Grant Information for Credit Unions
Your credit union may be eligible for a variety of grants and/or loans that would help you complete specialized training, or a specific project or initiative focused on items like offering a new product or service; financial literacy; opening a student branch; improving the credit union’s technology or website; building a mobile application; increasing cybersecurity; professional staff development; or disaster relief.
But where to begin?
Finding available grants can seem overwhelming, but it’s all about getting started. There is no one “right” way or “cookie-cutter” approach to seeking grants. Each credit union will have unique grant opportunities available to them, but it all starts with a little research.
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) and your individual state credit union foundation have funding available for a variety of projects that are specific to credit unions and the needs of our industry.
Below are some links to help you learn about the grant process and see what funding is available on a federal level.
There may be specific grants or loans that you can apply for that are specific to your state, county or city. Go to your state department and county websites to gather more information.
KB Education Grant
Each year, Vizo Financial hosts a number of educational webinars, workshops and conferences. We believe continuous education and gaining knowledge to help further credit union expertise is integral to the success of our members and the financial lives of those they serve.
One person who truly understood this foundational credit union concept was our member education specialist, Kecia Brooks. Yes, it was her job to plan, execute and oversee Vizo Financial’s events, but it was also a passion of hers to make sure that each and every credit union member had a wonderful attendee experience. She exceled at planning successful events and adding extra touches of flair to make them especially memorable. Her humor and charm were often looked forward to by those who attended our in-person events.
Sadly, on December 26, 2020, Kecia passed away from complications of COVID-19. It was a heartbreaking loss for all of us at Vizo Financial, for the credit union members who had come to know her and for our entire movement, which had benefited greatly from her dedication to our educational events. With heavy hearts, we continue to hold events and bring a piece of our dear Kecia to every single one of them.
That’s why Vizo Financial created this KB Education Grant, inspired by Kecia. The grant will be given to one credit union attendee for each of our annual conferences – the Risk Management Conference, Financial Conference and Payments Conference.
Through this grant, we hope to lend credit unions a helping hand to ensure they get the education they need to better their institutions, while also keeping Kecia’s memory alive and allowing her desire to create unforgettable events for our members to shine through.
KB Education Grant Application
Carolinas Credit Union Foundation
The vision of the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation is to enrich the lives of children in the Carolinas.
- The Scholar Vision Fund – A collection of credit union scholarship funds for college-bound high school seniors and college students. The application process opens around the first of November and closes around the first of February each year. Go to www.carolinasfoundation.org for more details.
- Help Source Grants – A professional development program for small credit unions (under $50 million in assets) in need of financial assistance for training. Email Lauren Whaley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to apply for these grants.
- Disaster Relief Grants – A resource for credit unions and communities that are in need of assistance. Email Lauren Whaley at email@example.com for more information on how to apply for these grants.
Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia
Build a better tomorrow by strengthening the world around us today.
- At this time, the Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia is not offering any specific grant programs.
CrossState Credit Union Foundation
The CrossState Credit Union Foundation changes people’s lives by promoting financial education, disaster relief, and credit union relevance.
- All grant applications are online at https://www.crossstate.org/about/foundations/grants.
- A credit union applicant must demonstrate financial viability by maintaining net worth of 8% or greater; and earning a positive return on assets (ROA) for the current year and two years prior; or providing an acceptable plan for improvement in a reasonable amount of time for either/both. A plan must be submitted with the grant application, which addresses how the credit union plans to increase a <8% net worth ratio and/or how it will maintain a positive ROA.
- Financial literacy grant
- School, adult or workplace education programs
- Print, audio, visual materials purchase/distribution
- Financial literacy website development
- School branch development
- Financial reality fairs
- Small credit union assistance
- Technology needs – computers, printers, servers, ATMs
- Member access services – share draft, ACH, debit cards
- Online services – software, bill pay, emarketing
- Strategic planning
- Marketing initiatives – direct mail, advertising
- EMV – implementation of EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa)
- Professional development grants
- CrossState Leadership School
- CUNA Management School
- Other credit union-related training
- Disaster relief grant
- Activated when a credit union and/or credit union employees are negatively impacted by a disaster. Support under this category may be in conjunction with CUAid (from the National Credit Union Foundation).
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
Provide, through regulation and supervision, a safe and sound credit union system, which promotes confidence in the national system of cooperative credit.
National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF)
The National Credit Union Foundation is a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions.
- The NCUF offers many grants and scholarships for various programs. There are generally defined timelines for the grant application process and these dates would need to be confirmed on www.ncuf.coop.
