|Helping Families Build Assets:
OSCUI and OCS host webinar for credit unions
We're diversifying how we offer training to credit unions. We know resources - money, people, and time - are limited, so we want to provide you more options to get information that helps you serve your members. This month's feature is one of three articles or announcements focused on training webinars. If you have other suggestions about how you'd like to receive information or training, email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Monday, October 22, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., EST, OSCUI and the Office of Community Services (OCS) will host a webinar introducing the Assets for Independence (AFI) federal grant program. The webinar will feature a live question-and-answer session, and a representative from a small credit union will discuss the credit union's experience operating an AFI project.
The webinar is free, but registration is required. Click here to register.
AFI's goal is to promote financial literacy and savings among low-income individuals, and enable them to acquire a lasting asset. AFI funding enables community-based organizations like credit unions to implement an assets-based approach to giving low-income families a hand up out of poverty.
Credit unions can play a variety of roles in delivering an AFI project to their members. They can act as financial institution partners on existing AFI projects, become sub-grantees of AFI network projects, or begin their own AFI project. Participating with AFI can help your credit union:
- Provide needed financial services: IDA program participants are low-income and often unbanked or underbanked.
- Develop a pipeline of borrowers: All IDA program participants are saving towards a major investment (home, business start-up, or college), which will require additional financing. They may also be in the market for smaller loans like auto and consumer loans and may become long-term members.
- Enhance your community presence: Raise your profile in low-income neighborhoods and among area businesses, policymakers and foundations by supporting an innovative asset building project.
- Reduce member loan delinquency: Strong money management skills are key to members' making loan payments on time and in full. Financial education is a core component of all AFI projects.
- Built-in risk management: Each AFI grantee establishes a Project Reserve Account of up to $2 million to hold the project matching funds until participants graduate.
The webinar coincides with the 2013 funding cycle of the AFI grant program. Applications may be submitted during one of three funding cycles. For 2013, the application deadline for each cycle is:
- Winter - January 25, 2013
- Spring - March 25, 2013
- Summer - May 24, 2013
OCS is a division of the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information, click here or contact the Assets for Independence (AFI) Resource Center at email@example.com or 1-866-778-6037.
All credit unions may serve as a financial institution partner to or a sub grantee of an existing AFI project. Low-income designated (LID) credit unions are eligible to be grantees under the AFI program. Click here to learn more about the LID and the benefits to credit unions of having this designation.
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|OSCUI in the News
Proposed Small CU Rule Would Give Regulatory Exemption to 1,603 CUs
Credit Union Times
The rule would greatly impact the NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives, increasing the number of credit unions it serves by 66%. OSCUI Director Bill Myers...
New Low - Income Charter Approved by NCUA in Michigan
Credit Union Times
The NCUA said its Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives will assist the new credit union, which as a low-income credit union will be able to accept non-member...
New-Fangled Bits and Bytes Might Help
Credit Union Times
...the agency will likely end up paid for, according to Bill Myers, head of the NCUA's OSCUI, because of the ability to file electronically and greater consistency in reporting.
NCUA Charters Community Promise FCU
NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives will also provide assistance to the new credit union. The low-income designation means the majority of potential members...
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New grant reimbursement process
The 2012 grant reimbursement form will have a new, improved format similar to the new grant application. OSCUI is excited about the various features the new reimbursement process offers to credit unions. One feature allows credit union officials to check the status of a reimbursement request online. This will allow you to get updates without having to wait for a reply from OSCUI staff. Also, you may submit proof of purchase and proof of payment for each vendor through a single (preferable) or multiple uploads. These features were added to increase the efficiency of the grant process for you and us.
Two essential parts of the reimbursement form are the proof of payment and proof of purchase. Both items are needed for OSCUI to approve a reimbursement request. Below are OSCUI's classification of purchase and payment proof.
Proof of purchase:
- An invoice from vendor.
- A receipt from vendor specifying items purchased.
Proof of payment:
- A canceled check made out to vendor identified on invoice (both front & back).
- A credit card statement with payment amount and vendor listed.
- The original check to the vendor with a monthly statement attached.
- A receipt listing items purchased and showing the method of payment.
