CU Strategic Planning Makes History Writing Nearly 50% of All Credit Union CDFI Fund Award Winning Applications in 2012

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How does one small business dominate the U.S. Treasury's CDFI Fund grants? By shunning the banks; working exclusively with not for profit, cooperative credit unions willing to share the secrets of their success.

The #1 grant writing team in the nation is hosting a conference with goal to make history.

Credit unions across the U.S. are working together to make history by breaking U.S. Treasury grant record.

The credit unions collaborating to win CDFI Awards are the best of the best in serving distressed people that are underserved and, worse, preyed on by big banks and payday lenders. They are improving the lives of hard working Americans.

CU Strategic Planning, the firm that specializes in credit union grant writing, established an unprecedented record for one team writing nearly 50 percent of all award winning credit union CDFI Fund applications funded this year by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The award winning applications were submitted on behalf of 10 credit unions in 8 states, including two receiving Native (NACA) funding. The credit unions that hired CU Strategic Planning to develop programs and submit their grants to the U.S. Department of Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund had a remote idea they might be part of setting a ground breaking record. This is because CU Strategic Planning previously established that record last year winning seven awards for credit unions in six states in the Core Awards and an additional three in Native funding.

The funding is part of a nationwide round of $186.8 million in awards to 210 organizations. CU Strategic Planning wrote nearly 5 percent of all award winning CDFI applications and nearly 50 percent of all award winning credit union CDFI applications. To put this is context, as recently as 2009, the first year that CU Strategic Planning submitted an application, only two credit unions won awards. One of those two was submitted by CU Strategic Planning, establishing its streak of winning CDFI Awards in every round since.

“We’ve come a along way and today is a historic day for CU Strategic Planning,” said Chuck Cockburn, CU Strategic Planning CEO. “I am proud of our team and the credit unions that choose cooperation, as a means of improving the economy and the lives of hard working Americans. This is a great day not only for our company, not only for credit unions but also for communities from across America, from Hawaii to New York.”

Twenty-two credit unions were awarded funds; 10 award winning applications were written by CU Strategic Planning. No other credit union team in the history of the CDFI Fund has ever had so many credit union applications approved in a single CDFI funding round.

CU Strategic Planning’s winning applications will result in awards ranging in size from $99,999 to $1.2 million for the following credit unions:

Bridgeway Federal Credit Union, New York
Caddo Parish Teacher’s Federal Credit Union, Louisiana
Coshocton Federal Credit Union, Ohio
JetStream Federal Credit Union, Florida
Kingsville Federal Credit Union, Texas
Molokai Community Federal Credit Union, Hawaii
Natco Credit Union, Indiana
Prince Kuhio Federal Credit Union, Hawaii
Shreveport Federal Credit Union, Louisiana
Thurston Union of Low Income People, Washington

“The credit unions that won these awards are the best of the best in the credit union movement. More than that they are serving hard working people that desire to live better lives,” said Cockburn.

Several of the award winning credit union CEOs will share their secrets of their CDFI success at a meeting facilitated by CU Strategic Planning next month, Making History: The Credit Union CDFI Conference. The goal is for all credit unions in attendance to work cooperatively to again break the record for CDFI awards next year.

“It’s clear that credit unions have an opportunity to be the big winners in serving their communities with CDFI funds,” said CU Strategic Planning’s founder, Jamie Chase. "When we started the company very few credit unions were winning awards. Now it's a different story. The more quality applications we write, the more credit unions win."

CU Strategic Planning's team believes it is the nature of the not-for-profit credit unions, cooperating and sharing best practices that has been an untapped advantage for both applying for the awards, and serving their communities. "What banks do you know of that share their secrets," said Chase.

The CDFI Fund invests in for-profit and nonprofit community-based lending organizations known as Community Development Financial Institutions. Awards are granted through an annual competitive application process.

Credit unions interested in attending the Making History: The Credit Union CDFI Conference can obtain more information at: http://www.makinghistory2012.com
ABOUT
The Department of Treasury established the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund in 1994 to provide credit, capital and financial services to underserved populations. With the announcements of these awards, the CDFI Fund has awarded $1.8 billion through the CDFI Program.

Credit Union Strategic Planning is the only strategic planning facilitator in the United States with the mission to help credit unions realize their potential through the International Credit Union Operating Principles. It is recognized as the #1 writer of credit union CDFI Fund Award applications.

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Jamie Chase

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