Press Release

Nusenda Foundation To Receive 2018 Wilmer Shields Rich Award for Excellence in Communications

The Council on Foundations today announced that it will present the Nusenda Credit Union Foundation with its 2018 Wilmer Shields Rich Award for Excellence in Communications.

Nusenda Executive Director Robin Brulé and members of her team will receive the award at the Council’s Member Meeting and Awards Ceremony scheduled for November 28, 2018 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Created in 1984 and named in honor of the first executive director of what is now known as the Council on Foundations, the Wilmer Shields Rich Award for Excellence in Communications is bestowed upon an organization that has creatively and effectively used strategic communications to further its mission and goals.

Nusenda was selected by an independent review panel because of a two-year communications campaign it launched in 2016 to increase participation in its Community Rewards program, which supports vital nonprofit organizations in New Mexico. The Community Rewards program is funded through Credit Union members, who opt to contribute through their purchases. In 2017, Community Rewards contributed more than $400,000 to 71 organizations across New Mexico.

As part of the new campaign, the Nusenda team shared stories via video of the nonprofit organizations who received its funding, a departure from its previous use of more traditional communications methods. The innovative campaign focused on participating and non-participating members and has shown proven impact through increased membership as well as digital engagement. Additionally, nonprofits who participated in the campaign have noted a substantial increase in community interest.

 “The Wilmer Shields Rich Award recognizes the importance of grantmakers using creative communications to drive the philanthropic sector forward,” said Gene Cochrane, interim president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “Nusenda’s innovative approach has shown results for the foundation and the scores of nonprofits in New Mexico who benefit from the generosity of its members.”

Other winners to be honored in November include recipients of the Distinguished Service Award, the Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking and the Chapman Prize.  To learn more about the awards or to register to attend the November Awards Ceremony, please visit


About the Council on Foundations

An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations (, founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. With members from all foundation types and sizes, the Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today’s toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the U.S. and globally.

About the Nusenda Credit Union Foundation

The Nusenda Credit Union Foundation operates as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization in partnership with the operations of the credit union. The foundation’s mission is to create stronger communities where members live and work through collaborative partnerships, and by investing in innovative solutions to improve education, health, social and economic outcomes. The foundation supports programs such as  Community Rewards, Powering Success, Co-op Capital, Financial Services Career Exploration Courses and Internships, the Financial Education Innovators program, and more. For more information, visit

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