Three Dakota Credit Unions Receive Nearly $27,000 in Grants
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist

Three Dakota Credit Unions were recently awarded a total of nearly $27,000 in grants from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The Dakota credit unions were part of the NCUA announcement released last week that stated $2 million in grants were made to help 203 individual low-income credit unions improve digital services and security, increase outreach to underserved communities, and train employees. Grants ranging from $1,300 to $20,000 were made to credit unions in 42 states.

Flasher Community Credit Union (Flasher, ND) received a grant for $6,732 to improve digital services and security. Darla Schafer, Manager of Flasher CCU says the credit union will use the funds to upgrade their security system with modern technology. They will also be purchasing tablets for their board of directors so they can have a more secure and efficient way to access information and to stay on top of their education requirements. According to Schafer, the grant application process is quite easy. Once you have been certified as a low income credit union, it’s just a matter of completing the necessary information in a timely manner. 

Norstar Federal Credit Union (Britton, South Dakota) received a $10,000 grant for leadership development. According to CEO Jane Duerre, Norstar will use the money to advance their succession plan. Specifically, they are sending their assistant manager to CUNA Management School. Credit union staff first discovered the grant application on the NCUA website. “It’s always worth the effort to plan ahead and cross train for the future,” says Duerre. “The CUNA Management School is a great opportunity for future leaders seeking the opportunity to be senior management. They can then manage with confidence from the skills and training they get from attending,” she added.

Sioux Valley Co-op FCU (Watertown, South Dakota) also received a $10,000 grant for leadership development. According to Kathy Lentsch, Manager, the grant money will be used to assist with consulting and strategic planning fees for development of plans and policies relating to succession planning, enrollment and registration of all staff employees for advanced training courses, tuition reimbursement for courses related to credit union leadership development, allowable travel expenses for attending conferences and training courses in connection with leadership development, and costs involved in Board of Directors training. The credit union first learned of the grant through an NCUA email. “The project outcome the credit union would like to achieve is the development of employee skills which will fall in line with not only a succession policy, but also to provide additional educational opportunities for employees enabling the employees to provide better service, financial literacy and education for our members,” stated Lentsch.

The NCUA’s Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion administers the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, which offers grants and loans to credit unions serving low-income communities. Since 2001, Congress has provided the NCUA with $20.8 million for these grants.

“These are investments in fundamentals; protecting credit unions and their members, expanding access to affordable financial services, and building human capital,” NCUA Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters said. “In particular, helping credit unions detect and defend against cyberattacks is essential to keeping members safe and the financial system secure.”

The Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion supports low-income-designated credit unions; credit unions interested in a low-income designation; minority credit unions; credit unions seeking changes in their charters, bylaws, or fields of membership; and groups organizing to start new credit unions. To learn more, click here.

NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions. At, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues.

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