CDCU Raises Cash, Still Going

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Communities United didn't quite raise the $50,000 it was tasked with raising in 30 days' time in order to maintain operations, but Kansas' only community development credit union is still standing.

"We're still here, and we're still fighting," said CUCU Vice Chair Milford Adams.

Back in May, state regulators gave the CDCU 30 days to raise $50,000-none of which could be in the form of non-member deposits-in order to raise Communities United's capital to acceptable levels. "We've got a do-or-die situation here," Adams told The Credit Union Journal in May.

But after CUCU raised about $35,000, the regulators gave the credit union a reprieve. "They see the need in the community, and they saw that we applied the $35,000 to the areas we needed, and they are working with us," Adams explained. "We are continuing our fundraising campaign."

"We have some congressmen and senators and state legislators who may be working on getting us some additional dollars, as well," he added.

And just reaching the initial short-term goal of $50,000-aimed at bringing the CU's capital back up from the 5% level it reported at the end of the first quarter of 2005- is just the tip of the iceberg. "Our long-term goal is $150,000, and hopefully even more than that," he said.

While non-member deposits can't be counted toward the fundraising-because it cannot be applied to the credit union's capital-Adams said Communities United is always thrilled to receive such deposits.

"We love to take non-member deposits so that we have money to keep on serving our members," he offered. "We use that money to make more loans to our members."

Communities United is not only the only CDCU in Kansas, but it was the first credit union in the state (and the only one in Wichita) to offer Individual Development Accounts-a product Adams says has been an important tool to keep members from using payday lenders.

"If we're not here," he said, "who's going to do it? Believe me, the community is glad we are still here."

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