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National Credit Union Administration: Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives Grant Program – Round One

Deadline: July 31, 2017

The National Credit Union Administration’s Grant Program was established by Congress to provide funds to low-income designated credit unions that serve low-income communities. The Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI) administers the congressionally appropriated funds. OSCUI will fund the following initiatives:

1. Digital Services and Security: Building a digital relationship with members is a necessity for credit unions. Just as crucial is ensuring digital channels are secure and that processes are in place to ensure continued safety of digital assets and activities. Applying appropriate fraud prevention and cyber security projects will help credit unions prepare for new threats and build the infrastructure of their technology systems to protect credit union and member information. In addition, this grant will leverage digital technology to improve services for credit union members. Low wealth members cannot afford to take the time to visit brick and mortar buildings to transact business, they rely upon mobile apps, and home banking to complete financial transactions. Credit unions may use this grant to implement or enhance any of the digital services, cyber security, and fraud prevention activities in the eligible list of projects, as follows:

  • Digital services: Bill pay; debit and prepaid cards; digital/electronic signatures; mobile or online loan, membership, and share applications; e-statements; mobile payments and digital wallets; online banking; person-to-person payments; and remote deposit capture
  • Cyber security and fraud prevention: Biometric or multi-factor authentication systems; cyber security training; cyber security risk and transaction monitoring; data classification policy; data encryption and protection; malware defenses; online banking security upgrades; software security; and system tests or risks assessments such as penetration and vulnerability tests

2. Leadership Development: This initiative seeks to promote career development in the credit union industry, prepare credit unions for success in the event of a leadership transition, and enhance the operational knowledge of credit union employees. This grant initiative will assist small credit unions to recruit recent graduates or develop a succession strategy for management. Credit unions may use this grant to initiate any of the development activities in the eligible list of projects, detailed below:

  • Develop a management succession plan
  • Develop a diversity and inclusion plan and/or obtain diversity and inclusion training for credit union employees
  • Develop policies and procedures and/or position descriptions for essential credit union roles
  • Create a career track strategy for entry-level or mid-career positions
  • Enroll an employee in advanced training courses to enhance his/her leadership skills and/or operational knowledge of credit unions
  • Partner with an organization or entity that provides internships and/or employment opportunities in credit unions
  • Contract a recent graduate or student intern to assist the credit union in an area of need (e.g., information technology, marketing, finance, etc.)

Small Low Income Credit Union (LICU) Capacity: This initiative is designed to assist credit unions experiencing operational pressure that may impact their chances to survive and thrive. Eligible credit unions can use this grant to upgrade their technology systems in order to improve the credit union’s ability to serve its credit union members through any of the activities in the eligible project list (below). This initiative is exclusive to credit unions with assets that are less than $30 million.

  • Converting manual credit union operations to an electronic, automated process
  • Upgrading operational technology capabilities (e.g., converting to a new core processor that improves operational efficiencies and/or offers additional products & services for members)
  • Acquiring updated technology to improve the credit union’s back-office operations
  • Other technology projects designed to improve the credit union’s operational and outreach capacity

Amount: Awards vary by initiative, as follows:

  • Digital Services and Security: Up to $7,500
  • Leadership Development: Up to $10,000
  • Small Low Income Credit Union Capacity: Up to $7,500

Eligibility: Federally chartered credit unions with a current “low-income” designation as set forth in NCUA’s Rules and Regulations. State chartered credit unions must have the equivalent low-income designation from their respective state supervisory authority and concurrence from NCUA. For more information on the LID visit: http://www.mycreditunion.gov/about-credit-unions/Pages/Low-Income-Credit-Unions.aspx.

Link: https://www.ncua.gov/services/Pages/small-credit-union-initiatives/grants-loans/grants.aspx

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