NCUF Innovation Grant Will Expand America’s Credit Union Museum Program

America's Credit Union Museum logo
A $25,000 Innovation Grant from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) will expand the financial education program provided by America’s Credit Union Museum in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“The popularity of the program has created widespread demand among credit unions and educators alike, both inside and outside of New Hampshire,” reported the Museum's Executive Director Peggy Powell.
Middle school students visit America's Credit Union Museum.
Branded as CU 4 Reality™, the program fosters partnerships between credit unions and middle schools to educate young people to live fiscally responsible lives.

The curriculum is taught over two years, combining basic components of career development as well as financial education.

CU 4 Reality™ is designed to benefit students, credit unions, and educators:
  • Guide students with career selection to assure that their desired lifestyles can be supported by their career choices;
  • Teach students basic financial literacy before entering the workforce;
  • Provide credit unions opportunities to offer financial literacy support in partnership with educators;
  • Give educators a ready-to-use curriculum that is easily adaptable for various classroom settings.
Middle schools students enjoy the CU 4 Reality Financial Education Fair.
Classwork is combined with hands-on learning experiences, culminating in an interactive CU 4 Reality™ Financial Education Fair.

“Growth of the CU 4 Reality™ program will help position credit unions as innovators and leaders in financial literacy education and community service,” Powell concluded.

“It will also foster a familiarity with credit unions among our youth, an important emerging market for all credit unions.”

Sixth of 14 NCUF Innovation Grants

This is the sixth of 14 Innovation Grants to be approved by NCUF in 2008. These grants are made possible by investments in the Community Investment Fund (CIF).
Click to see how to invest in CIF!During the 2008 Innovation Grants application cycle, NCUF received 41 applications requesting over $2.2 million in funding. This was nearly four times the $600,000 budgeted for Innovation Grants through the CIF.

“Grant requests were much higher this year because the needs are much greater,” relates NCUF Deputy Director Steve Bosack, the Foundation’s staff liaison to the NCUF Grants Committee. “More credit unions are seeking innovative ways to serve people with low wealth and modest means.”

“More credit unions than ever are investing in the Community Investment Fund,” points out NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin. “Yet here’s the paradox: even though CIF balances reached an all-time high, the fund has returned a much lower percentage of grant dollars in 2008. This is due to federal interest rate cuts from January through September. So especially during these challenging economic times, we thank all 650-plus CIF investors, the NCUF Board and Grants Committee for allowing us to maintain our $600,000 in Innovation Grant commitments and reward credit unions serving low-wealth households.”
Click here to see how to invest in the CIF!