Five Mich. CUs Awarded NCUA Grants (Misc News: August 17, 2012)
More than 100 credit unions across the country – including five in Michigan – will improve service, provide training, and expand community outreach with the help of $1.4 million in technical assistance grants from the NCUA.
“NCUA works hard to support America’s small credit unions, and these grants are one way of giving them the essential tools they need to do their work,” NCUA Board Chair Debbie Matz said. “These credit unions are an important part of their communities and their local economies. This money goes to work to improve the lives of the members and reinforce our community service mission.”
The five Michigan credit unions to receive grants and the amount they will receive are: Gratiot Community CU in Alma ($25,000), FM Financial CU in Flint ($21,972), Unified Communities FCU in Canton ($11,965), Communicating Arts CU in Detroit ($12,222) and Northland Area FCU in Oscoda ($7,935).
This year NCUA received 331 grant applications with more than $5 million in funding requests, the highest total funding request in the program’s history. For 2012, NCUA received nearly $1.25 million in appropriated grant funds from Congress. Combined with remaining 2011 funds, approximately $1.4 million was available for these grants.
“We made a concerted effort this year to make it easier to apply for these grants, and we saw a 77 percent increase in applications,” said William Myers, Director of NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives. “That shows the depth of commitment these credit unions have to their members and communities.”
Examples of how the credit unions propose to use the grants include:
- Marketing for in-school branches.
- Internships for students to implement marketing plans to target a specific market.
- Marketing and advertising for implementation of payday loan alternatives.
- Consulting, marketing materials, and hardware and software to start or improve the operations of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites.
- ATMs for underserved areas.
- Consulting and/or training for Community Development Financial Institutions grant writing for new products and services.
- Training for credit union staff and board members to improve a specific area of operation.
For the complete list of grantees, click here.
NCUA awarded grants under the following initiatives, in the amounts shown for each:
- New Product/Service Development—$1,028,029
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance—$119,069
- Student and Job Creation Internships—$104,598
- Staff, Official, and Board Member Training—$71,480
- Financial Literacy and Education in School Branches—$43,824
OSCUI, which administers NCUA’s grant program, implemented a number of program changes this year, which account for the high volume of applications. OSCUI launched a new, automated grant system that allows credit unions to apply for multiple initiatives through a single application. The automated system also reimburses credit unions more efficiently.
Credit unions that did not receive funding this year should consider applying next year. NCUA will announce the 2013 funding round on www.ncua.gov and in FOCUS, OSCUI’s monthly e-newsletter featuring articles, announcements and advice for small, low-income and new credit unions.
Click here to sign-up to receive FOCUS.