National CU Foundation Expects $910K To Become $3M

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The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has made 18 grants totaling $910,000 that recipients are expected to leverage into more than $3 million for programs aimed at serving the underserved.

In the largest NCUF grant cycle on record, the foundation is channeling nearly $910,000 from its Community Investment Fund (CIF) into grants to 11 credit unions and seven credit union support organizations.

Using these Foundation grant commitments as leverage, the 18 grantees so far have raised more than $2.56 million in additional funds from community groups and other partners, the foundation reported.

"These funds will support innovative programs enabling credit unions to provide more underserved consumers with access to affordable financial services, financial education, and the opportunity to build assets," explained NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin. "In approving these grants, the foundation's Board and Grants Committee focused on programs that extend credit unions' efforts to reach low- to moderate-income populations in their communities."

The foundation said it received 54 grant proposals seeking $3 million in its most recent grant cycle. The next grant cycle will be announced soon, NCUF said, with an application deadline some time in early summer.

"These record grant dollars were made possible by nearly 600 credit unions who express their social responsibility by investing in CIF," Delfin commented.

NCUF is the U.S. credit union movement's national charitable and fundraising organization for credit union development. In its first 25 years, NCUF has given more than $15 million in grants in support of its mission to promote consumer financial independence through credit unions.

Up to 2% of all CIF earnings are donated to NCUF, which grants half of those dollars on a pro-rata basis to the states where the investments originated.

State foundations and leagues then use the disbursements from NCUF to make grants to credit unions in their states. CIF grants fund a wide range of programs to help consumers achieve life-changing goals, including:

* Access to Affordable Financial Services- helping credit unions provide low-cost loans and services for consumers who have nowhere to turn but predatory lenders.

* Financial Education-funding programs that teach people from all walks of life to become educated consumers and productive members of their communities.

* Asset Accumulation-helping members open their first savings accounts, buy their first cars, and move into their first homes.

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