NCUF Making Grant Applications Available
WASHINGTON - The National Credit Union Foundation is taking applications for its next round of grant making through June 30 and has made grant applications and resources available online. Grant applicants must seek to use the grant money to fulfill the foundation's mission to "promote and improve consumer financial independence through credit unions" by helping to provide access to affordable financial services - low-cost loans, check-cashing and other needed services for underserved consumers with low-to-moderate incomes. Grantees can also use the money to further financial education by building programs that help members and potential members achieve financial literacy or furthering savings and asset building, developing savings plans, homeownership programs and other asset-building products. Materials which can advise credit unions about applying for grants and even provide a grant application tutorial are available online as well, the NCUF said. The NCUF didn't reveal how much money would be available for grants since that figure depends somewhat on the performance of investments in the central liquidity fund. Once credit unions apply for the funds, the applications will be scored and move through an evaluation and comment process. This new application and evaluation process marks the Foundation's transition from three shorter grant cycles to one extended grant cycle. "Moving to an annual grant cycle affords more time between the grant applications and final decisions," notes NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin. "This empowers applicants with opportunities to gain feedback and answer questions from the grant reviewers during the evaluation process. We believe the end result will be more well-rounded applications and more high-impact grants." Delfin also has authority to approve discretionary grants up to $25,000 at any time throughout the year. "And of course, the Foundation will always remain flexible and responsive to immediate unanticipated needs within the credit union movement."