MADISON, Wis. (10/21/10)--The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is celebrating 30 years of serving as the charitable arm of America’s credit union movement. The foundation has awarded more than $25 million in grants since October 1980 to further its mission of promoting and improving consumer financial independence through credit unions. Originally incorporated as the CUNA Foundation, the organization initially focused on international development and scholarships and grants to small credit unions. In 1991, it reorganized as a charitable foundation aimed at supporting credit unions’ unique ability to meet consumer needs. Its current name was adopted in 1998 to reflect its national focus. Current NCUF programs and grants help credit unions provide financial education, expand access to affordable financial services and empower consumers to save, build assets and own homes. Foundation programs and grants include:
* REAL Solutions, which helps credit unions offer services with proven success in meeting the needs of people of modest means; * Credit union Development Education (DE) to provide training in credit union philosophy and cooperative principles; * Financial education through sponsorship of the award-winning BizKids financial education series that airs on Public Broadcasting Service stations; * CUAid, which raises disaster relief funds for credit union employees, volunteers and members through an online site and other efforts; and * Innovation Grants to encourage creative approaches to credit union operations.
NCUF is supported by credit unions participating in the Community Investment Fund, corporate supporters, individual donors, state credit union leagues and foundations, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), CUNA Mutual Group and the Corporate Credit Union Network.