds tied to no-interest loans.

To fund SECU Foundation, SECU reassigns to the Foundation the $1.00 monthly maintenance fee paid by members with a checking account.

About SECU and SECU Foundation
A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the state of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for over 85 years. SECU is the second largest credit union in the United States with $53 billion in assets. It serves over 2.7 million members through 274 branch offices, over 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Member Services via phone,, and a Mobile App. The SECU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization funded by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high-impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare, and human services. Since 2004, SECU Foundation has made a collective financial commitment of over $235 million for initiatives to benefit North Carolinians statewide.

Contact: Jama Campbell, Executive Director
Office: 919-839-5562 |