One last thing to keep in mind is that any proof of payment submitted for reimbursement should come directly from your credit union. Receipts, invoices and payments made from entities other than the credit union or a credit union official will not be considered. For instance, credit unions partnering with other organizations should be invoiced by the organization. In addition, payment must be provided to the partner in order for your credit union to be considered for reimbursement.
We think the new online process will be easy to use and make submitting reimbursement requests faster. If you have questions or problems, we're available to assist you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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|Strategic planning rejuvenates boards and officials
The process of developing an effective strategic plan can rejuvenate the board and officials by refocusing their efforts toward the credit union's purpose and member needs. This is true for all credit unions and especially true for long-standing boards whose business model is no longer meeting members' needs or whose income from operations may no longer result in profitability.
NCUA encourages credit unions of all sizes and complexity to develop a strategic plan that includes achievable performance goals. Small asset size credit unions and credit unions with NCUA's low income designation can seek consulting services free of charge by an Economic Development Specialist (EDS) through the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives. An EDS-facilitated session requires a commitment of time and resources by at least a quorum of the board for up to six or eight hours. As we all know, the commitment of time can be a challenge for officials who are volunteers and those having a full time job. Credit union officials who wish to work with an EDS must fully commit to participate in the process.
Click here to read the entire article, including how one EDS assisted a credit union in need of strategic planning.
"The EDS was exceptional in helping us move forward on our immediate goals, as well as future goals. He made the plan of action plain for us to see what was needed to advance operations. We had just recruited some new board members, and they were definitely enthusiastic after working with the EDS."
Treasurer Lorraine Barnard
Tabernacle Federal Credit Union
Our team of 15 Economic Development Specialists is available to provide free operational and strategic management consulting services to eligible credit unions. Eligible credit unions are those holding an NCUA low-income designation, those with assets of less than $10 million, or those that are less than 10 years old.
Throughout the year, we accept nominations for entry into the consulting program during the period of January through June and July through December. The enrollment deadline for our next consulting cycle (January through June 2013) is November 30, 2012. If you wish to participate in the next OSCUI Consulting Program cycle, please be sure to get your nomination in by this date.
A credit union is nominated for consideration into the consulting program by one of two methods: by contacting its NCUA examiner and requesting that he/she generate the nomination form, or through self-nomination by completing the form found at ww.ncua.gov/OSCUI/Consulting.
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OSCUI partners with Aspen Institute in "Credit Unions 101"
"Credit Unions 101" is the title of a webinar sponsored by AssetPlatform.org. The webinar was directed to representatives of public agencies and organizations who work in asset-building, housing and social services. The goal was to encourage them to consider credit unions, particularly low-income designated credit unions (LIDs), as financial institution partners in serving their clients.
Pamela Williams, OSCUI's Partnerships & Outreach Coordinator, was a presenter during the webinar. She addressed OSCUI's unique role among the federal financial institution regulators and its services. She emphasized the benefits and synergies the agencies and organizations could realize from working with LID credit unions. Both the recorded session and PowerPoint presentation are available for you to review.
During the webinar, AssetPlatform demonstrated a new interactive search tool to help users "quickly find credit unions that offer alternative payday loans, micro consumer loans, credit-builder loans, share-secured credit cards, and small-investment certificates of deposit." The locator is designed to help financial counselors and coaches help their clients obtain needed financial services and products. The locator is free, but requires login to access, and is available at www.assetplatform.org. Click "Organizational Resources", then "Products".
AssetPlatform.org was developed by the Aspen Institute and is a free resource for people who provide financial education, coaching and asset development services.
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Happening in OSCUI
Congratulations to EDS Nickolas "Nick" Sanimarco on his retirement from NCUA. Nick began his career with NCUA in 1987, as an examiner in New York City. He was subsequently promoted to Region 1, Division of Insurance as an Economic Development Specialist (EDS). In 2004, the regional EDS function was transferred to NCUA headquarters into what is currently the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI). So, Nick is one of OSCUI's original EDS! Nick is married to Elena; they have two lovely children, Marielle Nicole and Michael Silivio. We, and the credit unions Nick has served, will miss Nick and his expertise.
- Congratulations to Secretary JaJuan Scott on her recent promotion. We appreciate your contributions throughout OSCUI, including maintaining the database that supports this e-newsletter.
