CU Strategic Planning specializes in writing winning grants applications for The U.S. Treasury's CDFI Financial Assistance Awards, but for 2021 extended its reach to include an application for a Technical Assistance Award from the same fund: for FLAG Credit Union. The $54 million CDFI and its members won big with a $125,000 award, the full amount of the request.
Just 174 organizations received Technical Assistance awards in FY 2021, totaling $24.1 million, according to Treasury. Technical Assistance Awards help Certified CDFIs and emerging CDFIs to build capacity to provide services to low-income and underserved people and communities across America.
“We’re very excited to be receiving this grant so we can increase our reach to deserving people who need the guidance and services we can provide,” FLAG CU Interim CEO Amy Green said. “And we couldn’t have done it without the extraordinary support of CU Strategic Planning’s experienced and dedicated team.”
FLAG CU is based in Tallahassee, Fla., which has a poverty rate of 26.4%. Over the last five years, the credit union has increased its lending in the area by 42.5%. Flag CU will leverage the grant to add staffing and upgrade its technology to increase lending and expand financial inclusion.
FLAG will create a new position at the credit union, Financial Navigator, to help members access the credit union’s technology and offer one-on-one coaching to consumers, particularly the low-income and elderly members who are unfamiliar with technology. This will prove an essential role as the credit union expands its ability to serve through technology; FLAG will also use the grant money to lease two interactive teller machines.
"FLAG Credit Union is an example of why the TA Awards exist,” CU Strategic Planning President/CEO Stacy Augustine said. “It is on the path to becoming a stronger CDFI and earning future, larger Financial Assistance Awards. Our job is to facilitate that path. While we've both won today, it is the marginalized consumers in Tallahassee who are the big winners."
CU Strategic Planning, the leading writer of CDFI grants for credit unions, focuses mainly on Financial Assistance Award grants, earning client credit unions $250 million in CDFI grant funds to date.