Southeastern Credit Union Foundation
Growth & Impact Program

The Southeastern Credit Union Foundation Growth & Impact Program was designed to better support the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates member credit unions and chapters in their efforts to enhance their communities and spur credit union philanthropy.

COMMUNITY IMPACT GRANTS

The Community Impact Grant program prioritizes funding projects aimed at removing barriers to the well-being and prosperity of credit union members and their communities. These projects focus on several key areas, including financial literacy, holistic wellness, housing stability, and food security for both credit union members and their communities. Additionally, the program provides support to credit unions seeking Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) certification or assistance with CDFI Fund Grant Writing.

Maximum grant amounts are $5,000 for credit unions and $1,500 for LSCU Chapters.

Grant Submission Deadline: March 28, 2024

Grant Criteria and Eligibility

• To be eligible for funding, applicants must be LSCU affiliate credit unions or LSCU Chapter in good standing with the organization.

• Each credit union and chapter is eligible to receive one grant per year.

• Projects must align with one of the specified funding areas and its related objectives, as outlined in the Funding Priorities.

• Applicants must demonstrate a clear need for the project being proposed and have the organizational capacity to successfully deliver quality programming and meet established project goals.

• Projects must have the potential to create a positive impact on the community.

• Funding is awarded on a competitive basis, and the amount of funding available may vary depending on the number of eligible applications received and the overall availability of funding. Successful projects may be considered for future funding, but there is no guarantee of this.

The Southeastern Credit Union Foundation does not provide grants for general operating expenses, capital campaigns for “bricks and mortar,” fraternal organizations, religious organizations for religious purposes, political entities, organizations, or activities, conference travel outside the continental US, or organizations that discriminate based on sex, religion, gender, or national origin.

Funding Priorities

The Community Development Grant program prioritizes funding projects that address barriers to the well-being and prosperity of credit union members and their communities, with a focus on the following funding areas:

Financial Wellness and Education: Projects promoting financial literacy, wholistic wellness, housing stability, and food security for credit union members and their communities. This includes initiatives such as financial coaching, healthcare access, affordable housing options, food bank support, and nutrition education, with a focusing on removing barriers to economic and social advancement.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Certification: Projects that support credit unions seeking CDFI certification. This may include initiatives that provide technical assistance, training, or other resources to help credit unions meet the certification requirements and expand their capacity to serve underserved and low-income communities.

CDFI Fund Grant Writing Assistance: Projects that support credit unions seeking CDFI Fund grants by providing funding for the hiring of grant writers. This may include initiatives that help credit unions build their grant writing capacity, such as training or technical assistance programs, as well as direct funding to hire grant writers to assist with the CDFI Fund grant application process.

Grant Process

• The Grants Committee will review all grant applications. A report of all grant authorizations will be made to the SECUF Board of Trustees at each regularly scheduled board meeting.

• Approval/Denial of applications will be communicated with applicants by SECUF staff within one week of final approval by the LSCU President.

• Grant funds will be issued by reimbursement of incurred expenses after a detailed expense report with all receipts or invoices and a completed Grant Impact Report form (with all required documentation) is submitted to the SECUF staff. The report and documentation must be submitted within 30 days upon completion of the project.

• Grants must be utilized within the calendar year of their receipt, unless written approval for an extension is requested and granted by the foundation. Any funds expended beyond the grant's specified scope are subject to refund, and a credit union may risk becoming ineligible for future grant opportunities.

• Grant report form, collateral material, and required receipts must be submitted upon the completion of the grant project. A grant update may be requested at the 6-month mark following grant receipt.

Application Process

All applicants should complete the entire Community Impact Grant Application Packet (includes application and credit union profile worksheet) and submit (along with any additional materials necessary) to: secuf@lscu.coop.

Community Impact Grant Packet

Review Community Impact Grant Packet

CREDIT UNION DEVELOPMENT GRANTS

The Credit Union Development Grant Program aims to support the growth and sustainability of credit unions by providing financial assistance for projects that improve staff and volunteer development, technology adoption, operational efficiency, and innovation.

Grant Submission Deadline: March 28, 2024

Grant Criteria & Eligibility

Grant Eligibility:

• LSCU affiliate credit unions in good standing.

• Only one grant application per year is allowed.

• The proposed project must align with SECUF Credit Union Development Grant funding priorities.

• The applicant must demonstrate a need for the grant funds to address staff and volunteer development, adaptation of technology, operational needs, and/or innovation.

• The applicant must have a clear plan for how the grant funds will be used and how they will support the credit union's growth and development.

• The applicant must be able to demonstrate the ability to implement and manage the proposed project within a reasonable timeline.

• The applicant must agree to submit a progress report to the grantor within a specified timeframe.

• The applicant must be willing to share the outcomes of the project and any lessons learned with other credit unions in the industry.

