WASHINGTON (4/20/10)--Credit union organizations are eligible to apply for new Innovation Grants from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) through June 30. Innovation Grants are aligned with NCUF’s signature program, REAL Solutions. While participation in REAL Solutions is not required to apply for a grant, NCUF is seeking grant applications in any of REAL Solutions’ five service areas:
* Financial Education--Innovation Grants assist credit union organizations participating in national financial education programs including Biz Kid$ and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). Innovation Grants also support other initiatives consistent with the education components of REAL Solutions: financial counseling, product awareness and staff training. * Transaction Services--Innovation Grants support transaction services that help credit unions attract underserved consumers. Examples include check cashing, money orders, prepaid stored value cards, remittances, second chance/fresh start checking, and tax preparation. * Savings--Innovation Grants support programs that help credit union members with low wealth establish and maintain savings. Examples include prize-based savings, safe accounts, savings challenges, and step-up certificates of deposit. * Credit--Innovation Grants support initiatives that help non-prime borrowers build and improve credit through credit unions. Examples include alternative credit reports, citizenship loans, first and last rent loans, flexible loan policies, non-prime used car loans, score builder loans, and thin file loans. * Homeownership--Innovation Grants support responsible programs that help credit union members with lower credit scores qualify as first-time homebuyers. Examples include foreclosure assistance loans, green loans, Home Loan Payment Relief mortgages, Individual Taxpayer ID Number loans, and timely repayment rewards.
Eligible applicants include credit unions, credit union service organizations, state credit union associations, state credit union foundations, and any other organizations owned or controlled by credit unions. How many grant dollars are available depends on how much credit union organizations invest in the Community Investment Fund.