The National Credit Union Foundation is looking for credit unions to submit proposals leveraging the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s (CFSI) consumer financial health assessment tool.
CFSI is one of the leading organizations dealing with the subject of consumer financial health. CFSI’s Consumer Financial Health Study found that 57% of Americans are financially unhealthy, lack daily financial systems that serve them well, struggle to weather financial shocks, and are not well-positioned to pursue their financial aspirations.
Subsequently, CFSI has been piloting a consumer financial health assessment tool with a variety of institutions to gauge consumer financial health. Specifically, two credit unions, Wright-Patt CU, Beavercreek, Ohio, and Coastal FCU, Raleigh, N.C., have already worked with CFSI to leverage the diagnostic tool to conduct a “financial health check-up” to understand their members’ and employees’ financial health.
“The Foundation’s intent is to assist more credit unions with the opportunity to respond to the fact that half their employees and members are struggling financially,” said Gigi Hyland, Foundation executive director in the RFP. “The ‘financial health check-up’ will help credit unions assess the status of their members’ and employees’ financial health and provide insights on concrete actions the credit union can take to better respond to and improve members’ and employees’ financial well-being. Additionally, having more credit unions involved will bolster credit unions’ visibility as thought-leaders and ‘do-ers’ in the financial health arena.”
The Foundation has issued a request for proposal seeking credit unions for consumer financial health check-up projects. Funding of $108,000 total is available to “seed” up to 6 credit unions to conduct assessment project at their organizations. Understanding members’ financial health and what their needs and struggles are, as well as how it compares to regional benchmarks, can help galvanize interest and enthusiasm among credit union management, staff, and board members to pursue initiatives to leverage products, services, and communications to help members improve their financial health.
The deadline for credit unions to submit their applications is Dec. 9.
“The Foundation originally approved $90,000 for the financial health check-ups, but there is $108,000 available thanks to a generous donation of $18,000 from CUNA Mutual Group in support of this effort,” said Hyland. “CUNA Mutual Group is working to advance a data and analytics culture at its company and is pleased to support measures that provide greater insights into credit union members and their needs.”