$700K Donation To BizKid$ A Downpayment On A Much Larger Goal

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LIVONIA, Mich.-CU Village, through its Invest in America program, will provide $700,000 toward the national underwriting of Biz Kid$, the Emmy Award winning and CU-funded TV series that airs on PBS stations across the U.S. and which seeks to teach kids about money management and entrepreneurship.

The donation is believed to be one of the largest ever to the Biz Kid$ program, which is managed by the National Credit Union Foundation. In addition to the $700,000 contribution, Invest in America is asking each of its credit union and league partners that receive Sprint marketing incentives to join with it to raise the remaining $1 million needed to complete the 2010 season.

Dave Adams, CEO of CU Village and CEO of the Michigan league, said the money will be raised by CUs donating 10% of their year-end marketing reimbursement from Invest in America. "I am confident we will make the total," shared Adams.

The large contribution comes at a time when many credit unions are struggling with bottom-line pressure. But Adams said the donation is also aimed at increasing exposure for Invest in America, which is already helping drive CU income. "And many of the credit unions were not even expecting the marketing reimbursement. We are only asking them to forego 10%."

Since launching in January of 2008, Biz Kid$ has reached 1.2-million students and teachers via the companion classroom curriculum.

"Since its inception America's credit unions have exclusively funded Biz Kid$ as our industry's gift to financial education," said Adams.

Adams told Credit Union Journal that Invest in America's support of Biz Kid$ could be ongoing. "We'd love to make this part of our program, but we have to get concurrence from our marketing partners. They will have to opt in (to the annual donation)."

Invest in America offers members discounts on products and services from a number of U.S.-based companies. It is managed by CU Village, a subsidiary of the Michigan league.

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