NCUA Community Development Grants Could be “Found Money” for Northwest CUs

Your Association can walk you through the application process, and away you’ll go funding digital upgrades, leadership development, and outreach to underserved communities.

6/5/18

Picture of Pocetello Simplot CU App

Pocatello Simplot Credit Union used an NCUA grant to provide its members with a much-needed mobile app.

When Pocatello Simplot Credit Union’s leadership team decided it was time for a new mobile banking app, they turned to the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) Community Development Revolving Loan Fund and received a $7,500 grant.

“Most of our members work inside fertilizer plants or mines in remote locations,” said Amy Wellard, President/CEO of the $29 million asset-sized credit union. “They don’t sit down in offices where they have access to a computer daily. They wanted on-the-go access and now they are thrilled to have access to their accounts with a single swipe on a smartphone.”

Keeping up with technology can be difficult for smaller credit unions, Wellard noted, but said the process of applying was straight forward. She encourages other credit unions not to be intimidated by the process.

The next grant cycle is about to open.

The grant application cycle will be open July 1 through August 18. NCUA will host a free, informational webinar on June 13. Registration is open online.

If at first you don’t succeed, don’t give up.

Portland-based Consolidated Community Credit Union used grants to put an ATM in a sponsoring company where its members complete over 300 transactions a month. An NCUA grant also helped Consolidated to upgrade its Remote Deposit Capture software.

Last year, the credit union hoped an NCUA grant would help to expand its affordable housing loan program, but that application was unsuccessful.

President/CEO Larry Ellifritz picked up the phone and called NCUA to find out why.

“It was extremely helpful in understanding the process and will help us with future applications,” Ellifritz said. “That would be my advice. If you do not win, don’t be afraid to ask why.”

Editor’s note: Your Association is a resource in helping you to prepare a solid grant application. John Trull, AVP, Regulatory Affairs, can provide insight and guide you through the process. Contact John by emailing jtrull@nwcua.org.