- DE Training Scholarship – Interested candidates can apply for a CUDE scholarship through the DE Founders Fund.
- Experiential Learning Grants – Credit unions can receive funding to help start or enhance learning programs like the ones below.
- Reality Fairs – A hands-on financial literacy experience for high school students to learn some of the financial challenges they will face when they start life on their own.
- Retirement Fairs – In cooperation with CUNA Mutual Group, the “Route Your Retirement” program has been created, which assists credit union members and staff to better prepare for retirement.
- Life Simulations – Also known as “Poverty Simulations,” this experience is designed to help credit union employees, volunteers and leaders begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive month-to-month.
New York Credit Union Foundation
The New York Credit Union Foundation fosters the financial independence of New Yorkers through credit unions.
- All federal and state-chartered credit unions located in New York state, along with their employees or volunteers, are eligible to apply. Applicants must be able to demonstrate financial need as a requirement for any program. In addition, Smart Money grant applicants must be able to define anticipated program outcomes. The total amount of the grant awarded will vary for members and non-members of the New York Credit Union Association.
- Each credit union is eligible for a maximum of $5,750 in total grant funding per year. This includes all professional development, Smart Money and Small Credit Union grants. These limits are subject to modification at any time and are contingent upon the availability of funds.
- Disaster Relief Grants
- Awarded to credit unions employees, volunteers and members who have been impacted by unforeseen disasters.
- Professional Development Grants
- Enable credit union employees and volunteers to attend education and training programs offered by the New York Credit Union Association and other credit union system organizations.
- Visit http://www.nycuf.org/professional-development-grants to learn more and apply for a grant.
- Smart Money Grants
- Fund credit unions’ efforts to reach emerging and underrepresented markets, including youth, older Americans, immigrant populations and people of low or modest means.
- Meets funding needs for a financial education/counseling program, homeownership program/service, savings and wealth-building initiative, outreach to the “unbanked,” EITC and VITA tax preparation
- Visit http://www.nycuf.org/smart-money-grants to learn more and apply for a grant.
- Small Credit Union Grants
- Help credit unions with up to $100 million in assets fund initiatives to improve member service.
- Meets funding needs to purchase new technology, enhance security and operations or conduct strategic planning at a credit union.
- Visit http://www.nycuf.org/small-credit-union-grants to learn more and apply for a grant.
The Credit Union Foundation of MD & DC
The Credit Union Foundation of Maryland & The District of Columbia improves lives by working with credit unions in Maryland and the District of Columbia to support financial self-sufficiency and personal, affordable financial services.
- Financial Literacy Grants
- Financial literacy grant requests are evaluated on a “rolling” basis.
- Grants of up to $1,000 are available to help credit unions provide financial education programs for members and the communities they serve.
- Visit http://www.cufound.org/credit-union-resources/financial-literacy-grants to learn more and download the grant application form.
- Sample funded activities include:
- Financial education for students and teachers
- Financial education for credit union members through in-person, printed and electronic means
- Financial literacy-oriented website development
- Financial education to community organizations
- Student branch openings
- Joint credit union financial literacy events
- Millionaire’s Club high school program – Teachers are provided the tools and seed funding needed to launch and deliver comprehensive personal finance curriculum in an engaging club-like setting. Credit unions sponsor their Clubs and serve as occasional guest speakers on topics such as budgeting, credit and choosing a financial institution. Visit http://www.cufound.org/credit-union-resources/millionaires-club for more information on Millionaire’s Club.
- Training Grants
- Offered to credit unions up to $150 million in assets to access training that improves service to members and communities.
- Up to $750 per year, per credit union is available to help defray training costs.
- Approved tuition reimbursements will be paid upon receipt of attendance verification.
- Applicants may apply for tuition reimbursement for online or in-person course offerings.
- Visit http://www.cufound.org/credit-union-resources/training-grants for more information on training grants and to apply online.
- Credit Union College Scholarship Program
- Roycroft Masters Advisory Program & ALM Assistance
- Free advisory engagements are available to credit unions up to $100 million in assets. Experienced credit union professionals provide short-term, one-on-one engagements.
- Advisory concentrations include:
- Preparing and responding to NCUA examinations
- Building the credit union’s loan portfolio
- Starting new programs or services
- Compensation evaluations
- Effective marketing
- ALM modeling services are also available for a reduced rate for small credit unions.
- Visit http://www.cufound.org/credit-union-resources/roycroft-masters to learn more about the Roycroft Masters Advisory Program and to apply for assistance.