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  • CU Strategic Planning

CDFI Grant Season Draws to a Close: Hurry Up and Wait

photo of CU Strategic Planning virtual meeting
The tired team celebrates our final submission

With the click of the “Submit” button on the last of our client FY2022 CDFI FA and TA grant applications, our most intense season is at a close.

Curious about what goes into getting these out the door?

Our work begins with client kick-off calls and data collection in the summer; by the time the CDFI has opened applications with its Notice of Funds Availability (usually 60 days before the deadline), we’re already well on our way! Each grant is assigned an advocate—someone who is the point person between the credit union and our team. They “own” the application but are far from the only person working on it.

Although the work is very challenging, it is beyond rewarding! Watching the grants come together and seeing all the life-changing products to help transform communities is amazing. This is a team completely dedicated to helping people help people.

Shea Bredlie, Community Development Manager

Each grant application we submit is the product of at least 15 different people’s work, as we make sure a subject expert handles each section. Research, product and partnership development, credit union finances, writing, editing—we ensure every component goes to the right person. Then when it comes time to submit, 800 different inputs are plugged into the AMIS software, distributed over about 50 sections.

Making sure that every component of the application is perfect every step of the way is definitely stressful, but it’s really rewarding to be able to contribute to the work these credit unions are doing.

Michele Lenox, Community Development Manager

With so many moving parts, the team relies on our AVP of Operations Kathleen Falotico, who keeps everything running behind the scenes and ensures that the information is double-checked each step of the way.

The last stretch of grant writing and advocating for our CDFIs’ commitment to helping low-income and/or minority communities creates such a great feeling of accomplishment - but even more so, pride in our clients’ work described in these grants and how many disadvantaged people they are helping.

Jessica LaRocca, Community Development Manager

CU Strategic Planning’s mission is to help credit unions unlock their potential to change lives. We are excited about the strategies our team was able to help our client credit unions create as part of the comprehensive business plan behind each Financial Assistance or Technical Assistance grant application. These CDFI credit unions are doing remarkable work changing and improving their communities all across the country. Now, we must wait for the announcement (which, with any luck, will happen in September this year), to learn how much more we’ll be adding to our current tally of $770M in CDFI funds earned for CDFI credit unions.


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