Sheila Caldwell stands by the used car she bought after completing the Car Buyers Assistance program at Southern Teachers & Parents FCU.
Louisiana: Sheila Caldwell knows she got a real deal as she stands proudly by the used car she bought after completing the Car Buyers Assistance program at Southern Teachers & Parents Federal Credit Union. This free program protected members from bogus offers, flood-damaged cars, and other "lemons."

Program Motto: "Credit unions against junk driving. We won't let our members drive junk!"

TV Ads! Click below to see their two TV ads:
First TV Ad
Second TV Ad
Fiesta at Guadalupe CU Hispanic branch opening!
New Mexico: Guadalupe Credit Union celebrated its NCUF-funded Hispanic branch opening with a fiesta! Members ate Spanish food in the new lobby while being serenaded by a mariachi band!
Brooklyn Cooperative FCU opens a branch in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
New York: Public officials and community leaders united to celebrate the opening of the first credit union branch to serve the low-income area of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Residents of three major public housing facilities now have access to affordable financial services that can help revitalize the community: low-fee savings accounts, checking, ATMs, tax preparation, homeownership counseling, mortgages, and small business loans from Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union.

Highlights from Past Grant Projects


Grants are listed by state (click each to view grants):

AR AZ CA CO GA ID IL LA MT NC NM NY OH PA WA WI

Arkansas

2003-2004 Asset Accumulation
Employer Assisted Affordable Mortgage Lending

A Foundation grant to 66 Federal Credit Union in Arkansas provided forgivable loans to meet front-end mortgage costs for low-income employees of Tyson Foods. Partnering with Tyson and Freddie Mac, the credit union used non-traditional documentation, which allowed underserved members access to homeownership by providing funds for down payment and closing costs.

Arizona

2006-2008 Innovation Grants
Arizona Saves
NCUF supported expansion of a statewide program that built savings and provided financial education through partnerships with credit unions, community groups, and other non-profits. Arizona's program was presented as a model to the State Credit Union Foundation Network Annual Conference.

California

2007-2008 Innovation Grant
Mission SF Federal Credit Union
To help immigrants start on a path toward financial security, Mission Area SF Federal Credit Union developed the SalvaVida (Lifesaver) program. The SalvaVida payday alternative loan is available for up to $500 in emergencies. Borrowers receive free financial education, including money management training sessions that come with dinner and child care. With an Innovation Grant from NCUF, the credit union promotes SalvaVida to unbanked Latinos near its new Mission District office, and offers free education in both English and Spanish. In SalvaVida’s first six months, the credit union helped save the lives of 107 new members. Mission SF Federal Credit Union is willing to share the project's results with the California Credit Union League, other community development credit unions, and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.

2003-2006 Financial Literacy
Riverside County Literacy Project

Seeking ultimately to increase homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers, Altura Credit Union (formerly Riverside County’s Credit Union) in California’s Coachella Valley embarked on a grand-scale literacy project that provided classes, workshops and training in local schools and public housing facilities. Outcomes included: reaching 40 participants in each of 48 classes, and opening 50-75 new IDA and Individual Development & Empowerment Accounts (first account services to the unbanked) per month — five percent of came from Matricula cards (identification cards issued by Mexican Consulates throughout the U.S.). The program partner was the Desert Alliance for Community Empowerment.

2003-2004 Financial Literacy
Modesto Multi-Media Outreach
The Foundation’s grant to Community Trust Credit Union (formerly Food Processors Credit Union) in Modesto, California, helped fund the development of Money$ense, a multi-media CD-ROM to be used for community outreach and financial education through the credit union’s many community partner organizations. The CD-ROM contains materials in both English and Spanish.

2003 Asset Accumulation
Wildfire Victim Relief

Unexpected events that impact the financial well-being of credit unions and their members occur each and every year. The year 2003 was no exception. The National Credit Union Foundation, in partnership with the California Credit Union League, played an instrumental role in raising funds for the victims of southern California’s devastating wildfires.

Colorado

2003-2004 Financial Literacy
First-Time Homebuyers Project

This grant supported Air Academy Federal Credit Union’s financial education workshops, which were targeted at low-income, first-time homebuyers in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The project was a partnership between the credit union and a local community organization, Partnership in Housing.

Georgia

2003-2005 Access to Affordable Financial Services
Georgia Credit Union Foundation
The Georgia Credit Union Foundation was given grant funding for a new program, entitled “Credit-Able.” The program targets Georgians with disabilities who are in need of mainstream financial services. Due to the unique nature of this underserved market, an emphasis on alternative loan financing was integrated into the project.

