National CU Foundation Piloting Online Auction As Way To Raise Funds

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The National Credit Union Foundation has launched a pilot online auction as a means of raising funds and engaging more individuals in its activities.

The online auction, which can be accessed from the NCUF's site at www.ncuf.coop, will go live on Aug. 15. But the site is already accepting donations of items to be auctioned, a dozen of which can be seen by clicking on the auction link. The auction will close in mid-September, just prior to CUNA's Future Forum in San Francisco.

The goal of the new endeavor, said Steve Delfin, executive director of the NCUF, is to test the Internet as a way of establishing relationships with individuals and engaging them in the work done by the foundation. Specifically, he said, it hopes to reach out to individual credit union employees and members, constituencies the NCUF typically doesn't reach. "We're interested in reaching those interested in the social responsibility side of credit uions," Delfin told The Credit Union Journal while attending the World Council of Credit Unions' World Conference in Italy.

The online auction was created for the foundation by cmarket.com, which specializes in such services for nonprofits. Cmarket is also providing some items on the site that they have acquired. Delfin said that at some point the ability to make direct donations through the site will be tested.

Visitors to the site can provide an item description and photo of the item, such as a vacation villa. Visitors can also send an e-mail to up to five people alerting them to the item's availability for bidding. Text and photos are reviewed by the foundation prior to posting.

Delfin said there is no projection for what the auction might generate, and any funds raised will go the the NCUF's general fund. "It is amazing how much some have raised," he said. "We want to get the big employers within credit unions to promote this to their own employees. We're all chasing the same corporate dollars and no one has really looked at credit union employees and members as a sustaining source of funds."

Visitors will be able to opt-in to having an e-newsletter about foundation activities sent to them.

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