National CU Foundation Approves 19 Financial Education Grants for 2012

Programs will allow more consumers to achieve financial freedom

The National Credit Union Foundation’s board of directors recently approved 19 new grants for 2012, totaling $287,387. All of the grant projects have a financial education component.

According to a Financial Literacy Survey of adults last year from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc., 34% of respondents, or nearly 77 million people, gave themselves a grade of C, D or F in personal finance skills. 78% agree that they would benefit from advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional, and nearly one-third (31%) strongly agree.

“The need for financial education is still critical in America,” said Tom Candell, National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) Deputy Executive Director, COO/CFO. “This is the 2nd year in a row that NCUF is focusing exclusively on financial education in our grants which will ultimately help more people achieve financial freedom.”

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

  • Carter Federal Credit Union in Springhill, La. will combine education with entertainment for an innovative approach to financial education. They will develop a member volunteer training program, partner with a local studio to film a series of financial literacy video trailers to be shown before movie features in a local theatre and provide interactive workshops around Biz Kid$ and Spendster.
  • First Financial Credit Union in Gallup, N.M. will design a reality fair (an interactive financial literacy tool) that is designed for use in Native American communities and to offer the reality fair to high school students on native lands.
  • Self-Help Federal Credit Union in Oakland, Calif. will refine and deliver "in-line financial education" at Self-Help Federal's Micro Branch (a unique check casher and credit union hybrid). In-line financial education is an innovative model designed to nudge underbanked customers using bite sized pieces at the teller line towards credit union membership and financial products that will ultimately lead to asset development.
  • Southern Chautauqua FCU in Lakewood, NY will enhance a project called “Kids’ Credit Union" designed to provide a financial education curriculum and track student progress from 2nd grade all the way through high school.

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. NCUF grantees are frequently highlighted in NCUF “Grant at Work” series, showcasing how the grantees are making a positive impact in their community and empowering consumers to achieve financial independence through credit unions.

About the National Credit Union Foundation (ncuf.coop):

The National Credit Union Foundation is the US credit union movement’s primary national philanthropic program provider, fundraiser and grant-maker. Through NCUF grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.

NCUF is funded primarily by investments in the award-winning Community Investment Fund (CIF) and by generous Supporters led by the Credit Union National Association and CUNA Mutual Group. All NCUF donors provide support that empowers NCUF and state credit union foundations to make a real impact in the credit union community.

Description: Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity sealThe National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. NCUF continues to earn the Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.


National Credit Union Foundation 2012 Grants:

(Listed in alphabetical order)

ABCO Federal Credit Union, Rancocas, N.J.
$8,000 | Project Burlington County Reality F.A.I.R.

ABCO will provide special education and at-risk students with a hands-on budgeting experience to gain practical knowledge about personal financial management in a one-day real-world environment.

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Anchorage, Alaska
$8,800 | Promoting Economic & Financial Literacy among Alaska’s Youth

Alaska USA FCU will work with others to improve access and opportunities to school children in the most remote regions of Alaska. The project will finalize teacher training adapted for in-person or long distance delivery to maximize state wide access to financial education. The group is also working to get financial education in all the state schools.

Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Ithaca, N.Y.
$2,550 | Young Entrepreneurs’ Program

Alternatives FCU will use the grant to support the expansion and sustainability of an interactive financial education afterschool program for low-wealth youth. The program also allows students to start small businesses with credit union support.

Acadia Federal Credit Union, Fort Kent, Maine
$12,000 | Acadia FCU - University of Maine at Fort Kent Financial Literacy Project

This financial literacy project will bring two community partners together to build upon partner expertise to develop and implement a financial literacy and awareness program for youth in the communities that make up the St. John River Valley in rural Northern Maine.

Ascentra Credit Union, Bettendorf, Iowa
$7,500 | Banzai Financial Education Program

The grant will allow the credit union to grow their Banzai financial education program (using a life scenarios workbook and an online game) and reach 35 to 42 new teachers and over 2,000 participating students.

Carter Federal Credit Union, Springhill, La.
$25,000 | Collaborative Financial Education Pilot Program

Carter FCU will combine education with entertainment for an innovative approach to financial education. They will develop a member volunteer training program, partner with a local studio to film a series of financial literacy video trailers to be shown before movie features in a local theatre and provide interactive workshops around Biz Kid$ and Spendster.