2003-2004 Asset Accumulation
Atlanta Cooperative Development Corporation

This IDA project funded by the Foundation was a partnership between three credit unions, Atlanta Cooperative Development Corporation and the Housing Authority of Atlanta. The grant helped Atlanta CDC secure $1 million in matching funds from the Office of Community Service, Department of Health and Human Services, and Assets for Independence Demonstration Program. Participating credit unions include: First Choice Credit Union, BOND Community Federal Credit Union and Atlanta City Employees Credit Union.

Idaho

2007-2008 Innovation Grant
Idaho Credit Union League: $36,000
Partnering with four credit unions, the University of Idaho Extension, and the Idaho Department of Corrections. the Idaho Credit Union League expanded the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP) not only to high school students, but also to prison inmates. The league also received a high-powered endorsement: Idaho First Lady Lori Otter, an educator herself, endorsed the program in a public awareness video filmed at an Idaho high school. The number of Idaho credit unions sponsoring the program grew to 18. These credit unions provided facilities, gifts, and staff participation in teacher workshops. But how did the league take the program to its most unusual venue -- prisons? Following a presentation to vocational program managers, the HSFPP was accepted to serve all Idaho Department of Corrections facilities. Their mission: Give inmates financial tools to safely re-enter society before their release.

Illinois

2005-2006 Access to Affordable Financial Services
South Chicago Homeownership Program
Funding to South Side Community Federal Credit Union supported the delivery of financial services to an underserved community in south Chicago. The grant enabled the CU to expand membership, offer loans and start a homeownership counseling program, providing much-needed access to basic financial services and affordable credit for low-income individuals.

2003-2005 Access to Affordable Financial Services
Chicago Payday Lending Alternative
The Foundation’s grant enabled North Side Community Federal Credit Union to expand its Payday Alternative Loan product and graduate successful borrowers to other loans and credit union services. The credit union’s financial literacy training program also was expanded. The grant leveraged a 3:1 match from other sources including a trust company, a bank and the National Community Investment Fund.

2003-2004 Access to Affordable Financial Services
National Community Investment Fund
This grant project catalyzed the small and participation business lending capability of development-focused credit unions. The goal was to help participating credit unions become qualified users of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), a wealth-building tool for low-income communities.

Louisiana

2007-2008 Innovation Grant
Carter Federal Credit Union
In Springhill, a town of 5,000 people blighted by nine payday lenders, the lone credit union serving the community built financial education and savings components into a ground-breaking payday lending alternative. Carter Federal Credit Union opened a payday lending storefront to provide low-cost alternative products in demand by payday loan users. This alternative model was shared statewide through Carter Federal Credit Union's participation in the Louisiana Credit Union League's Payday Lending Task Force. Partners included Habitat for Humanity, the local school board and city government.

2007-2008 Innovation Grant
La Capitol Federal Credit Union
This innovative program paired volunteer income tax assistance with an unusually high-rate savings product in partnership with IRS and two universities. Low-income taxpayers not only received free tax returns, but were also eligible for Bonus IRAs earning 7%. La Capitol Federal Credit Union plans to survey tax filers and volunteers to measure the program's impact and suggest improvements to the model.

2007-2008 Innovation Grant
LA DOTD Federal Credit Union
While opening student-run credit unions in Baton Rouge-area schools, the parent credit union also provided financial education and Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for youth aging out of foster care and preparing to go on their own. Partnerships with Junior Achievement, state agencies, and community organizations provided additional funding and expertise to the project.

2007-2008 Disaster Recovery Grant
Neighbors Federal Credit Union
Survivors of Hurricane Katrina are benefiting from this unique service that helped families purchase reliable used vehicles after federal bus service from Baton Rouge to New Orleans was discontinued. The program's primary partner continues to be Enterprise Car Sales (a National Credit Union Foundation Supporter). Enterprise provides certified pre-owned vehicles. Neighbors Federal Credit Union and Catholic Community Services partnered to assist with cash down payments, insurance assistance, payment subsidies, ongoing counseling and education. Funding for this special Katrina recovery grant was made possible thanks to donations to the Disaster Relief Fund and through www.cuaid.coop (CU Aid).

