MDI and Cooperativa Learning Center and Grant Opportunity

MDI and Cooperativa Learning Center and Grant Opportunity

Inclusiv, a national network of nearly 500 credit unions with a mission of helping low- and moderate-income people and communities, launched the New Majority Growth Initiative in 2023. The New Majority Growth Initiative is a project designed to support current leaders of Minority Depository Institution (MDIs) in the mainland U.S. and U.S. Virgin Islands as well as financial cooperatives (“cooperativas”) in Puerto Rico. Inclusiv will provide access to community development finance training, capacity building tools, consulting support, and financial resources necessary to support growth and sustainability.

Through the New Majority Growth Initiative, Inclusiv will provide training, consulting, and $1.6 million in grants to 100 MDI CDCUs & Cooperativas over a two-year period. Participants will be enrolled in MDI and Cooperativa Learning Centers consisting of group classes and a collaborative effort to strengthen the growth trajectory of MDIs and Cooperativas.

The overall goal of the New Majority Growth Initiative is to ensure that people in communities of color have greater access to affordable, asset-building loans to withstand emergencies, afford reliable transportation to higher paying jobs, become homeowners, improve energy efficiency, and start and expand small businesses through community development credit unions.

Funding for the New Majority Growth Initiative has been made possible by Citi Foundation’s Community Finance Innovation Fund, JP Morgan Chase, and NerdWallet.

At this time, we are looking for credit unions and cooperativas that meet the following criteria:

  • Are designated as a Minority Depository Institution (MDI) or meet the definition of a minority-led and minority-serving credit union or cooperativa based on board of director and member demographics
  • Can dedicate at least two senior staff members (or one senior staff member and one board member) to the project for the full length of time (i.e., 6-month active Learning Center cohort participation from October 2023-March 2024 with up to 12-month follow-up).
  • There will be an expectation that the participants will be able to dedicate time to live classes (approximately 2 hours per month), do pre-work and/or homework, and engage their board members as needed.
  • Applicants must be members of Inclusiv or will join Inclusiv’s network prior to receiving the grant

Additional considerations:

  • We will be prioritizing MDIs and Cooperativas in the $10-200M asset range that are not yet CDFI certified, have not received CDFI Technical Assistance or Financial Assistance grants, and/or did not apply for the CDFI Fund’s Equitable Recovery Program (ERP) grant
  • Credit unions in the funders’ geographic markets (e.g., CA, CT, FL, IL, MD, NJ, NY, SD, VA, DC, PR) are strongly encouraged to apply
  • Past recipients of Inclusiv’s Racial Equity Grant Fund are eligible to apply as long as they are in good standing (e.g., grant reports submitted)

Inclusiv will provide participating MDIs and Cooperativas with:

  • Educational training and tools for two designees on best practices for creating community development-focused products and services
  • Technical assistance from Inclusiv and consultants during the 2-year grant period
  • Access to a network of peers through the MDI and Cooperativa Learning Centers and alumni support
    $10,000 grant from Inclusiv’s Racial Equity Grant Fund to support the participating credit unions implement strategic initiatives (flexible uses)

Important note: The MDIs and Cooperativas that are not selected for the current Learning Center cohort will also be considered for:

  • Two additional Learning Center cohorts in 2024-2025, OR
  • General Inclusiv Racial Equity Grant Funds which can provide flexible funding which is not tied to participation in the Learning Center cohorts.

Application and Timeline

To apply:

  • Complete the online application form
  • Also email a copy of the MDI or Cooperativa’s most recent strategic plan

The deadline to submit an online application is Thursday, August 31, 2023. Selected Learning Center participants will receive notice in September and the first classes will begin in late October.

If you have any questions about the New Majority Growth Initiative, application, or participant/grantee expectations, please contact:

Monica Copeland, MDI Network Director (English applications)
René Vargas Martinez, PR Network Director (Spanish applications)

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