NEW YORK (11/11/08)--A $35,000 grant from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) will enable at least 100 board members and management from community development credit unions (CDCUs) to attend CDCU Institute courses this year. Designed in 1999 by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions in partnership with the Credit Union National Association’s Center for Professional Development, the annual institute provides a forum for CDCUs to “acquire professional skills needed to increase membership, expand products and services, and strengthen net worth.” NCUF has approved $370,000 in grants for the CDCU Institute the past four years. These grants have helped the federation:
* Offer a week-long institute in Madison, Wis., and short courses on affordable mortgage lending, in Chicago and Durham, N.C.; and * Expand the curriculum to include short-course modules on succession planning, affordable mortgage lending, and the credit path.
The grant will help the federation continue to expand the institute. For example, Education and Training Director Pamela Owens said the federation is incorporating a housing counseling module into the curriculum. “We also plan to develop short courses to help large credit unions that have recently expanded their fields of membership into low-income communities to turn these potential members into active members,” Owens added. The grant also will help offset the costs of small credit unions’ scholarships and travel. “Despite powerful evidence that the institute can help small credit unions survive and thrive, the cost of attending is beyond the means of many CDCUs--particularly those serving severely distressed communities,” Owens said. This is the ninth of 14 Innovation Grants to be approved by NCUF in 2008. Innovation Grants are made possible by investors in the Community Investment Fund.