• Priority will be given to credit unions with assets under $100 Million.

Criteria:

• The maximum grant amount is $2,000.

• Full funding is not guaranteed and is based on need and available funds.

• The proposed program must be implemented, and grant funds expended within 12 months.

The Southeastern Credit Union Foundation does not provide grants for general operating expenses, capital campaigns for “bricks and mortar”, fraternal organizations, religious organizations for religious purposes, political entities, organizations, or activities, conference travel outside the continental US, or organizations that discriminate based on sex, religion, gender, or national origin.

Funding Priorities

The Credit Union Development Grant prioritizes funding projects that address barriers to the well-being and prosperity of credit union members and their communities, with a focus on the following funding areas:

Equipment and Technology: The grant program provides financial support for the acquisition, implementation, and upgrade of equipment and technology systems that enhance credit union services and operations. This includes funding for hardware and software systems, ATMs, security systems, website and mobile app development, and other technology-related needs.

Marketing: The grant program supports credit unions in promoting their services, raising their profile in the community, and engaging with their members.

Succession Planning: The grant program provides financial support to help credit unions plan for leadership and management transitions, ensuring continuity and stability.

Innovation: The grant program prioritizes projects that promote innovation within credit unions. This includes initiatives aimed at developing and implementing innovative financial products, services, or strategies that address emerging challenges and opportunities in the industry. Grants in this category encourage forward-thinking solutions that enhance member experiences, improve operational efficiency, or drive the credit union's growth and relevance in a rapidly evolving financial landscape.

Grant Process

• The Grants Committee will review all grant applications. A report of all grant authorizations will be made to the SECUF Board of Trustees at each regularly scheduled board meeting.

• Approval/Denial of applications will be communicated with applicants by SECUF staff within one week of final approval by the LSCU President.

• Grant funds will be issued by reimbursement of incurred expenses after a detailed expense report with all receipts or invoices and a completed Grant Impact Report form (with all required documentation) is submitted to the SECUF staff. The report and documentation must be submitted within 30 days upon completion of the project.

• Grants must be utilized within the calendar year of their receipt, unless written approval for an extension is requested and granted by the foundation. Any funds expended beyond the grant's specified scope are subject to refund, and a credit union may risk becoming ineligible for future grant opportunities.

• Grant report form, collateral material, and required receipts must be submitted upon the completion of the grant project. A grant update may be requested at the 6-month mark following grant receipt.

Application Process

All applicants should complete the entire Community Impact Grant Application Packet (includes application and credit union profile worksheet) and submit (along with any additional materials necessary) to: secuf@lscu.coop.

Credit Union Development Grant Packet

Review Credit Union Development Grant Packet

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GRANTS

The Southeastern Credit Union Foundation (SECUF) awards professional development grants throughout the year for credit union CEOs, employees, board members and supervisory committee members to attend the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates (LSCU) and Credit Union National Association (America's Credit Unions) educational events.

The professional development grants program is designed for smaller asset size credit unions and credit unions with financial hardships. The grants not only cover tuition or registration fee but may also cover a portion of travel costs. Professional development grants are awarded to individuals who best exemplify the credit union philosophy, and whose attendance at approved programs would be beneficial in the perpetuation of credit union goals and ideas.

Professional development grant requests must be received at least 30 days before the event. Credit unions receiving SAS (Small Asset Size) funds must exhaust those funds before they able to receive professional development grant awards.

Grant applications are accepted at any time, year-round.

Grant Eligibility

• Any credit union employee or volunteer of an affiliated credit union may apply for professional development grant.

• Credit unions cannot be awarded the same professional development grant in consecutive years.

• Applicants may apply for professional development grants for different programs in different years.

• Individuals enrolled in a program requiring more than one year of study will be ineligible to receive an award to that program for more than one year.

• Scholarship requests must be received at least 30 days before the event.

• Credit unions under $100 million in assets must use their annual SAS initiatives account voucher before applying for scholarship funds.

Grant Criteria

• Based primarily, but not solely, on financial need to credit unions with a record of interest and dedication to a career in the credit union movement.

• Ability of credit union to pay should a grant not be awarded.

• Dedication of the credit union management and board to pay for the completion of an educational program which requires more than one year of study during which only one year of grant funds may be awarded.

Grant Use & Timing of Awards

• Grant awards will be used to pay tuition/registration fees and reasonable travel expenses directly related to a specific conference, workshop, or school. Funds must be used within 120 days of approval date. Any funds not used during this period will no longer be available to the recipient.

• Receipts must be submitted to the Foundation within 30 days of the completion of the conference, workshop, or school.

• Should the recipient not be able to attend a program and need to cancel after the refund deadline, reimbursement for any penalties incurred will be due to the Foundation.

 
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