CUs Encouraged to Apply for NCUF Financial Education Grants

April 26, 2011

Christopher Morris
608-231-4374 |

Madison, Wis. –Credit union organizations can now apply for new Financial Education Grants from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) through June 30.

NCUF’s annual grant program was formerly known as “Innovation Grants,” but has been updated this year to realign with the Foundation’s new focus on financial education.

“Whether it’s a financial reality fair for high school students or a financial counseling program we encourage you to apply,” said Lois Kitsch, National Program Manager at NCUF. “We are looking to fund innovative programs that improve the financial capability of all Americans.”

The application can be found here or by visiting, then click the “Apply for a Grant” button or “Foundation Programs>Financial Education Grants.”

Grants Aligned with REAL Solutions

The goals of NCUF’s Financial Education Grants continue to be aligned with REAL Solutions®, NCUF’s signature program. In striving to improve the financial capability of American families, including low wealth individuals and families and young adults and children, REAL Solutions will focus on financial education and literacy programs that are designed to increase family financial capability through access to relevant information, training opportunities and wealth coaching.  Research has shown that the low-wealth market includes not only lower-income consumers, but also consumers with moderate and middle incomes who have been unable to build significant savings or assets. REAL Solutions aims to help these consumers become credit union members, grow savings, and accumulate assets that will generate wealth for their families.

What the Grants Fund

Ongoing NCUF grant commitments support credit union participation in national financial education programs including Biz Kid$ and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). New Financial Education Grants can assist credit union organizations participating in these programs, or other initiatives consistent with the financial education components of REAL Solutions:

  • Providing financial counseling
  • Building employee and member financial capacity through savings challenges and other wealth coaching programs
  • Experiential learning programs such as reality fairs and poverty simulations, after school financial education programs, product awareness, and staff training.

Eligible applicants include credit unions, CUSOs, state credit union associations, state credit union foundations, and any other organizations owned or controlled by credit unions.

Grants Funded From Community Investment Fund (CIF)

How many grant dollars are available depends on how much credit union organizations invest in the Community Investment Fund (CIF).  With interest rates at record lows this year, NCUF will need to receive funds from more supporters and CIF investors in order to grant at least $300,000.

How Does CIF Work?

Each quarter, half of the CIF dividends are returned to investing credit unions. Half of the CIF dividends are donated to NCUF.  NCUF grants half of its NCUF dividend to each investing credit union’s state foundation or league. NCUF uses the remaining portion of the CIF dividend to support its national programs and Financial Education Grants.

For more information on investment opportunities with the Community Investment Fund, click here or visit, then click “Community Investment Fund.”


About the National Credit Union Foundation (

The National Credit Union Foundation is the US credit union movement’s primary national philanthropic program provider, fundraiser and grant-maker. Through NCUF grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.

NCUF is funded primarily by investments in the award-winning Community Investment Fund (CIF) and by generous Supporters led by the Credit Union National Association and CUNA Mutual.  All NCUF donors provide support that empowers NCUF and state credit union foundations to make a real impact in the credit union community.

The National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. NCUF continues to earn the Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.


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