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Helping credit unions to support their members.

Financial Well-being Grants

For the 2019 – 2020 grant cycle, the Foundation awarded $75,000 in financial well-being grants to credit union organizations to help expand programs, grow their employees’ knowledge & understanding and help their members more efficiently.

In the spirit of cooperation among cooperatives, credit unions share their grant reports to provide key learnings , challenges and insights learned through their grant initiatives. Learn more about these findings below:

  • Two girls using Bite of Reality app

    RMJ Foundation "Bite of Reality" App

    The RMJ Foundation utilized grant funding for their signature Bite of Reality, a hands-on app simulation that teaches teens about the financial reality of the real world.

    The RMJ Foundation wanted to add a pre-test and post-test to Bite of Reality in order to measure participants’ knowledge in the four key areas of spend, save, borrow, and plan. Adding these components would give the foundation more knowledge on the app’s effectiveness and teachings, as well as learning where improvements could be made.

    Key learnings for credit unions looking to use the Bite of Reality app:

    • Reality Fairs are successful!
    • The Bite of Reality app data showed kids were more likely to go to a credit union for help.
    • They now plan to follow and create a budget for expenses/income.
    • Teens will create a savings goal when they want to buy something.

    See the full grant report here.

  • Incarcerated Individuals Learning

    Royal Credit Union - Correctional Facility Education

    Royal Credit Union has established programs in area correctional facilities to help incarcerated individuals learn about the impact of credit scores/reports, understanding different ways to pay down debt, identifying predatory lending behaviors, and more.

    Royal CU wanted to add pre/post surveys for the overall program to conduct more research and get more in-depth answers on skill development, attitude changes, and predictive behaviors.

    Key learnings for credit unions:

    • Participants showed significant gains in attitudes and confidence in various financial education/well-being areas.
    • This is a strong DEI initiative that supports a marginalized population and can play a small role in creating systemic change for this population.

    See the full grant report here and watch Royal CU’s Foundation Field Notes episode here.

  • People having a discussion

    San Mateo Credit Union - Financial Counseling Impact Measurement

    In 2015 San Mateo Credit Union created a marketing and community relations department in order to centralize and expand their financial education programs, business development, community events and giving efforts.

    San Mateo CU employees had been manually tracking the results from their programs and needed to invest in a financial counseling CRM to track results qualitatively. Their goal was to use this CRM to see how their financial counseling program impacts members’ savings goals, attitudes and behaviors.

    Key learnings for credit unions:

    • Strategically address the typecasting of members who need financial counseling. Diversity in all aspects is critical.
    • Organizational buy-in is essential to success. Take the time to talk to your staff about programs & goals to make sure everyone is on the same page and fully understands what is happening.
    • Financial counseling was effective, resulting in $6,600 in new savings of the counselees.

    See the full grant report here.

  • Person saving money

    University Federal Credit Union - Measuring Employee Financial Health Program

    In 2019 University Federal Credit Union launched a dedicated financial health program for their employees that included financial health consultations, seminars, saving with purpose challenges and more.

    University FCU wanted to easily track and measure their financial health program by using a CRM. Their goal was to reach employees during new hire orientation and provide them with actionable steps to achieve financial goals.

    Key learnings for credit unions:

    • Employees that had a consultation had an average reduction of $1,040 on credit card balances.
    • 35% of consultation participants improved their financial health score a complete category
    • 93% of participants agreed that they were treated with respect and empathy and the program developed a clear view of their financial health.

    See the full grant report here.

  • Financial education

    Travis Credit Union - Employee Financial Education Project

    Travis Credit Union is based in Vacaville, CA, in between Sacramento and San Francisco. They wanted to ensure that their employees were financially competent to feel confident about their own financial health and equip them with the education necessary to help their members succeed as well.

    Travis CU created a mandatory financial education program for their employees to help their financial health and well-being. The project was focused on the four pillars of financial health: plan, save, spend and borrow.

    Key learnings and takeaways for credit unions:

    • Financial competency for employees is vital to working with members and members’ success, as well as their own financial health.
    • Travis Credit Union exceeded their goal of 80% completion with 98.77% of employees certified.

    See the full grant report here.

Get in touch

For more information on the Foundation’s grant program

Contact Michelle Christie, Senior Manager, Financial Inclusion & Impact

Michelle Christie Headshot

Michelle Christie, CUDE

Senior Manager, Financial Inclusion & Impact