WASHINGTON (7/20/11)--The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) Monday awarded $142,302,667 to 155 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), including 25 credit unions, serving economically distressed communities nationwide. The organizations awarded are headquartered in 40 states and the District of Columbia. The awards are granted through the fiscal year 2011 round of the CDFI Fund’s cornerstone program, the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, and represent the largest single round of monetary awards in the CDFI Fund’s history, announced director Donna J. Gambrell. The awards will help the specialized, community-based financial institutions spur local economic growth and recovery, and expand access to affordable financial products and services. The 25 awards to credit unions totaled nearly $25.7 million, according to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. The federation also received $1.5 million, as did the North Carolina Minority Support Center, a Durham, N.C.-based CDFI supporting CDCUs statewide. Credit union awards represented 18.06% of the number of CDFI Fund awards granted in this round. All but three of the credit unions receiving awards are federation member CDCUs. A full breakdown of the credit union awards from this round is available on the federation’s website. Use the link. Federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal broke down the numbers further. “The total amount of $28,696,617 made to credit unions and credit union support organizations, compared to the $142,302,667 made to all CDFIs, represents 20.17% of award dollars. This is a very good showing for our movement by historical standards.” CU Strategic Planning, a firm that specializes in credit union grant writing, said it established a record by winning $5.3 million in the CDFI grant awards for seven credit unions in six states. Of the more than $448 million in application requests by CDFIs, only 31.7% was approved. For credit unions, that percentage was higher--47.2% of funds requested were approved--and that was in part because of CU Strategic Planning, said the firm. It more than doubled the CDFI success rate with 76.7% of the funds it requested for credit unions approved.