WASHINGTON -- The National Credit Union Foundation has announced the first three of what will be 14 innovation grants for 2008. The foundation makes the grants each year in support of its real solutions programs. Winning grant applications will fund initiatives in financial education, transaction services, savings, credit or home ownership.
The first three grants included $10,278 to Montana Credit Unions for Community Development to help it build upon its volunteer income tax assistance program; $16,250 to the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association to organize community outreach financial fairs to expand financial awareness in lower income communities in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.; $20,000 to the Union Credit Union in Spokane, Wash., to help fund an initiative to help union members develop new skills to face a shifting job market."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."