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The FundBook WA State Edition

June 2011

Helping communities find the federal funding they need.


The View from Washington State

I

n a state still reeling from high unemployment, and federal and state budget cuts, many communities are investigating Community Development Credit Unions (CDCUs). These community-investing credit unions have the specific mission of serving low- and moderate-income communities. Community investing is already the unsung hero in thousands of towns and neighborhoods across America, where it has added jobs, local services and support for small businesses where traditional lenders have been unable or unwilling to do so. Community investment involves capital from investors and lenders that is directed to individuals who are underserved by traditional financial services. According to a major 2010 Social Investment Forum Foundation report, assets in community investing institutions rose more than 60 percent from $25 billion in 2007 to $41.7 billion at the start of 2010. Healthy growth was demonstrated in all four categories of community investing institutions: community development banks, community development credit unions, community development loan funds and community development venture capital funds. In 2011, community investing is poised to become much more widely visible as a result of three major trends that could boost related in-

vestments from individuals and institutions. The Social Investment Forum (SIF), Green America, and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions identified: • Consumers leaving mega-banks due to high fees and abusive practices • Rising institutional interest in going local with community investing • Growing consumer awareness of community investing success stories This increased investment will be crucial in the coming years, given cuts in government spending to reduce the deficit that will make it harder for those who are struggling to pull themselves up from a financial crisis. The Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund www.cdfifund.gov) currently is spared from major budget cuts. Most legislators acknowledge the benefit of investing in CDFIs through the CDFI Fund, where each federal dollar is leveraged approximately 27 times by non-federal sources. However, no initiative is safe from cuts. A general shift towards greater community investment by the mainstream capital markets is an important trend requiring the attention of local and state officials. §

Grant Writing on the Edge

Advanced grant writing tools and tips for government entities, schools and non-profits. Community Development Credit Unions are still a growing movement and not available in many communities. Other options for developing financial literacy and for securing funds are found in local banks. Support for communities is provided through volunteer time, grants, event sponsorship, and publication support. p. ~ The Fundbook - WA | June 2011

Grant writers can look to local bank foundations for funding. Here are a few providers of Financial Literacy and other community support grants: The Bank of America Wells Fargo http://goo.gl/05zHp http://goo.gl/vCM7K Chase Bank US Bank http://goo.gl/jtiO6 http://goo.gl/Vbkvs

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Bright Star Grant Consultants, Inc. PO Box 725, Clinton, WA, 98236 (360) 556-6744 renee@brightstarconsultants.com www.brightstarconsultants.com

Bright Star Grant Consultants is a full service capacity building firm. Supporting government agencies, non-profits, and universities with: • Fund, resource, and program development • Strategy and expansion • Assessment and evaluation • Training and Coaching

Grants are the cornerstone of building a diversified funding portfolio

Sample Consultation Feasibility Study: Preliminary Non-Traditional Grant Funding Strategy: City of Pinehurst, Idaho Role: Research and development of deliverable documentation that included non-traditional grant seeking strategies, organizational readiness evaluation, readiness task list, strategic alliances profiles, and recommendations.

Bright Star Grant Consultants worked carefully to understand the needs of our projects and community and provided creative funding opportunities that will expand the reach of our projects and increase our sustainability. - Principal, Terra Graphics Engineering (www.tgenviro.com)

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Notes From the Field

Interest is building to create financial services with local control and accountability through non-traditional approaches. Communities such as Whidbey Island have convened committees to investigate the feasibility of forming a Community Development Credit Union. Other communities are just starting out with their community credit union experiment. Some foundations, faith based organizations and non-profits have already begun to partner with communities to provide lowcost credit union access to financial services. Here are a few examples: Tulip Cooperative Credit Union, Thurston County A food co-op and the two credit unions joined forces to create Thurston Union of Low Income People Credit Union. The credit union is housed in the food co-op’s eastside store. The Washington State Employees Credit Union pledged $100,000 in deposits, while the Boeing Employees Credit Union provided an ATM, along with financial and human resources help. To learn about the many local sponsors of Tulip go to http://goo.gl/WD1pd Express Credit Union, King County The Medina Foundation has been incubating the start-up of the Express Credit Union and affiliated non-profit Express Advantage in King County to “to conduct outreach, provide financial education and translation services, and deliver complementary social services that further accelerate members’ paths toward financial security”. The Express Credit Union and Express Advantage are working with other non-profits to reach their low income priority customers and leverage a network of infrastructure. A sampling of non-profit partners include: Archdiocesan p. ~ The Fundbook - WA | June 2011

Housing Authority & Catholic Community Services, Community Capital Development, Hopelink, Multi-Service Center, Neighborhood House, New Futures, Refugee Women’s Alliance, Solid Ground, United Way of King County, YWCA, and Washington CASH. To learn more, go to http://goo.gl/3Z5Pm §

Resources for state and local policy makers:

Learn more about • CDFIs and the certification process at www. cdfifund.gov. • The work of community development credit unions at www.cdcu.coop • The National Credit Union Administration at www.ncua.gov National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions 116 John Street, 33rd Floor | New York, NY 100383300 T 212-809-1850 F 212-809-3274 Toll Free 800-437-8711 If you are interested in organizing a community development credit union, the Federation can help. Request a free organizing packet, which contains descriptions, and order forms for all of the Federation’s resources available to groups considering organizing a CDCU. Brian Gately, our Senior Consultant for Small & Emerging Credit Unions, can be contacted by phone at (800) 437-8711 x201 or at: bgately@cdcu.coop http://goo.gl/FVGFr This article was contributed by Renee Bourque of Bright Star Grant Consultants. Bright Star is very knowledgable of the grants and funding territory in WA and works with local governments and non-profits on grantsrelated services and capacity building there.

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Helping communities secure the federal funding they need The FundBook bridges the gap between your needs and those sources of federal funding available to your community. With a list of features that is growing each month, the FundBook can help you… • Stay Organized – User-friendly features help you sort through the federal funding quagmire and locate quality grants. • Gain Access – Expert insights into the federal assistance programs that matter to you. • Prioritize Effectively – Tools to help your community navigate the federal funding process.

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Hundreds of communities across the nation are using the FundBook to navigate an increasing array of federal funding opportunities available to cities and counties each year. Designed to give local government leaders a commanding view of the federal funding process, each issue promotes and educates a do-it-yourself approach to pursuing assistance in Washington, D.C. and working with the federal agencies. The FundBook is designed to be the most userfriendly federal funding resource for all sizes of local government.

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Unlike other news magazines or government relations products designed for local governments, the FundBook endeavors to provide specific, actionable advice rather than general news and policy information. Drawing upon the grant and appropriations experience of our staff and contributors, we strive to give our readers the tools needed to stay on top of the federal funding process every step of the way.

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2011-06 WA Issue