- "How to Obtain a Successful Grant" is a webinar we conducted recently. The webinar was developed and conducted by our Grants & Loans staff to assist credit unions that plan to apply for grants in 2013. We provided a summary of the 2012 funding round, tips for completing a grant application, and an overview of our review process. We also fielded questions from credit unions. Click here to view the recording of this webinar.
- OSCUI launched an outreach campaign to establish in some cases, and re-establish in others, regular contact with the credit union leagues. The initial step of the campaign featured an email to over 160 league chapter representatives and CEO's throughout the country. The email included a complementary issue of FOCUS. The second step featured an email to each league chapter introducing the EDS who we assigned to be our liaison with the chapter. If your league did not receive either email contact Partnerships & Outreach Coordinator Pamela Williams at email@example.com.
- We conducted five training workshops during September. Approximately 232 individuals attended the trainings. Our 2012 training schedule concludes this month with a workshop in Seattle, Washington on October 27. Click here to register for this free session.
I just wanted to say thank you for holding a Small Credit Union Workshop in Portland, OR this year... I appreciate the time devoted to learning that doesn't take me away from the weekday business of running the credit union. I've attended the Saturday workshops for many years, and always come back with good information.
Thank you and your staff,
Ruth Bryson, Manager/CEO
Longshore Federal Credit Union
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The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF): Encourages credit unions to submit a grant proposal to the Financial Capability Innovation Fund II (FCIF II). FCIF II is an initiative led by the Center for Financial Services Innovation. Its goal is to provide financial and technical assistance to innovative nonprofit-led interventions designed to promote financial capability among low-income and underserved consumers. Proposals are due by Friday, November 2, 2012. Click here for more information and the application.
The AFI Resource Center announces a series of free, technical assistance webinars for prospective 2013 applicants: Topics include the basics of planning, applying, and developing resources for an AFI project. See below for a description of the webinars; click here to view the webinar schedule and register.
- Prospective Grantee Webinar 1: Planning an AFI Project: Introduces asset building, Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), and the Assets for Independence program.
- Prospective Grantee Webinar 2: Preparing a Successful Application: Walks through the AFI funding announcement and grant application process.
- Prospective Grantee Webinar 3: Developing Resources and Partners: Covers sources and strategies for developing resources - especially non-federal matching funds - and partnerships that can reduce the cost of implementing a project.
Bay Area Asset Funders offers: Building Assets for Very Low-Income Families: The second annual regional convening of the Bay Area Asset Funders Network will be held on November 13, 2012 at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The meeting will explore asset-building strategies - and relevant public policies - targeting very low-income populations. It will explore whether very low-income populations can be served by asset-building policy and practices; and, if so, which approaches are most effective at building their long-term economic security. Click here to register or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illinois Asset Building Group 2012 Conference - Assets Matter: A Bridge to Economic Security: November 15 -16, 2012, in Champaign, IL. Registration is open for the 2nd Biannual Statewide Conference. This two-day conference will bring together community-based practitioners, researchers, advocates, decision makers, and financial institutions to lift up promising practices and move a comprehensive asset agenda forward in Illinois. Click here for more information and to register.
Studies / Research
Washington State Microenterprise Association Presents: Entrepreneurship Symposium: Building Bridges to Brighter Futures: On October 25 - 26, 2012, at the Hotel Murano, Tacoma, WA. Community-minded service providers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders will convene to share, learn and discuss the role of micro and small business in economic recovery. Emphasis will be on the combined capacity to serve entrepreneurs across the state. The symposium will address methods and resources to start, grow and expand business to create jobs and promote economic independence for underserved individuals and disadvantaged communities. For more information and to register click here.
October 2012, Nationwide, National Cyber Security Awareness Month: The National Cyber Security Alliance coordinates this outreach effort to increase awareness of how to stay safe while using the Web. The Federal Trade Commission also offers information at www.onguardonline.gov.
October 20-27, Nationwide, National Protect Your Identity Week: The National Foundation for Credit Counseling, the National Sheriffs' Association, and the National Association of Triads sponsor this week dedicated to preventing identity theft. Free activities are planned in communities across the nation to educate consumers, provide opportunities for shredding financial documents, and to help consumers understand and use credit reports. Click here for more information.
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