The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (The Federation) is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that specializes in providing capital and support services to community development credit unions (CDCUs) serving the nation's impoverished communities. The Federation currently works with 225 CDFIs nationwide. Since 1982, the Federation has channeled more than $30 million from national investors-foundations, banks and money market funds, religious organizations, nonprofit organizations, trusts, and individuals-into credit unions serving low-income communities.
The Federation runs a number of programs including:
- Capitalization Program- provides deposits, equity-like secondary capital loans, and special purpose grants for NFCDCU members.
- CDCU Mortgage Center-creates mortgage finance options for credit unions serving low-income communities.
- Education & Training-offers a program called "Teach one, teach many" that helps CDCUs deliver effective financial education programs and improve the economic security of local communities.
- Financial Education- "Train-the-trainer" programs help CDCUs offer financial literacy classes to their members, using a special curriculum.
- Credit Networks - The Federation has three special-interest programs for interested credit unions to share issues and innovations, including the Faith-based Credit Union Network, The Latino Credit Union Network, and The Youth Credit Union Network.
- Individual Development Accounts- provide low-income members with matching funds if they save systematically for home ownership, education, or starting a small business.
- New York Community Financial Network- provides training, special programs, and assistance obtaining resources to member credit unions in the New York metropolitan area.
The Federation also offers special program support for microenterprise and small-business development.
The Federation serves urban and rural communities in 42 states across the United States, as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. From the South Bronx to the Navajo Nation, the Federation's growing membership reflects the full diversity of the United States. Thirty-two percent of the people served by the Federation are African-American, 22% are Latino, 4% are Asian American, 2% are Native American, and 40% are Caucasian. Sixty percent of those served are women. Also, 38% reside in urban communities, 29% in semi-urban communities, and 33% in rural communities.
The Federation has $50 million under management including deposits, grants, equity-like loans, or secondary capital. In 2008, the Capitalization Program approved 144 investments totaling $13.2 million to credit unions. The CDCU Mortgage Center has purchased more than $6 million in mortgages from CDCUs, providing much need liquidity to CDCUs to continue to make affordable home loans. The Federation has reached more than 4000 credit union professionals and credit union members through homeownership counseling and financial literacy programs, VITA sites and the CDCU institute.
By creating Community Development Relief and Rebuilding Fund, the Federation is directing money towards CDCUs in the areas hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year. ASI FCU is one credit union doing innovative things with their grant money. After launching A Shared Interest, Inc. (ASII), a nonprofit community development corporation, ASI FCU and ASII are working to expand their anti-poverty programs and shape redevelopment in New Orleans. They purchase and rehabilitate homes to sell to low-income homebuyers at deep discounts, and are working to build a community center to in order to reestablish the communities damaged by the hurricane. Full Story