Out of nearly $20 million ESL Federal Credit Union reinvested in the Greater Rochester community in 2020 through its philanthropic efforts, more than $10 million was dedicated to supporting the pandemic response through grants to nonprofit agencies across the community.
As the pandemic continues into 2021, the full-service financial institution, with a branch in Batavia, is prepared to carry on its commitment to support nonprofit agencies throughout the community and the people these agencies serve.
“Nonprofits have been experiencing critical financial hardships throughout the pandemic and that is expected to continue well into 2021,” said Faheem Masood, president and CEO, ESL Federal Credit Union.
“To support the stability and resiliency of these agencies so they can continue to provide critical services, nonprofit and corporate funders need join together to lift up these organizations for the benefit of the people in the greater community.
"Our purpose at ESL is to help our community thrive and prosper, and thanks to trust and loyalty of our members, we are ready and able to do our part to reinvest in the community as we all work together through this public health crisis.”
Some of the grants ESL provided in 2020 to support the coronavirus pandemic response included:
- $4 million to 20 nonprofit agencies distributed through United Way of Greater Rochester to ensure funding for these agencies remained whole due to a decrease in workplace campaign donations throughout the year;
- $2.5 million donated to the Community Crisis Fund organized and managed by United Way of Greater Rochester and Rochester Area Community Foundation;
- $385,000 through United Way in Livingston, Ontario, Wayne and Genesee counties to housing agencies in these counties for rent relief;
- $350,000 to Rochester City School District to address the Digital Divide among students and provide WiFi access;
- $345,000 to Urban League of Rochester for sustaining small businesses and COVID-19 relief;
- $300,000 to PathStone Enterprise for COVID-19 business recovery, supporting minority-owned small businesses;
- $250,000 to Child Care Council, which provided $1,000 grants in three counties to child care centers;
- Approximately $190,000 to Action for a Better Community to address the Digital Divide. This grant matched a federal grant for internet devices and years’ worth of internet connectivity for approximately 150 families;
- $100,000 to The Children’s Institute to address the Digital Divide for Pre-K students (3-5 year olds).
“The critical issues our community faces because of this pandemic and beyond are best addressed when organizations come together and collaborate for the greater good,” said Ajamu Kitwana, vice president/director, Community Impact, ESL Federal Credit Union.
“This level of collaboration will continue to be a necessity in 2021 and ESL is prepared to learn from our work in 2020 and understand where funding needs are greatest as we move forward.”
ESL’s Community Impact team was created in an effort to support the building of a healthy, resilient and equitable Greater Rochester. The Community Impact efforts of ESL focus on expanding individual opportunity, building strong neighborhoods and strengthening organizations and systems.
Over the past three years, ESL’s philanthropic reinvestments in the community have totaled more than $40 million.