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STCU launches Here for Good Foundation with $1 million endowment

Feb. 2, 2023 Updated Thu., Feb. 2, 2023 at 9:39 p.m.

The STCU building on Mission Avenue is shown.  (Kathy Plonka/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
The STCU building on Mission Avenue is shown. (Kathy Plonka/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW) Buy this photo

STCU launched the Here for Good Foundation late last month with a $1 million endowment to further the credit union’s community giving.

The foundation will award grants to schools and nonprofit organizations in central and Eastern Washington and North Idaho. To kick off the foundation, which launched Tuesday, the credit union put forward a $1 million endowment, which STCU hopes to grow to $10 million within the next 10 years, according to a Thursday news release.

“While financial support is only part of our commitment to communities, the need is definitely growing,” said Chief Marketing Officer Marty Dickinson. “The Here for Good Foundation ensures that we’re always able to respond to critical needs in the communities we serve, based on local knowledge, even as those needs shift.”

The foundation will focus on education, arts and culture, and economic development.

In its first series of grants, the foundation focused on rural communities, giving $10,000 to community funds at the Innovia Foundation that serve Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties in Washington, and Bonner and Boundary counties in Idaho.

The Innovia Foundation will administer the Here for Good Foundation and helped with the initial grants.

Half of the grant money will go to each county’s endowment fund while the other half will be available for immediate use. Innovia’s regional leadership councils will advise on the disbursement of the grants.

The councils are made up of locals who understand their community’s needs and goals, said Traci McGlathery, director of community relations for STCU. That’s why deferring to them was the perfect first step for STCU, she said.

STCU just opened branches in Stevens and Ferry counties in June, which means the credit union is still getting to know the communities, McGlathery said.

“We’re still learning about these communities, and we wanted to impact these communities,” she said. “We decided that investing in their vision was a great way to support (them).”

With the first grants already made, STCU is also taking applications on its website for the next round of grants.

“Those are the communities where our members live, work, and raise their families,” said Ezra Eckhardt, President and CEO. “Helping ensure their vitality is an investment that benefits everyone, including their local credit union.”

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