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Addressing Barriers to Financial Health & Well-Being

The National Credit Union Foundation has identified 12 Development Issues that act as barriers to the financial health and well-being of credit union members, staff, and communities. These barriers impact people’s ability to achieve their financial goals and establish a better quality of life.

The CU Foundation MD|DC, in partnership with Vizo Financial Corporate Credit Union, has established the Vizo Financial Empowerment Grant. It supports and funds credit union projects that address barriers to the well-being, economic growth, and prosperity of credit union members and their communities, enabling them to achieve a better quality of life.


Any credit union that is located in Maryland or D.C. and/or is affiliated with the MD|DC Credit Union Association is eligible to apply for a Vizo Financial Empowerment Grant. The current financial position and financial need of a credit union will be considered.

Eligible projects can be completed by a sole credit union, or in collaboration with other credit unions and/or community organizations.

Applications may be submitted at any time. Initiatives must be implemented, and grant funds utilized, within a 12-month period from when the grant is approved.

Grant Objectives

Grant-winning projects must have the potential to create a positive impact on the community served by the proposed initiative. Project initiatives should help credit union members attain financial stability, with a focus on removing barriers to economic and social advancement.

The CU Foundation will review grant requests for credit union initiatives that:

  • Reduce dependence on predatory financial providers
  • Build and improve personal financial management, saving habits, and wealth-building
  • Provide financial coaching to help individuals improve their credit worthiness and grow toward financial stability
  • Address healthcare access, housing stability, food security, or nutrition education
  • Provide meal, health, or hygiene product distribution programs for students

Grant Thresholds:

  • Grants will be awarded based on the number and nature of the grant requests, with a maximum grant award of $5,000.
  • Under the Vizo Financial Empowerment Grant Program, no more than one grant per credit union per year will be awarded.

Other Requirements:

  • Projects must have clearly defined goals and objectives.
  • Grant requests must be accompanied by a project budget and any additional pertinent supporting documentation.
  • Applicants must have an evaluation plan to measure both individual and community impact.
  • Projects must be implemented, and grant funds utilized, within 12 months from the date of the grant approval.
  • The recipient credit union must use the grant solely for the purpose stated on the application and will be required to submit a grant reporting summary following the completion of the project outlining how the grant funds were allocated. Testimonials and success stories are encouraged.
  • A credit union may submit another grant request upon completion of any previous grant-funded project and submission of a final report so long as the new grant request is submitted in the subsequent 12-month period following the previous grant.
  • The CU Foundation MD|DC reserves the right to withhold future grant funds in the event the funds are misused, or the grant reporting summary is incomplete.

Grant Reporting Summary Must Include:

  • Overview of the project and a detailed explanation of how grant funds were allocated to achieve the project’s goals
  • Testimonials, videos, and/or success stories from organizations/individuals who have been the beneficiaries of grant funds
  • Impact statement describing tangible, measured achievements resulting from the project

CU Foundation Vizo Empowerment Grant Application

To apply for a grant, please complete and submit the form below.

Credit Union Address(Required)
Grant Submission Contact(Required)
Up to a maximum of $5,000
Projects must be completed and grant funds utilized by December 31, 2024.
Is this funding request for a new program or does the program already exist?(Required)
Do you plan to move forward with this project if you do not receive the total amount requested?(Required)
Can upload attachment if needed
Max. file size: 50 MB.
Will your project be financially self-sustaining at the end of the grant period?(Required)
Grant recipients are required to submit a Grant Reporting Summary 12 months from the date of grant approval. You may submit supporting documentation with your grant request.
Max. file size: 50 MB.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.