Financial Education Grants Overview
Credit unions are known by consumers as trusted sources for financial information and advice. Across the state and across the country, credit unions large and small provide financial education to their members and to their communities. Personal finance is a top priority for credit unions because improving financial literacy, increasing personal savings, decreasing debt and living within a budget is a formula for success.
The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation – with the mission of providing resources for credit unions and communities to prosper and thrive – has a strong commitment to financial education. At various times of the year, grant funding is available to help credit unions implement financial education projects/initiatives. Non-credit union organizations may also apply for grant funding, but must partner with a Minnesota credit union and demonstrate how the project will impact credit unions and their members.
In 2014, the Foundation funded $15,000 in financial education grants for innovative projects that show credit union value, community impact, collaboration and creativity:
- Prepare + Prosper partnered with US Federal Credit Union to establish a financial coaching program to increase the financial capability of low-income Minnesotans through education and introduction to and use of credit union products and services.
- Catholic United Financial Credit Union received grant funding to continue its senior-focused identity theft awareness seminars offered at churches around the state.
- Foundation funding assisted Collegeville Community Credit Union to establish a student-run branch on the campus of Saint John’s University.
- Ideal Credit Union utilized Foundation grant funding to provide incentives to students who successfully completed its peer-to-peer financial education seminar series.
- Anoka Hennepin Credit Union will use a Foundation financial education grant to create a free youth checking account with financial education ties to help prepare participants for college.
- Cook Area Credit Union will expand financial education efforts in northern Minnesota by establishing a student-run credit union at a second Kindergarten-Grade 12 school.
- Wakota Federal Credit Union, the St. Paul Farmers Market and Friendchip Farm have partnered to promote food, fitness and financial wellness through a new community impact program.
Credit unions can apply for Financial Education Grant funding on a wide variety of innovative projects, such as:
- establishing an in-school branch
- partnering with a community organization to teach personal finance skills
- teaching financial literacy classes in local schools
- creating a CU Youth Advisory Board that incorporates various learning components
- hosting seminars on credit, debt, budgeting, etc., for members or for the community
- coordinating retirement or estate planning workshops
- offering youth checking or credit card products and apply required learning benchmarks
- providing credit union services to high-risk members, coupled with education classes
- supplying local schools with financial education curriculum
Financial education grant details:
- The grant application periods will be open in the spring and fall of each year. Grant evaluations and awards will be announced in April and October.
- Applications will be evaluated on a variety of factors, including credit union value, community impact, collaboration, creativity, and past participation in Minnesota Credit Union Foundation initiatives and funding.
- Projects/initiatives must have measurable outcomes.
- Grant recipients must provide a written follow-up report within 30 days of completion of the project/initiative, including photos and the impact of the project/initiative on the targeted group.
- When publicizing this project/initiative, grant recipients must mention the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation as having provided grant funding.
- Any Foundation grant funds not used by the completion of the project/initiative should be returned to the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation within 30 days of the stated completion date.
With questions, please contact us.