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Credit Union Professional Development Grants

Cornestone credit unions in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas may apply for an Annual Training Calendar Grant to attend professional development training and education workshops and conferences offered by or through the Cornerstone Credit Union League or industry related organizations. Grant applications may be submitted for a variety of professional development opportunities including, but not limited to, the following: conferences, ALM training, seminars, NCUA fiduciary requirement training, webinars, and CUDE certification. Those wishing to enroll in Southwest CUNA Management school may also apply for an SCMS scholarship (this is done through a separate application).

Credit unions may receive one Training Calendar Grant per calendar year for professional development. However, a training calendar grant application may include a request for more than one training or education event (i.e. training calendar). For example, an application may be submitted for a training calendar that could include Cornerstone Credit Union League Leadership Conference, ALM training, and Marketing Conference. Different individuals from the credit union may attend different events.

Credit Union and Community Financial Education Grants

The Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation embraces the credit union philosophy, "People Helping People," with a special emphasis on financial education. Credit unions and other credit union affiliated or partner organizations that offer financial education programs or services to their members, constituents, or stakeholders may apply for a Financial Education Grant.

Who May Apply

Credit unions - Credit unions that have applied for a training calendar grant may also apply for a Financial Education Grant, so long as the grant will support a community or member outreach program, and incorporates a financial education component.

Partner organizations - Partner organizations are required to have credit union involvement associated with grant requests, such as utilizing credit union volunteers, programs for credit union members, and community collaborations. Sound financial management must also be demonstrated by the applicant. Eligible non-credit union related partners may include:

  • Non-profit, community service organizations (ex: YMCA, Scouts, Boy & Girls Clubs, Consumer Credit Counseling, Community Affordable Housing or Asset Building Organizations)
  • Education-related organizations or schools (ex: Junior Achievement, Partners in Education, Communities in Schools, Newspapers in Education, Schools, Districts, Parent-Teacher Organizations, Educator Continuing Education Programs)
  • Religious organizations (as long as the program or services are open to the community at large and/or credit union membership)

Chapter Grants Program

Credit union chapters serve a very important purpose in the credit union system. They are a source of professional and organizational development, local credit union awareness and community outreach. Credit union chapters are also a centralized source of connection to credit unions for the community. The Chapter Grants Program provides support for the Cornerstone Credit Union League chapter program, as well as a recognition opportunity both locally and within the industry. Chapters may receive annually up to $2,000 in grants for one or a combination of programs.

Eligible Programs

Professional development and education - Foundation Chapter Grants can be used to bring in a training or education program that will be beneficial to member credit unions.

Chapter scholarship program - Chapters may elect to sponsor a scholarship for local students on behalf of the chapter and the Foundation. This program would benefit local students, create awareness and loyalty for local credit unions and highlight the social mission of all credit unions.

Chapter community outreach program - A chapter community outreach program can be a combined effort by member credit unions to benefit the community. This can include reality fairs, retirement fairs, joint sponsorship of a community financial education program, offer VITA sites during the tax season, or local credit union awareness campaigns or events.

Grant Deadlines for Professional Development, Financial Education, and Chapter Grants

Application Deadline Grants Committee Meeting
March 2 March 16
September 7 September 21

Disaster Relief Grants

Whether a tornado in Oklahoma or a hurricane on the Gulf Coast, credit unions are known for their quick and generous support of disaster relief efforts. The Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation is able to respond to disasters because of credit unions' commitment to "people helping people." Working together with other Leagues, CUNA, the National Credit Union Foundation, and affected credit unions, funds are distributed directly to those credit union staff and board members in need so they can stabilize their lives and continue to serve their members.

The Process

The Foundation has established a three-phase process when natural disasters occur:

Phase I emergency grants - provided to credit union employees and board members to assist with immediate disaster relief needs, such as out-of-pocket costs that may result from being evacuated.

Phase II grants - intended to assist credit union employees and board members with significant needs. This is implemented only after the distribution of phase one grants.

Phase III grants - intended to follow-up with those credit union employees and board members who suffered catastrophic loss and are still needing assistance after phase two grants have been distributed. This phase begins 180 days after the respective disaster and is dependent on the funds available.

Learn more about the disaster relief program.

Credit Union CIF Development Fund Grant

The Cornerstone Credit Union League's Community Investment Fund (CIF) is managed by the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation. All CIF grants are approved by a separate grants committee than the general Foundation grants.

The CIF Development Fund Grant is a valuable source and opportunity credit unions can take advantage of to advance their credit union in several ways that will benefit them, and in return, allow them to serve their members and community more effectively. This fund is comprised of investment income from other credit unions that chose to designate their Community Investment Fund investments to support and promote the true development of credit unions. Credit unions do not have to be investors to receive a CIF Development grant. However, credit unions who do participate in the CIF investment create a win-win opportunity for themselves and for the industry.

Grant applications may be submitted for a variety of credit union development options including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Credit Union Development Educator Program for CU Staff
  • Equipment for CU Branches & Offices
  • Various Audits
  • Planning Sessions
  • Computer Hardware/Software
  • Branch Capture
  • Online Banking
  • Risk Assessments
Credit unions may receive one CIF Development Fund Grant per calendar year.

CIF Development Grant Deadlines

Application Deadline Grants Committee Meeting
April 4 April 18
October 10 October 24

Richard L. Ensweiler Hispanic Outreach CIF Grant

With Hispanics becoming the nation's fastest growing minority, many credit unions are making it a priority to fulfill the needs and earn the trust of this underserved marketing. The Richard L. Ensweiler Fund allows credit unions to specifically designate their Community Investment Fund investments to promoting Hispanic outreach initiatives.

Eligible Grant Types

  • Fee for Hispanic Opportunity Navigator (HON)
  • Financial education
  • Remittance promotion
  • Spanish Immersion Program in Costa Rica
  • Participation/sponsorship in Hispanic community-wide event
  • Home buying seminar
  • Launching of a new program targeting Hispanic community