Through our Community Development Across the Southeast program, the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation has been coordinating efforts to assist credit unions in applying for federal grant money.

CDFI Credit Unions in AL & FL:

AL: Demopolis FCU, Five Star CU, Phenix Pride FCU
FL: Community CU of Florida, Community South CU, Envision CU, Fairwinds CU, Florida CU, Florida State University CU, GTE Financial, Guardians CU, JetStream FCU, Magnify CU, Manatee Community FCU, Miami Postal Service CU, Panhandle Educators FCU, Priority CU, Suncoast CU, Tallahassee Leon FCU, Tampa Bay FCU

Juntos Avanzamos Credit Unions in AL & FL:

AL: None

FL: Guardians CU, JetStream FCU, Manatee Community FCU and Tampa Bay FCU

What is Community Development Across the Southeast?

Through our Community Development Across the Southeast program, the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation has been coordinating efforts to assist credit unions in applying for federal grant money through the U.S. Treasury for community development. We currently collaborate with CU Strategic Planning to include a pledge for $20,000 (or a % of the award) to the SECUF as part of the Federal grant applications submitted by affiliated credit unions.

What are the pledged funds used for?

With those funds and the help of our other partners, we provide workshops, speakers, webinars and application assistance to credit unions interested in becoming CDFI certified. We also use the pledged dollars to maintain a CDFI discussion forum. This program is also highlighted in the area of advocacy, enabling us to provide lawmakers with statewide stats on number of credit union CDFIs in the Member’s district, amounts won, and, even more importantly, how credit unions are planning to leverage these funds to help low income consumers. For example, “Fairwinds plans to leverage the grant award to address Osceola County’s crisis of the working homeless and factors that contribute to household insecurity by leveraging the CDFI’s strength in auto lending to provide a new Essential Savings Auto Loan. The Essential Savings Loan product will increase household stability by refinancing $80M in predatory, sub-prime auto loans—automatically setting aside savings to move 500 currently homeless individuals and families living in hotels into apartments, decreasing factors that lead to homelessness for a total of 5,333 low income people.”

Once a credit union has obtained the CDFI certification, we are also here to assist in brainstorming ideas for community development in within your geographic footprint and may be able to assist in connecting your credit union with community partners and new clients. Partnering with community agencies may also help you prior to the application process, to better position your credit union for a successful grant application.

One of the first steps in this process is for low-income designated credit unions to become CDFI certified. The NCUA and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund are jointly engaged in an initiative to double the number of certified credit unions by the end of this year and are currently reaching out to credit unions that they feel would qualify. If you are contacted by the NCUA for this initiative and it meets your business model, we highly encourage you to consider applying. With the assistance of the NCUA, the process for CDFI certification has been streamlined and does not involve a cost to your credit union.

Join us at one of the following workshops to hear more about the CDFI process, re-certification, applying for grants, and to learn more about available resources.

05/02-05/03Inclusion Workshop (in partnership with Inclusive)
Miami, FL
05/09CDFI Benefits and CU Positioning for Grant Applications
Jacksonville, FL
05/15CDFI Credit Union Roundtable
Montgomery, AL
05/29Meeting and Developing Community Partnerships (at FPP conference)
Orlando, FL
06/20Community & Hispanic Partnerships/CDFI Workshop (at SCUCE)
Orlando, FL

Email juli.lewis@lscu.coop for specific locations and times if interested.

Community Development Grant Success Stories:

  • In 2018, a total of 48 credit unions in the U.S. and Puerto Rico were granted awards. Two LSCU affiliated Florida credit unions were granted more than $1.4 million:
    • Suncoast CU                         $950,000
    • Innovations FCU                 $500,000
  • In 2017, five LSCU affiliated Florida credit unions were granted almost $3.4 million:
    • Community CU of FL $596,500
    • Community South CU $776,500
    • Fairwinds CU $686,500
    • FSU CU $500,000
    • GTE FCU $776,500
  • In 2016, three Florida credit unions were granted more than $4.6 million in grant funding, the most granted to credit unions in any one state:
    • Suncoast CU $1,400,000
    • Guardians CU $1,483,000
    • Tallahassee Leon FCU $1,768,250

Thank you to the following credit unions for supporting Community Development Across the Southeast through grant funding:

Platinum Supporters ($20,000 +)

Suncoast Credit Union (2016)
Tallahassee-Leon FCU (2016)
Guardians CU (2016)
Community South CU (2017)

Gold Supporters ($10,000-$19,999)

(none to list yet)

Silver Supporters ($5,000-$9,999)

FSU CU (2017)

 

Contact SECUF Director, Juli Lewis with further questions at 850-321-5199 or by email.