MDI and Cooperativa Learning Center and Grant Opportunity
In 2023, Inclusiv, a national network of 500 credit unions with a mission to assist low- and moderate-income individuals and communities, launched the New Majority Growth Initiative. This program aims to provide support to current leaders of Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) in the mainland United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, and financial cooperatives ("cooperativas") in Puerto Rico. The New Majority Growth Initiative provides direct financial resources through Inclusiv’s Racial Equity Grant Fund, and participants of the program have been engaged in group classes and consulting services to enhance the growth trajectory of MDIs and Cooperativas.
Inclusiv has distributed over $2.5 million in grants to support MDIs and cooperativas since 2020; past recipients can be viewed here. Funding for this specific $1.2 million dollar grant round in 2024 has been made possible through the generous support of Citi Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. Inclusiv has also received federal funding from the CDFI Fund’s Equitable Recovery Program (ERP) to provide subgrants to our members.
The grant funds will support MDIs and cooperativas’ ability to respond to specific community development lending needs including: becoming CDFI certified or recertified; hiring specialized lending, communications and operations staff, establishing loan loss reserves, investing in lending systems or technology to launch or expand homeownership lending, small and micro businesses, clean energy (such as for home and commercial solar & electric vehicles), responsible small dollar lending, and other innovative products. Grantees may also use the funds to foster savings growth, deliver financial coaching to improve consumer financial health and engage in intergenerational wealth building and estate planning. Lastly, grants may support consulting services to build strong strategic or business plans, expand fields of membership, or implement training and professional development necessary to manage a robust growing financial institution.
Criteria and Priority Areas
We are seeking credit unions and cooperativas that meet the following criteria:
- Are designated as an MDI or meet the definition of a minority-led and minority-serving credit union or cooperativa based on board of director and member demographics
- Are members of Inclusiv, or will join Inclusiv’s network, prior to receiving the grant
In Our Evaluation of Submissions, We Will Prioritize:
- MDIs and Cooperativas who can participate in the virtual MDI or Cooperativa Learning Center that meets monthly for 6 months (April 2024 – September 2024).
- Credit unions who have already participated in the Learning Center may apply, and those who are not able to participate in the next 6 months may still apply.
- Those that are smaller in size (e.g., under $1M - 250M asset range), but larger MDI credit unions and cooperativas may apply
- Those that are not yet CDFI certified or did not receive CDFI Technical Assistance or Financial Assistance grants in the past
- Those that are located in certain geographic markets of interest to the funders:
- New York City, Greater Washington DC (including Richmond/Baltimore), Miami (including Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm), Wilmington (DE), Chicago, Columbus, Greater Dallas (Ft. Worth/Plano), Houston, Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Phoenix
- Those that demonstrate a significant or urgent need for financial resources and thoughtfully explain how the funds will be used.
- Those grantees that have been responsive to past reporting requirements or who have the capacity to submit future reporting requirements.
We anticipate issuing grants that are approximately $10K at a minimum and $50K at a maximum (avg. grant size may be around $20-25K).
Application and Timeline
- Complete the online application form.
The deadline to submit an online application is Thursday, February 29, 2024. Grantees will be selected by March, and the first classes for those selected for the MDI and Cooperativa Learning Centers will begin in mid-late April.