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Cornerstone Foundation launches Pandemic Response Strategy to improve financial well-being

May 1, 2020, 00:00 AM by Cornerstone Foundation

PLANO, TEXAS (May 1, 2020) – On April 29, Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation launched a series of financial well-being programs as part of its new Pandemic Response Strategy to meet the needs of credit unions, their staff, and their members. The strategy contains four specific components that include the Financial Counseling Certification Program, known as FiCEP; a toolkit for Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors (CCUFC); free one-on-one financial counseling; and affordable e-learning programs.

“The Foundation understands the need to take care of Cornerstone-region credit unions and their staff during this unprecedented time,” said Executive Director Courtney Moran. “We are proud of our traditional disaster relief efforts and our ability to spring into action when natural disasters strike. Because this public health crisis is beyond our mission criteria, we want to close the gap between that mission and real needs on the ground.”

Moran said the Foundation wanted to help in a way that has a ripple effect, spreading from credit union staff to members, using immediate and long-term assistance, while at the same time keeping to their purpose of empowering people to improve their financial well-being.

Members will be looking to their credit unions for financial relief and guidance for many months and perhaps even years to come, said Moran. With the Pandemic Response Strategy, the Foundation seeks to address the missing human connection and sense of community; provide low-cost professional development opportunities for credit union staff; and connect with credit union staff who may still be working but impacted negatively due to a significant other who may have lost a job or experienced a cut in hours.

Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors Toolkit

Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors will welcome the CCUFC Toolkit. The toolkit is designed to enable credit union staff to build upon their skills and knowledge as they help members navigate their individual paths toward financial health. The toolkit covers topics, such as finance, coaching, counseling, the cycle of change, and building relationships, which are all intricately connected.

Financial Counseling Certification Program

The Foundation is offering Credit Union National Association’s FiCEP training free to credit union staff, combining the convenience of a self-study program with group hands-on learning. Students gain the knowledge and skills to help members experiencing financial difficulties, which also reduces delinquencies and charge-offs and grows product and service revenue. Upon completion of the eight-module program, students become Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors and earn the CCUFC designation. Students will have two programs to choose from, one standard and the other accelerated.

Free one-on-one financial counseling

The Foundation is partnering with BALANCE to offer credit union staff one-on-one coaching with a licensed financial coach/counselor for up to one year. Credit union staff and their dependents can call a toll-free hotline to discuss money management questions, receive debt counseling, schedule appointments for free budget counseling, or request information on a variety of financial issues. For more information, attend a May 5 or May 7 webinar at 1 p.m. Click here to register.

Affordable e-learning

The Foundation is partnering with three financial capability providers to offer affordable e-learning platforms to credit unions. The Foundation will cover a portion of the cost to host the program on its website for one year, based on the credit union’s asset size.

The three learning platform providers are BALANCE, Enrich Financial Wellness, and EVERFI digital adult and family financial education technology. Each provider will host an educational webinar/demo describing its programs and costs and allow credit unions to choose which platform best suits their needs and budgets.

Register for an affordable e-learning demo:

Learn more on the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation’s website. For more information about the strategy and its components, contact Marina Garcia, Foundation financial capability director, at 469-385-6445 or

About Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation
The Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation is the 501(c)(3) public charity of the Cornerstone Credit Union League. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting financial capability programs for youth and adults, providing access to professional development for credit union staff and volunteers, and offering financial relief for credit union staff when disaster strikes. The Foundation receives financial support from credit unions, corporate partners, individuals, the Cornerstone Credit Union League, Cornerstone Resources, Inc., and grants from other foundations.

Founded in 1969, BALANCE is a nationally respected, HUD-approved financial services organization with a mission to end generational poverty. They do this one wallet at a time, helping people achieve financial health through debt reduction, credit score improvement, homeownership, and improved money management skills.