Invest in America Teams with Credit Unions Nationwide to Help Fund Biz Kid$ and its Youth Financial Education Mission

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CU Village, through its Invest in America (IIA) program, has pledged $700,000 toward the national underwriting of Biz Kid$, an Emmy Award winning and credit union funded public television series that teaches kids about money management and entrepreneurship. IIA was created to help credit unions grow, support U.S.-based companies like GM and Sprint, and provide members with exclusive discounts.

This is an incredible gift that CU Village has given the entire credit union system

CU Village, through its Invest in America (IIA) program, has pledged $700,000 toward the national underwriting of Biz Kid$, an Emmy Award winning and credit union funded public television series that teaches kids about money management and entrepreneurship. IIA was created to help credit unions grow, support U.S.-based companies like GM and Sprint, and provide members with exclusive discounts.

Created to assist credit unions with doing what they do best – putting members first— IIA’s pledge makes it one of the largest independent sponsors of Biz Kid$ alongside the National Credit Union Foundation. Since the series’ launch in Jan. 2008, the nationally broadcast program delivers financial education to more than 192 million households each week, and has reached 1.2 million students and teachers via the companion classroom curriculum.

In addition to the $700,000 contribution, to help achieve full-funding for the fourth season of Biz Kid$ and jump-start Season 5 funding, IIA is asking each of its credit union and league partners that receive Sprint marketing incentives to join with IIA to raise the remaining $1 million needed to complete the 2010 season. This can be achieved by donating 10 percent of their year-end rebate to support the program.

“Since its inception America’s credit unions have exclusively funded Biz Kid$ as our industry’s gift to financial education,” says CU Village’s CEO Dave Adams. “To date, $8,550,000 has been contributed to fund BizKid$. To continue to thrive as a system program well into the future, Biz Kid$ warrants the collaborative financial support of the credit union community. We anticipate that the nation’s not-for-profit financial institutions will see this as an opportunity to continue supporting the program without having it affect tightening budgets.”

Adams says that, in most cases, the 10 percent donation will have little to no budgetary impact to IIA partners because of the growing success of the Sprint program this past year. He further anticipates that if each of the 2,600 credit union and 46 league IIA partners opts-in to participate, Biz Kid$ will achieve an additional $1 million in funding to complete production of the fourth season, as well as establish an unprecedented, sustainable funding source for future seasons.

"This is an incredible gift that CU Village has given the entire credit union system,” says John Annaloro, President & CEO of the Washington Credit Union League, whose 501 (c) foundation currently administers Biz Kid$ on behalf of America’s Credit Unions. “IIA’s underwriting gift and future funding model ensures that the credit union's 'gift' of financial education can remain just that—the credit union system’s exclusive gift. This is a shining example of what our system can do when we work together."

Biz Kid$ is an important credit union initiative that is known to put credit unions in a strong and positive light. As a result, Biz Kid$ has been honored with a Herb Wegner Award, a Daytime Emmy Award, four Emmy nominations, a first place Telly Award, and an Environmental Media Award. By positioning itself as a co-partner of the program, IIA and its participating credit unions and leagues will have the unique opportunity to be associated with this valuable and popular program, as well as gain all of the goodwill and marketing benefits that come with it.

It’s expected that this unique initiative will also build further support for IIA, its key partners Sprint and GM, and its success among members, and in turn the collective ability to support Biz Kid$ and other important credit union system initiatives.

In the weeks ahead CU Village will communicate to its IIA partners more about how they can participate in the Biz Kid$ funding initiative. For immediate information, please call 800.262.6285 or email info(at)cu-village(dot)com.

Invest in America is a membership enhancement program that offers credit union members exclusive discounts on products and services provided by U.S. based companies. Utilizing the credit union’s ability to leverage their unique relationship, Invest in America is able to successfully market its partnerships and offers incremental sales to partner companies; a stimulus to the economy and; an increased value of credit union membership. Invest in America was created by and is managed by CUcorp and CU Village, subsidiaries of the Michigan Credit Union League.

CU Village is a full-service technology and marketing company with solid expertise across various channels and mediums including print, web, mass media, digital, data, programming and more. We help our clients leverage these tools, using an overall holistic approach and strategic services, to provide them with unparalleled access to all the resources they need to grow their organization from one source – CU Village.

Biz Kid$ includes a television component, a website, and a full curriculum that can be used by educators in conjunction with the show. A full curriculum with activities and tests accompanies every episode of the television show, including five core episodes in Spanish. These can be downloaded for free on the show’s official website, http://www.bizkids.com, which also hosts a cast blog and newsletter. DVD box sets of the first 26 episodes of Biz Kid$ are also available for purchase for use by credit unions, educators and parents. The show is produced in Seattle, Wash.

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Todd Mason
CU Village
800-262-6285 ext. 26
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