Central City Credit Union, Marshfield, Wis.
$12,240 | Community Financial Literacy Project

Central City Credit Union will increase the level of financial literacy among students, teachers and the community by providing interactive online materials and classroom education focusing on teachers and adult seminars.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, Huron, S.D.
$1,900 | Real Life Fortune - Interactive Financial Literacy Game

Dakotaland FCU will promote financial literacy by creating an educational and interactive game (similar to the game show “Wheel of Fortune”) that can be used with a variety of groups. It can also be tailored to accommodate different age and interest categories.

Erie Federal Credit Union, Erie, Pa.
$35,000 | Financial Education in the CHAMPS Afterschool Program

Erie FCU will provide financial education programming in the Creating Healthy Active Members Planning to Succeed (CHAMPS) Afterschool Program, offer financial services to students and lowwealth families, and collaborate with community partners to improve the economic selfsufficiency of participants.

National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, New York, N.Y.
$25,000 | Homeownership Empowerment Project

The Federation will increase credit union capacity to empower homeownership by: (a) 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, (b) 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.

FinancialEdge Community Credit Union, Bay City, Mich.
$10,000 | Trainee Partnership Program

FinancialEdge Community Credit Union has created a unique partnership for a SEG and Retail Branch with DoAll, Inc., a non-profit agency serving developmentally disabled people and others with barriers to employment. The program’s initial purpose is twofold; a) Provide personal finance education and money related skills for persons with disabilities who manage their own personal finances (either in part or with assistance) in an environment that meets their needs for accommodations to transportation, access, and personal assistance; and, b) employ those “trainees” with a level of job opportunity appropriate to their skill within the credit union as well as cross train those who work in similar money skill based employment such as cashiers for retail and restaurant locations.

First Financial Credit Union, Gallup, N.M.
$13, 000 | Reality Fair for Native Americans

First Financial will design a reality fair that is designed for use in Native American communities and to offer the reality fair to high school students on native lands.

HEW FCU, Alexandria, Va.
$8, 775 | Youth Financial Literacy Expansion

HEW FCU will expand youth financial literacy programs at its student-run branch at H.D. Woodson High school, a school in which 81% receive free or reduced-price lunch. The expansion will include Reality Fairs, more student branch hours of operation, a mobile branch, internship program and more classroom financial education.

Holy Rosary Credit Union, Kansas City, Mo.
$10, 912 | Hispanic & At-risk Youth Economic Empowerment Program

Holy Rosary CU will provide both financial education and specialized education to develop skills for entrepreneurship to help young Hispanic, and other at risk young adults, to construct a prosperous path for their economic future. When the program is done, the curriculum will be available to any credit union across the nation in both English and Spanish.

New York Credit Union Foundation, Albany, N.Y.
$30, 000 | Statewide Reality Fairs

The New York CU Foundation will implement Financial Reality Fairs statewide. The fairs will be coordinated regionally by the Association’s Young Professionals Commission and promote credit union collaboration.

Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Oakland, Calif.
$30, 000 | In-Line Financial Education to Underbanked

Self-Help FCU will refine and deliver "in-line financial education" at Self-Help Federal's Micro Branch (a unique check casher and credit union hybrid). In-line financial education is an innovative model designed to nudge underbanked customers using bite sized pieces at the teller line towards credit union membership and financial products that will ultimately lead to asset development.

Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union, Lakewood, N.Y.
$24, 000 | Kid’s Credit Union

The Kids Credit Union project begins with providing financial education to second graders in Southern Chautauqua’s community and follows these young individuals through to their graduation in high school.

Travis Credit Union, Vacaville, Calif.
$16, 000 | New Era Tanda Program

Travis CU will study, test, and implement a savings and lending program that leverages a Latin American cultural tradition, the Tanda, that incorporates financial education, peer learning, social reinforcement, and rewards to provide a valuable alternative to the consumer and to gain the trust of the local underserved Hispanic community.

Truliant Federal Credit Union, Winston-Salem, N.C.
$6,710 | REAL Entrepreneurship Program

Truliant FCU will provide interactive, experiential, entrepreneurship training that gives potential small business owners and entrepreneurs a comprehensive education on financial and business literacy in their underserved and rural communities.