The Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation’s Community Investment Fund Grant’s Committee recently met, approving 18 grants totaling $22,099. The Austin Cooperative Business Association is just one of the grant recipients.
According to Staci Zale, associate director for the Foundation, the Austin Cooperative Business Association is a joint project between Austin area cooperatives (including credit unions) and the National Cooperative Business Association that aims to benefit and expand cooperative businesses in Central Texas. Their plan is to help increase membership, profitability and connect cooperatives, while raising awareness of the benefits of cooperatives among consumers.
“The Austin Chapter of Credit Unions feels that it is important to collaborate on this initiative because, unlike other financial institutions, credit unions have the unique opportunity to work together to help individuals in our communities achieve financial success and we feel that working with other cooperatives really exhibits that collaborative spirit,” explains Chapter President Jason McGee. “As a Chapter, the Austin-area credit unions can come together and do more collectively than any one credit union can do on their own.”
Thanks to a grant from the Foundation, the Austin Cooperative Business Association – with cooperation of the Austin Chapter of Credit Unions - will be able to conduct a financial services survey and a membership drive during September and October of this year. It will be an online and paper survey completed by patrons of College Houses, UT Inter-Cooperative Council, Wheatsville Food Co-op and Blackstar Co-op – all members of the Austin Cooperative Business Association.
“Through the survey, the Chapter hopes to gain some insight into how Austin-area credit unions can better serve individuals in our community and see if there are any areas where we can serve the underserved,” adds McGee. “The Chapter will help sponsor the initiative so that all credit unions in the chapter are represented.”
In addition to the grant given to the Austin Cooperative Business Association, the Foundation awarded:
Seven grants to assist with new computers;
Two grants to assist with mobile banking;
Five grants to assist with various audits;
Two grants for Credit Union Development Education; and
One software grant.