$2M Spurs Innovative Collaborations


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 New Partnerships Offer Quality Financial Products to Underserved Communities

$2 Million Spurs Innovative Collaborations in Financial Services Sector

Chicago, IL – (September 26, 2013) – Today, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (the Federation) and the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) awarded $530,000 to three partnerships between credit unions and nonprofit organizations through the Financial Capability Partnership Initiative (FCPI). Over the next 3 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 is also depositing $1.5 million in credit unions to support partnerships and lending in underserved markets.

The Initiative is managed by the Federation together with CFSI.  Generous support for FCPI is provided by the Kresge Foundation.

“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, President and CEO of the Federation. “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.”

In Phase I of FCPI, the Federation and CFSI delivered tailored technical assistance to ten select nonprofit-credit union partnerships in seven target cities: Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Durham, North Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana; San Antonio, Texas; the San Francisco Bay Area, California; and St. Louis, Missouri. In addition, a program-related investment from the Kresge Foundation has enabled the Federation to deploy $1.5 million in deposits with participating credit unions in these 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 Federal Credit Union – Integrating financial coaching programs and credit union products with award-winning workforce development programs for low-income youth ages 18-24 in San Francisco, California.
  • The Community Builders and South Side Community Federal Credit Union – 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, Illinois.
  • Kingdom House and St. Louis Community Credit Union – Further integrating credit union products with social services, focusing on debt reduction, asset building, and youth financial education in St. Louis, Missouri.

In addition to monetary support, the three selected partnerships will receive in-depth technical assistance from the Federation and CFSI on partnership design and product and service delivery. A Learning Network will also 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. Over the course of the pilot period, CFSI and the Federation will also work closely with the grantees to document the experience of the partnerships and the impact of each program.

“Even beyond their important role of providing high-quality products and services to underserved consumers, these partnerships will also offer valuable lessons for the growing financial capability field,” said Sarah Gordon, Vice President, Advisory Services and Nonprofit Investments, CFSI. “We want to find new strategies for promoting consumer financial health, and we believe FCPI will result in models that are successful and replicable.”

About CFSI:

The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) is the nation’s leading authority on financial services for underserved consumers. Through insights gained by producing original research; promoting cross-sector collaboration; advising organizations and companies by offering specialized consulting services; shaping public policy; and investing in nonprofit organizations and start-ups, CFSI delivers a deeply interconnected suite of services benefiting underserved consumers. Since 2004, CFSI has worked with leaders and innovators in the business, government and nonprofit sectors to transform the financial services landscape. For more on CFSI, go to www.cfsinnovation.com or follow the conversation on Twitter at @cfsinnovation.

About the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions:

The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) is a certified CDFI Intermediary, representing more than 250 community development credit unions (CDCUs).  The Federation’s member CDCUs provide credit, savings, transaction services and financial education to more than 2.5 million residents of low-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the United States, and hold over $19 billion in community-controlled assets.  Founded in 1974, the Federation is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Colorado Springs, CO and Madison, WI.  The Federation offers a wide range of advocacy, educational, training, investment, marketing and outreach programs to support and assist CDCUs.  For more information about the Federation and its programs, please visit www.cdcu.coop.

About the Kresge Foundation:

The Kresge Foundation is a $3 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, work in the environment, health, human services and community development efforts in Detroit. In 2012, the Board of Trustees approved 410 awards totaling $130.5 million; $150.3 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. For more information, visit www.kresge.org .

Media Contacts:

Kathleen Smith Shelton
Sr. Associate, Marketing Communications

Clarissa Ritter
Director, Marketing and Communications

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