2018 Funding Round for CDFI and NACA Program Now Open

$196.5 million available to credit unions for Technical and Financial Assistance grants. The deadline to apply is April 4, 2018.

2/6/18

CDFI Fund LogoLast week, The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) opened the fiscal year 2018 funding round for the CDFI Program and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program).

The CDFI Program is designed to build the capacity of financial institutions seeking to grow lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed areas. CDFI-certified credit unions are eligible to apply for Technical Assistance grants of up to $150,000, Financial Assistance grants of up to $1 million, and Healthy Food Financing grants of up to $5 million.

Last September, the department announced that two Northwest credit unions — Harborstone Credit Union in Lakewood, WA, and Lewis Clark Credit Union in Lewiston, ID — were awarded Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Program grants to uplift their communities by increasing access to affordable financial products and services.

“In the last five years, nearly $7 million in grants have gone to Northwest credit unions to help strengthen their ability to meet their members’ needs and serve low-income communities,” said John Trull, the Northwest Credit Union Association’s AVP, Regulatory Advocacy.

Get CDFI Certified

To apply for the grants, your credit union must be CDFI certified. The certification helps credit unions increase their capacity to serve members with modest means and develop strategic partnerships. A CDFI-certified credit union is eligible to apply for multiple programs offered by the CDFI Fund, including direct funding through awards or grants. CDFIs also can take advantage of technical assistance, training, and capacity-building initiatives to support their missions.

If your credit union does not currently have this designation, contact John Trull for assistance. Your Association can help guide your credit union through the application process.

Application Steps and Deadlines

In order for your credit union’s application to considered for an award, you must complete the following steps.

  1. Obtain Your DUNS and EIN Numbers: Each applicant must provide, as part of its submission, a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Learn more about how to obtain a DUNS number here.  Applicants must also have an Employer Identification Number (EIN)to register in SAM.gov, which is a prerequisite to submit a funding application via Grants.gov. To obtain an EIN, please visit the IRS.gov page. 
  2. Create or Update Your SAM.gov Account: Registration in System for Award Management (SAM) is required. Applicants that have previously registered with SAM must verify their accounts are current and active, as they need to be renewed annually. If your SAM.gov account is not active, you will be unable to submit the Grants.gov portion of your application. Additionally, if your application is successful, the funds from your award will be paid to the bank account you have on file with SAM.gov. Here’s how to register a new entity with SAM.gov.
  3. Create or Update Your Grants.gov Account: In order to apply for a CDFI Program or NACA Program award, applicants must have a Grants.gov account and submit the Standard Form (SF)-424 by the deadline listed in the NOFA. The SF-424 must be completed and submitted to the CDFI Fund via Grants.gov 30 days before the application materials are due in the AMIS system. Here’s how to register for a Grants.gov account.
  4. Create or Update Your AMIS Account: Make sure your Awards Management Information System (AMIS) account is up-to-date: verify the contacts for your organization are current, and assign them the proper permissions. If you do not have an AMIS account, you must establish one within 30 days of the NOFA’s release or your application will be considered ineligible. Learn how to establish an AMIS account.

If your credit union is interested in applying for the grants, please keep in mind the following important deadlines:

  • March 2, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. ET: Deadline for CDFI certification applications
  • March 2, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. ET: Deadline for SF424 (Application for Federal Assistance)
  • April 4, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. ET: Deadline for NACA Program Application for Financial Assistance (FA) or Technical Assistance (TA)

You can view more details about the grants and find application resources here.

If you have questions about CDFI certification or the CDFI grant application process, contact John Trull, NWCUA’s AVP, Regulatory Advocacy, at jtrull@nwcua.org.