2007-2008 Disaster Recovery Grant
Southern Teachers & Parents Federal Credit Union
In the Baton Rouge market glutted with flood-damaged vehicles, this project was a unique response to used car dealers preying on uneducated buyers. Southern University's credit union targeted displaced Hurricane Katrina survivors by offering a holistic Car Buyers Assistance Program: financial education, first-time credit, transaction services, and savings matches along with auto loans. The credit union even provided transportation to and from workshops to anyone who asked! Members who completed the program received up to $1,000 toward a car purchase. (See the photo on the left.) Enterprise Car Sales (a National Credit Union Foundation Supporter) ensured that members have access to affordable certified used cars. Other partners included Southern University, a trusted auto repair shop, and churches. NCUF funding for this special Katrina recovery grant was made possible thanks to donations to the Disaster Relief Fund and through www.cuaid.coop (CU Aid).

Montana

2005-2006 Access to Affordable Financial Services
Native American Outreach

The Bear Paw Credit Union received a grant to provide financial services to members throughout the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana. Service provision to the tribe, with a membership of 5,400 people, included installation of free ATMs at several locations on the Reservation, providing access to affordable financial services.

New Mexico

2007-2008 Innovation Grant
Guadalupe Credit Union

When Guadalupe Credit Union opened a family-friendly Spanish-language branch, the Hispanic population of Santa Fe celebrated with a fiesta! (See the photo on the left.) To explain the benefits of membership and encourage Hispanics to use the credit union’s low-cost services, NCUF's Innovation Grant helped make it possible for the new branch to feature full stocks of Spanish-language educational materials. These materials empowered the 100% bicultural staff to open 112 new member accounts. Nearly 800 recent immigrants have learned to trust the credit union through safe accounts opened with individual taxpayer ID numbers. Those who earned free refunds through volunteer income tax assistance nearly doubled to 564. And in just the first several months, 30 new members qualified for conventional consumer loans, credit cards, and mortgages.... Many reasons to celebrate!

2005-2006 Asset Accumulation
New Mexico IDA Program

Grant funds were used by the Northwest New Mexico Community Development Corporation in partnership with the New Mexico Credit Union League to introduce IDA Programs to credit unions and train staff on implementing these asset-building tools for their members. A pilot credit union was identified to demonstrate the effectiveness of this savings strategy and workshops to train credit union staff were offered around the state with a goal to create 30 new IDA accounts at participating credit unions.

New York

2007-2008 Innovation Grant
Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union

One of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods gained access to affordable financial services through the city’s youngest community development credit union. Supported by NCUF and community leaders, Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union opened its first branch to serve the low-income area of Bedford Stuyvesant. (See the photo on the left.) Residents of three major public housing developments now have access to low-fee savings accounts, checking, ATMs, tax preparation, homeownership counseling, mortgages, and small business loans that can help revitalize the community. Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union projects strong growth in members and assets.

2007-2008 Innovation Grant
New York Credit Union Foundation and Wisconsin Credit Union League
Two of the leading states offering the brass/STUDENT PROGRAM engaged in a joint project to supplement the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and Biz Kid$ programs promoting youth financial literacy. NCUF's grant supported teacher/student resource center website development, a webinar, and newsletters reaching every high school in each state. Their business plan offers a model for four other states interested in leveraging the brass/STUDENT PROGRAM.

2007-2008 Innovation Grant
Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union
This REAL Solutions participating credit union expanded its field of membership to cover the entire city of Syracuse, which includes several low-income areas. The credit union extended its reach through housing counseling and homeowner IDAs. Diverse partners brought additional expertise. Leverage came from the CDFI Fund, the Corporation for National & Community Service, and the New York State Banking Department.

2005-2006 Small Credit Union Development
Professional Development for Small Credit Unions

Grant funds to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (NFCDCU) supported 40 board members and staff of small credit unions to attend the Federation’s 2005 Community Development Credit Union Institute. The training opportunity featured strategic planning and its connection to daily operations, providing a foundation for community economic development. Institute participants evaluated the training program, providing essential feedback to inform future Institute offerings.

2003-2005 Access to Affordable Financial Services
Lower East Side Underserved Access Program
Lower East Side People’s Community Credit Union is an $11 million community development credit union in New York City. The grant enabled the credit union to open a second branch to serve the historically neglected and largely Latino community of New York City known as “Loisaida.” While the area has seen a proliferation of payday lenders and alternative financial service providers, it has seen a reduction of traditional depository institutions, leaving only one bank branch in a 100-block radius.

2003-2004 Financial Literacy
New York Affordable Lending
Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union received funding to support an increase in affordable mortgage lending activity through a homeownership education and counseling program in partnership with the Hispanic Federation, a member organization of Latino human services agencies.

