CU Strategic Planning’s Grant Writing Efforts Reap Major Rewards for Credit Unions
The Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund recently announced it had increased its funding to credit unions by 100% in the past year.
Spokane, Wash.-based CU Strategic Planning won more money for credit unions than any other team of grant writers did, the firm said.
In 2011, CDFI awarded CU Strategic Planning with 76% of the dollars it requested for credit unions in 17 grant applications, the company said. All other grant writers received only 30% of the money they requested from CDFI that same year, CU Strategic Planning said.
CDFI’s total amount of Financial and Technical Assistance awards granted to credit unions rose from $12 million in 2010 to $25.6 million in 2011, said CDFI Fund Director Donna Gambrell.
CU Strategic Planning grant writers apply specialized research and financial analysis to each application and develop partnerships with credit unions during the grant writing process, the firm said.
“Chuck (Cockburn, president/CEO for CU Strategic Planning) makes every CU Strategic Planning grant writer pass a grueling writing sample examination, and credit union clients must pass a credit union financial assessment to work with us,” said Jamie Chase, founder of CU Strategic Planning. “We’ve created a best practice and are hiring the best people to implement it, and as a result, we’ve seen the predictable outcome of winning awards.”
Since it can take around two years for prospective credit union clients to partner with CU Strategic Planning due to a waiting list, the firm plans to host a conference with the purpose of teaching credit unions how to write and implement award-winning CDFI programs, CU Strategic Planning said. Making History: Credit Union CDFI Conference will be held Sept. 16-20.
“We don’t feel comfortable referring credit unions to grant writers with only a 30% success rate,” Cockburn said. “So we are opening up the secrets to our success for all credit unions to learn what we’re doing.”