The Cornerstone Foundation embraces the credit union philosophy, “People Helping People,” with a special emphasis on financial wellness.
Financial knowledge, discipline, and action help lift people out of poverty and up to a better quality of life. The National Credit Union Foundation determined 12 barriers to financial health & well-being for credit union members, staff,
and communities. These barriers are known as Development Issues.
Community Development Grants are available to assist Cornerstone credit unions that are ready to combat one or more of the 12 development issues. This grant opportunity is intended to support the unique community development needs of credit union members.
Community Development Grant requests are accepted year-round, and credit unions are eligible for one Community Development Grant per calendar year. A credit union may submit another grant request upon completion of any previous grant-funded project and
the submission of a final report so long as the grant request falls in a new year.
The Cornerstone Foundation Grants Committee will review completed grant requests within two weeks of submission. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. The grants committee places priority on proposals that:
- Clearly demonstrate and document the community need/development issue to be addressed
- Have an evaluation plan to measure both individual and community impact
- Create opportunities and/or decrease disparities for historically marginalized or disinvested communities, people, or groups Credit unions may apply alone or in conjunction with a nonprofit or other community partner to deliver the programming or
Credit union partnerships and additional grant opportunities may include:
- Non-profit, community service organizations (Examples: YMCA, Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, Consumer Credit Counseling, Community Affordable Housing or Asset Building Organizations)
- Education-related organizations or schools (Examples: 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)
- Projects with a Financial Capability component
- Hispanic Outreach initiatives
- Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) or Minority Depository Institution (MDI) assistance
Community Development grants award a maximum of $10,000 and full funding is not guaranteed. Grant funding will be issued per the Community Development grant agreement.
Funding is awarded based on need and dollars available. If the grant is approved, the credit union must implement the program and expend grant funds within a 12-month period.
The following items are required for Community Development Grant request:
- A full project budget (expenses and revenue with a narrative for line items), the amount requested from the Foundation, and how the remaining project revenue will be raised to fully fund the initiative. Sound financial management must be demonstrated
by the applicant.
- Clearly stated goal of the funded project or event must address the documented community needs of the credit union and its members.
- If applicable: A letter of support from the partner organization, clearly stating the community need to be addressed and how the organization will be an active partner.
- If applicable: Proof of the partner organization’s 501c3 tax-exempt status letter, program materials, and a recent annual report.
Grant recipients will be required to post and share their projects on the credit union’s social media platforms and provide recognition to the Cornerstone Foundation as a partner in the project.
A final report must be submitted in the online grants portal within two weeks of the project completion. Testimonials, videos, and success stories are encouraged. Reporting details will be issued with approved grant proposals.
Please contact Cornerstone Foundation staff for questions about eligible Community Development Grants.