NCUF Approves $16,250 Innovation Grant to Maryland & DC CU Association

Maryland & DC Credit Union AssociationTo extend credit unions’ outreach to unbanked consumers in and around the nation’s capital, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has approved an Innovation Grant of $16,250 to the Maryland & District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MDDCCUA).

The NCUF grant will empower MDDCCUA to organize four “Community Outreach Financial Fairs” that are projected to bring financial education to 40,000 unbanked consumers throughout Maryland and DC.

Outreach efforts will focus on underserved areas of Baltimore, Prince George’s County, and Western Maryland, as well as DC.

“The needs of these consumers vary from basic savings accounts to mortgages for first-time homebuyers, but all efforts must center on financial literacy,” observes MDDCCUA President Mike Beall. “Unbanked consumers need to be educated on how best to obtain and use financial services that will benefit their personal wealth and well being.”

MDDCCUA staff Sharon Sykes and Jennifer Gore plan to recruit credit unions, business partners, and financial education leaders to participate in the quarterly fairs.

Expert exhibitors will be asked to help consumers answer key questions:
  • "What is a credit union?”
  • “What products and services do credit unions provide that work for me?”
  • “How do I use these products and services for my personal wealth advantage?”
“As a result,” Beall concluded, “consumers will become better informed and learn that access to credit union membership is available and attainable.”

Second of 14 NCUF Innovation Grants

This is the second 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 CIF!