National Credit Union Foundation Approves 15 Financial Education-Related Grants for 2011

Programs will allow more consumers to achieve financial freedom.

The National Credit Union Foundation’s board of directors recently approved 15 new grants for 2011, totaling $294,510. All of the grant projects have a financial education component.

“At the Foundation strategic planning meeting a few months ago, we decided to make financial education a priority in 2011,” said Bucky Sebastian, National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) Executive Director. “Financial education has long been a part of the Foundation’s and REAL Solutions’ mission. It’s also vital to the success of credit unions and consumers nationwide.”

The grant projects range from youth financial education in and outside of school to a variety of different types of financial counseling and coaching. Some highlights:

  • Mid-America Credit Union Association in Bismarck, N.D. will provide financial education to participants in the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program (WIC) on the dangers of payday lenders. This will also provide safe credit union alternatives to payday lending and increase awareness of credit unions in the Dakotas.
  • Metro Credit Union in Chelsea, Mass will develop and implement one-on-one financial coaching provided by corporate volunteers who will assist low income households to identify and follow a path to financial stability and mobility.
  • Texas Credit Union League in Farmers Branch, Texas will implement statewide financial Reality Fairs utilizing social media to enhance student particpation, deliver financial education and track the impact social media has on financial literacy of young people. The fairs will increase knowledge and awareness of credit unions, financial tools, credit knowledge and credit union accounts for students 13-18 years of age.
  • Credit Union Foundation of MD & DC in Glenelg, Md. will expand “The Millionaires Club,” a high school level, self sustaining, financial literacy after school club in four select pilot expansion locations.The club’s goal is to improve personal financial skills among high school students by providing them basic financial education they can place into practice both immediately and during their financial maturation processes.

NCUF Grants are made possible by supporters of the Foundation and the Community Investment Fund (CIF), an award-winning system of investments that help credit unions earn dividends while donating to national and state community development programs.


National Credit Union Foundation 2011 Grants:

(Listed in alphabetical order)

Alternatives Credit Union, Ithaca, N.Y.
$30,000.00 | Branch Expansion to Underserved Neighborhood

To help expand in rural Tompkins and Cortland Counties, Alternatives CU will open a branch office in Tompkins Community Action’s (TCA) Groton Rural Outreach Center. They will also provide financial training to TCA staff, increase financial counseling with clients, and prepare tax returns at the Groton Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site.

Credit Union Foundation of MD & DC, Glenelg, Md.
$6,400.00 | The Millionaires Club

The Credit Union Foundation of MD & DC will expand “The Millionaires Club,” a high school level, self sustaining, financial literacy after school club in four select pilot expansion locations.The club’s goal is to improve personal financial skills among high school students by providing them basic financial education they can place into practice both immediately and during their financial maturation processes.

Filene Research Institute, Madison, Wis.
$20,000.00 | Saver’s Tax Credit Program

Filene will help low-income workers that are not saving for retirement and taking advantage of the Saver’s Tax Credit program through a designated automated retirement savings product and club support similar to the “weight watchers” model.

Hill District Credit Union, Pittsburgh, Pa.
$10,500 | Non-Prime Auto Loans

Hill District Credit Union will provide low-interest loans through its Keys to Success transportation loan program to employed and low income workers to enable them to repair or purchase vehicles needed to stay in school or on the job. The financial education and vehicle maintenance education that are also requirements of the program have a major impact in helping the member to succeed. It is an empowerment approach that places a person in charge of his or her goal.

Iowa Credit Union Foundation, Des Moines, Iowa
$35,000.00 | Building Capacity to Implement Financial Education Programs

The Iowa Foundation will build capacity within credit unions to implement financial education programs via training, technical assistance and one time grants for financial education start-ups or expansions.

Metro Credit Union, Chelsea, Mass.
$40,000.00 | Financial Counseling using Corporate Volunteers

Metro Credit Union will develop and implement one-on-one financial coaching provided by corporate volunteers who will assist low income households to identify and follow a path to financial stability and mobility.

Mid-America Credit Union Association, Bismarck, N.D.
$9,519.41 | Education through WIC

The Mid-America Credit Union Association will provide financial education to participants in the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program (WIC) on the dangers of payday lenders. This will also provide safe credit union alternatives to payday lending and increase awareness of credit unions in the Dakotas.

Millstream Area Credit Union, Findlay, Ohio
$9,840 | Hancock Saves Week

Millstream Area Credit Union will conduct a Hancock Saves Week for consumers of Hancock County. The program will include lesson plans provided to teachers for grades 1-6, a Wealth Fair, tax prep services, and a savings promotion to get more members saving.

Montana Credit Unions for Community Development, Helena, Mont.
$33,000 | Financial Coaching in Montana

Montana Credit Unions for Community Development will implement a two- tiered system providing financial coaching and financial coach training to provide financial education. They will partner with community organizations to target consumers that need financial skills.

National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, New York, N.Y.
$25,000 | Improving Credit Unions Capacity to Empower Home Ownership

The purpose of the Federation’s grant is to increase credit unions capacity to empower home ownership and to create a “Credit Union Foreclosure Intervention Toolkit.” They will accomplish this by building the capacity of credit union mortgage lenders to increase access to affordable loans for first-time homebuyers, manage risk, and address the foreclosure crisis in their communities and by building the capacity of all credit unions, whether or not they are mortgage lenders, to identify members who may be at risk of foreclosure, help these members to avoid scams and predatory traps, and connect them to responsible counseling and other services.

New York Credit Union Foundation, Albany, N.Y.
$20,751 | Money & Me Phase II

The purpose of “Money & Me Phase II” is two-fold: 1) to develop alternate versions of the hands-on, interactive personal finance summer curriculum for 14- to 18-year olds that will meet the diversified needs of credit unions and 2) to tell the stories of the students and parents that benefit from this program in order to raise the profile of New York credit unions and the credit union movement.

New York University Credit Union, New York, N.Y.
$15,000.00 | Making Ends Meet

This project will help low-wealth students of New York University reach life-changing goals through targeted group financial education using National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) curriculum modified to change behavior related to account overdraft and late loan payments by one-on-one coaching.

Texas Credit Union Foundation, Farmers Branch, Texas
$25,000 | Project NEFE

The Texas Credit Union Foundation will broaden the scope of its financial education initiatives focusing on preschool to adult education. This includes the addition of a new financial literacy campaign called Foundation FOCUS, focusing on a financially secure future for Texans. The Foundation launched Project NEFE in January of 2007 in response to the newly revised NEFE High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP) materials. Project NEFE is a statewide collaborative led by the Texas Credit Union Foundation to bring the accredited HSFPP along, with comprehensive training, to schools across Texas free of charge, with a goal of establishing the program as the leading resource in all Texas classrooms.

Texas Credit Union League, Farmers Branch, Texas
$6,500.00 | Statewide Reality Fairs

The Texas Credit Union League will implement statewide financial Reality Fairs utilizing social media to enhance student particpation, deliver financial education and track the impact social media has on financial literacy of young people. This will include creating a Reality Fair template, action plans, materials, and booths for Texas credit unions. The fairs will increase knowledge and awareness of credit unions, financial tools, credit knowledge and credit union accounts for students 13-18 years of age.

University of Virginia Credit Union, Charlottesville, Va.
$8,000.00 | Neighbors Helping Neighbors

The credit union aims to strengthen their programs to serve rural residents by promoting the use of Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC), providing alternatives to predatory refund anticipation loans and by providing free tax assistance.