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Three CU Partnerships With Nonprofits Awarded $530K
CHICAGO (10/1/13)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) Thursday awarded $530,000 to three partnerships between credit unions and nonprofit organizations through the Financial Capability Partnership Initiative (FCPI).

"These partnerships will connect credit union products to the families and individuals who need them most, those who are traditionally hardest to serve," said Cathie Mahon, federation president/CEO. "This kind of innovative work is critical as we promote increased access to safe and affordable products and services in low- and moderate-income communities."

During the next three years, each partnership will integrate credit union products into social service delivery with the goal of fostering greater financial capability and independence for low-income and underserved consumers. Through the initiative, the federation also is depositing $1.5 million in credit unions to support partnerships and lending in underserved markets.

The initiative is managed by the federation, working with CFSI. Support for FCPI is provided by the Kresge Foundation.

In Phase I of FCPI, the federation and CFSI delivered tailored technical assistance to 10 nonprofit-credit union partnerships in seven target cities: Chicago; Cleveland; Durham, N.C.; New Orleans; San Antonio; the San Francisco Bay area; and St. Louis.

Also, a program-related investment from the Kresge Foundation has allowed the federation to deploy $1.5 million in deposits with participating credit unions in the seven communities. Three partnerships were selected from this group to receive grant funding for Phase II of the initiative.

The FCPI grantees are:
  • Mission SF (with Year Up Bay Area) and Self-Help FCU (San Francisco branch)--Integrating financial coaching programs and credit union products with award-winning work force development programs for low-income youth ages 18-24 in San Francisco.
  • The Community Builders and South Side Community FCU in Chicago--Engaging and supporting income-earning residents of a Work First Community Housing property with direct financial coaching and access to responsible financial products in Chicago.
  • Kingdom House and St. Louis Community CU--Further integrating credit union products with social services, focusing on debt reduction, asset building, and youth financial education in St. Louis.
The three selected partnerships also will receive technical assistance from the federation and CFSI on partnership design, and product and service delivery. A Learning Network also will be established to provide the Phase I and Phase II partnerships with peer-learning opportunities designed to strengthen their capacity and efficiency in delivering solutions that promote financial capability. During the pilot period, CFSI and the federation also will work with the grantees to document the experience of the partnerships and the impact of each program.
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