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Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner fulfills promise to local credit union

Bruce Rauner came through on his $1 million dollar promise to a Chicago credit union.

In August, gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner promised to donate $1 million of his own funds to the South Side Community Federal Credit Union in Chicago. Rauner had been at a meeting for National Black Wall Street - Chicago, a local nonprofit group, when he made the impromptu pledge to help the organization in response to a question.

During the first week of September, Rauner fulfilled his promise to the South Side Community FCU. He deposited $800,000 into an account at the union and donated $200,000 to the organization's foundation, which will use the funds for small business loans. Rauner visited the credit union to fill out paperwork, and according to The Associated Press, the union's President Gregg Brown confirmed the money was wire transferred.

Some have been critical of Rauner's donation, claiming it was a campaign trick to buy votes. Rauner contends the purpose of the money was to show his support for the local community and aid the credit union's micro-lending program, according to Credit Union Times. His donation helps the organization offset its risk when making loans to members.

The donation was not without its challenges. Rauner and the credit union had to find a way to fulfill his pledge without violating any laws and help the organization as much as possible. According to Brown, the credit union also had to manage the community's view of the large donation.

"One of the biggest challenges will be managing the expectations of members, who might perceive this as a $1 million donation that we're going to give out quickly, but the transaction was primarily a deposit, which we hope will enable us to steadily and strategically grow our loan portfolio," explained Brown.

A large deposit like Rauner's can lower a credit union's net worth. But, paired with the simultaneous increase in capital, the organization was able to maintain a healthy balance, CU Times reported.