2003-2004 Financial Literacy
New York Financial Counseling
Alternatives Federal Credit Union in New York received grant dollars to establish programs to prevent predatory lending among low-income people in the area. To help consumers move to a more financially self-sufficient status, the credit union provided debt counseling and budget assistance, and help members resolve financial problems by sharing information about fairly priced loan options.

North Carolina

2007-2008 Innovation Grant
Truliant Federal Credit Union
Students and multicultural residents of underserved areas in North Carolina and Virginia found new opportunities at Truliant Federal Credit Union. Participants in Tru-Opportunity Builder financial education workshops learned how to improve their credit reports, qualify for loans, start small businesses, and buy their first homes. The initiative proved effective in reaching the next generation of people with low wealth and modest means. Many members graduated from financial education classes into credit union products and services created specifically for low-wealth members.

Ohio

2003-2004 Financial Literacy
Central Ohio Latino Outreach

A grant was awarded to the Central Ohio Latino Financial Literacy Program in support of their work to reduce the number of unbanked Latino consumers who use fringe-banking services. Four credit unions in central Ohio, working with the Ohio Credit Union Foundation and Ohio State University, presented a series of financial literacy courses to Spanish-speaking consumers. In its first seven months of operation, the program reached 174 consumers. Credit union partners include: Members First Credit Union, OhioHealth Credit Union, Telhio Credit Union, Inc., and Western Credit Union, Inc.

Pennsylvania

2007-2008 Innovation Grant
Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation A consortium of Pennsylvania credit unions banded together to provide affordable financial services to Hispanics in Lancaster County. This was a model collaboration to meet market needs that no single credit union could meet as effectively if acting alone. Their state foundation attracted 15-to-1 leverage funding on the NCUF grant.

Washington

2005-2006 Access to Affordable Financial Services
Spokane Affordable Financial Services

The Spokane Neighborhood Action Program used the grant to provide access to financial services for low income and unbanked individuals through its Neighborhood Assets Program, a partnership with Numerica Credit Union and the Washington State Employees Credit Union. Funding supported 200 new members for participating credit unions, offering financial counseling, IDA accounts, and homeownership counseling, among other services.

Wisconsin

2007-2008 Innovation Grant
Wisconsin Credit Union League and New York Credit Union Foundation
Two of the leading states offering the brass/STUDENT PROGRAM engaged in a joint project to supplement the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and Biz Kid$ programs promoting youth financial literacy. NCUF's grant supported teacher/student resource center website development, a webinar, and newsletters reaching every high school in each state. Their business plan offers a model for four other states interested in leveraging the brass/STUDENT PROGRAM.

2005-2006 Access to Affordable Financial Services
Credit Union Outreach to Hispanic Consumers

A grant to Credit Union National Association funded efforts to expand credit union services to Hispanic people living in the United States, implementing programs derived from earlier research gathered by the Association. The funds supported the creation and distribution of a kit with policies and best practices for credit unions to use in outreach to Hispanic consumers and website content for serving the Hispanic marketplace. At the conclusion of the grant period, a survey was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the starter kit and web content.

2005-2006 Financial Education for Youth
In-School Financial Education Program
With funding from the Foundation, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA)undertook a demonstration project and evaluation of the GoogolPlex@school program, which uses live theater presentations to impart knowledge about savings, spending and the concept of thrift to middle school students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds in the Chicago area. This in-school program, developed by CUNA, the National Youth Involvement Board, and professional actors from the National Theatre for Children reached over 6,000 students through the demonstration. The evaluation tested the program’s effectiveness as a teaching tool for financial literacy. The results enabled the Association to acquire increased funding for the program to expand it nationwide.

2003-2004 Financial Literacy
Pre-K Web-based Training
This Foundation grant funded the development of online training materials in English and Spanish to help parents train Pre-K children about money. The Credit Union National Association coordinated the project with several state leagues and foundations, as well as representatives from the National Youth Involvement Board, Campus Credit Union Council and the Education Credit Union Council.

2003-2004 Access to Affordable Financial Services
WOCCU IRnet Assistance

The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) received a grant to help with the marketing efforts of its International Remittance Network (IRnet). As a result of WOCCU’s low-cost credit union alternative to national providers, immigrant families were able to save $18.5 million in remittance transaction fees in 2003. Grant funds were used to develop new materials in support of the program, including: three new brochures, banners and teller signs. Additionally, WOCCU was able to increase the number of presentations made, including: state trade associations, the National Credit Union Administration, US/Mexico Partnership for Prosperity, United Nations Assembly and the World Bank Remittance Conference.