Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU) and the UNC School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are pleased to announce an expansion of their partnership. LGFCU reaffirmed its support of the School with a $12.7 million multi-year recommitment pledge that includes support for several key programs and initiatives. These funds will provide continued support of the innovative LGFCU Fellows program and a dean’s special initiatives fund, and launch Solutions for North Carolina, a new program that will work with communities statewide to develop collaborative strategies for solving local challenges.
Both LGFCU and the School of Government are rooted in a foundation of service to the state of North Carolina — its communities, its local governments, and its public servants. LGFCU is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative established to serve the financial needs of its members, many of the same people served by the School. This shared mission has created a natural partnership over 20 years that benefits thousands of local government employees, officials and community members.
“Maurice Smith told me 20 years ago that our missions were aligned and that together, we were going to do great things for North Carolina. He was right on both counts,” said Mike Smith, dean of the School of Government. “We have been able to do these great things because of LGFCU’s incredible support. There is nothing better than partnering with good people who share our values and our commitment to improving the lives of people in North Carolina, and we are grateful for their continued trust and confidence in the value of our work.”
“The initial investment that LGFCU made in the University of North Carolina’s School of Government continues to meet the goal of enhancing North Carolina communities at the local level,” said Maurice Smith, LGFCU chief executive officer. “It is no surprise that given the resources, local governments have been able to leverage their connections to the School of Government to move forward in preparing the next generation of leaders and in planning and implementing transformative development projects. I look forward to the boundless results that our continued partnership with the School will provide for communities across North Carolina.”
LGFCU’s gift will support Solutions for North Carolina, a new initiative focused on cultivating a culture of innovation and collaboration in local governments across the state. Helmed by School of Government faculty member Anita Brown-Graham and part of the ncIMPACT InitiativeOpens in new window, Solutions for North Carolina will work with local governments and community partners to develop evidence-based strategies to address critical local challenges.
“We are thrilled to launch Solutions for North Carolina with the support of LGFCU,” said Brown-Graham. “This program will generate an immediate and transformative impact in our state’s communities, allowing them to tackle pressing issues and build collaborative skills for future projects. I and my School of Government colleagues look forward to collaborating with public officials, other universities, nonprofits and private companies on this exciting new effort.”
The gift will continue funding for the LGFCU Fellows program and add dedicated funding to alumni-focused events. Since its launch in 2011, 398 emerging leaders have participated in an intensive training program—Leading for Results—as LGFCU Fellows. This powerful cohort-based experience develops high-performing and emerging local government leaders to serve their organizations and communities more effectively. LGFCU’s support will allow the program to continue offering its events tuition-free to participants and develop further immersive experiences for its growing alumni community.
LGFCU’s recommitment builds on previous support of the School of Government dating back to 2011, which provided funds that launched the Fellows program and the Development Finance Initiative (DFI). DFI partners with local governments to attract private investment for transformational economic development projects. Since its founding, DFI has assisted with more than 200 projects in North Carolina communities across the state. Those efforts have generated more than $1 billion in public and private investment. LGFCU’s critical initial support of DFI will allow the program to achieve financial sustainability by the end of its initial 10-year investment, concluding in 2025.
This reinvestment is in addition to other projects LGFCU has funded, including the School’s SERVICE muralOpens in new window in 2010 and its ongoing annual commitment of $100,000 to support scholarships for professional development courses for Credit Union members. LGFCU has provided funds of $841,210 since the inception of the scholarship program, awarding 1,119 scholarships for Credit Union members.
Collectively, these efforts continue to assist the University in fulfilling its public service mission to the state of North Carolina. They also keenly reflect LGFCU’s mission to improve the lives of its members.
“LGFCU has funded some of the most important programs in the School’s 91-year history,” Mike Smith said. “It is difficult to imagine a better partner in the work of advancing our mission of service to North Carolina, its public officials, and its community members. I am proud that this investment will link our institutions in the years to come.”