NCUA’s Low-Income Designated Grant Round Opens June 2

Credit unions are encouraged to take steps in May to simplify the application process.

5/7/2019

The National Credit Union Administration’s 2019 grant round is approaching. Applications for Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grants, or CDRLF, will be accepted from June 2 through July 20. The NCUA expects to award approximately $2 million in grants to support low-incomedesignated credit unions in the following areas: 

  • Counselor Certification 
  • Digital Services and Security 
  • Training 
  • Underserved Outreach 

The Counselor Certification is new for 2019 and has a maximum grant amount of $5,000. It is designed to help credit union staff obtain a certificate in financial and housing counseling with the purpose of using that knowledge to build partnerships that expand the credit union’s service to members.  

Applications are available electronically through the NCUA’s CyberGrants SystemThe NCUA will announce the awardees by Aug. 30. For more information, see the NCUA’s 2019 grant application guidelines. 

Early application is advised. If this is your first time applying for a grant, don’t hesitate to contact the NWCUA’s Vice President Regulatory Advocacy, John Trullfor guidance throughout any part of the process, including:  

  1. Obtaining low-income designation – The low income designation process can take less than an hour. Benefits include eliminating the statutory member business lending cap, having the ability to take nonmember deposits, and issue subordinated debt that counts toward capital. 
  2. Assisting with System of Awards Management and your DUNS & Bradstreet numbers  Your Association can provide overthephone support to credit unions that are having trouble getting their SAMs or DUNs numbers. We encourage credit unions to take this step in May to make the grant process much simpler. 
  3. Assisting with the grant applications – The majority of the grants are easy to apply for; after inputting your information the grant application takes less than 10 minutes. If you are having trouble submitting the application, we can help troubleshoot the issues.  
  4. Underserved Outreach Grant – The Association and our Foundation have staff that can talk through your grant application for the NCUA Underserved Outreach initiative, if interestedThe Underserved Outreach grants have a maximum amount of $100,000 and typically require additional thought and planning. The application process and reporting requirements are also more comprehensive, but the Association and Foundation are available to guide your credit union through this submission process. 

Pre-application Steps: 

  1. Obtain/Confirm Your DUNS number:Each applicant must provide, as part of its submission, a DUN and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number.Learn more about how to obtain a DUNS number here. 
  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, and need to be renewed annually. Here’s how to register a new entity with SAM.gov. 
  3. Check eligibility  Check each initiative’s eligibility requirements and qualifying criteria to increase your probability of receiving a grant. For example, the financial Counselor Certification program grant requires applying credit unions to have a CAMEL 3 rating, and are awarded based on credit unions asset size, from smaller to larger.

Credit unions can apply for a maximum of two grants, but one of the applications must be specified for Underserved Outreach. For example, credit unions are allowed to apply for both Training and Underserved Outreach grants. However, credit unions will not be allowed to apply for any combination of initiatives that only includes Counselor Certification, Digital Services and Security, or Training. Any combination of the Underserved Outreach initiative with another initiative is acceptable. 

Important Dates (subject to change): 

May 22 NCUA will hold a WebEx session discussing the 2019 CDRLF grant initiatives. Information will soon be available on the NCUA’s webinar schedule page.  
June 2 Grant round opens at 9 a.m. EDT.
July 5 Recommended completion date for annual registration for the System of Award Management, or SAM, required for application. Registration available through SAM.gov.
July 17 Last day to contact the NCUA staff with inquiries on the grant round. All questions should be submitted by email at CUREAPPS@ncua.gov
July 20 Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT. Applications are available electronically through the NCUA’s CyberGrants System.  
Aug. 30 The NCUA will notify applicants and announce awards by email from CUREAPPS@ncua.gov and through an official NCUA press release.

Editor’s Note: Credit unions, reach out to John Trull, Vice President of Regulatory Advocacy, for assistance and questions. He may be reached by email or by phone at 503-350-2209.