Vizo Financial Pledges $1 Million to Grants Program to Support CUs' Financial Education Initiatives
Virginia-Based Credit Unions Will Soon Be Able to Apply for Financial Education Grants Through League, Credit Unions Care Foundation
Cheryl Johnson, Cheryl Johnson PR
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Lewis Wood, Virginia Credit Union League
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Greensboro, N.C. (August 24, 2023) – In a nod to the credit union movement’s sixth cooperative principle of "concern for community," Vizo Financial will be reserving $1 million to provide financial empowerment grants for credit unions. The Vizo Financial Empowerment Grants Program will begin in September 2023 and includes a five-year plan to disperse funds to credit union foundations so that they can help natural person credit unions build financial literacy programs that not only benefit, but empower, their members and, ultimately, their communities.
“Financial literacy is important to the credit union movement because it provides empowerment through education for consumers and shapes relationships built on trust between credit unions and their members,” said David Brehmer, president/CEO of Vizo Financial. “At Vizo Financial, we want to help foster these relationships and members’ knowledge, which is why we created this program to give credit unions the funds they need to enrich their financial literacy offerings.”
Funds will be allocated on an annual basis to the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation, CrossState Credit Union Foundation, The Credit Union Foundation of Maryland and the District of Columbia, and the Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia, which are the state credit union foundations that serve the majority of Vizo Financial members.
The foundations will administer the grants by accepting credit union applications, approving grant requests and providing summary reporting on the impact of each project. In the reporting phase, foundations will be asked to share metrics on how the funds are being used and their impact, as well as meeting goals and objectives set forth by the program.
Vizo Financial will then re-evaluate how the funds are utilized by the participating foundations and will reallocate grant money as necessary over the life of the program. The grants will be available to all Vizo Financial members, as well as other credit unions within their region who meet certain criteria and agree to the terms and conditions of the program.
"Many Virginia-based credit unions invest in financial education initiatives to aid members and strengthen communities, including classroom presentations, student-run credit unions, homebuying seminars and credit builder programs," said Virginia Credit Union League President/CEO Carrie Hunt. "We appreciate Vizo Financial's recognition and support of these initiatives knowing what a critical role our efforts play in helping young people learn personal finance basics and adults successfully manage their finances and enjoy a secure financial future."
The application process will open soon for eligible credit unions, with details posted to the Virginia Credit Union League's website. As noted, the Virginia League's program will be coordinated through the Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia, a charitable organization formed by Virginia-based credit unions and the League more than a decade ago to support financial education initiatives.
“The Vizo Financial board is comprised of credit union executives from various asset sizes, niches and communities, which means we have a collective understanding of the value of financial literacy for members,” said Scott Woods, chairperson of Vizo Financial’s board of directors. “We feel passionate about offering these grants and providing for a potential $1 million impact toward financial empowerment initiatives, which, we believe, will impart a lasting legacy in the communities we all serve.”
“As the facilitator of the program, I look forward to working with credit union foundations to enhance the financial literacy resources available to credit unions,” said Erin Doan, diversity, equity and inclusion director for Vizo Financial. “By focusing on financial education and empowerment, we can help people achieve their goals for a better quality of life and establish credit unions and their employees as trusted financial partners within their communities. I think I can speak for our entire organization when I say we’re excited to see the positive impact it has on credit unions and their members.”
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About Vizo Financial Corporate Credit Union
Vizo Financial Corporate Credit Union’s goal is to drive credit union success through proven EXCELLENCE, unmatched EXPERTISE and engaged PARTNERSHIPS. It is a state-chartered corporate credit union that serves CUSOs, leagues, chapters and more than 1,100 credit unions in the U.S. and Canada. Vizo Financial provides money management, payments, core processing and education solutions. For more information, please visit www.vfccu.org.
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