If your credit union is already engaged in community impact work that aligns with the mission and values of the GoWest Foundation and you are seeking additional funding, a general grant may be appropriate to support your project. General grants are intended to provide resources to further the impact of an already existing program, creating opportunities to expand your program and serve more of your community.
If your credit union is interested in gaining a greater understanding of a specific need in your region or the role your credit union can playing in addressing an issue facing your community, a planning grant might be a good resource for you. The purpose of a planning grant is to identify a local need or challenge and then develop an action plan to pilot solutions to address that need. The plan should be well-reasoned, broadly accepted by your stakeholders, and specifically designed to identify and address the unique challenges faced by your credit union’s own communities. Through this grant opportunity, the Foundation will fund feasibility studies, financial analysis, policy research and development, project management expenses, focus groups, and any other reasonable expenses necessary to fully develop a project implementation plan. Planning grants recipients will not be guaranteed project grant funding after completion of their planning activities. However, the Foundation is committed to building valuable relationships with West credit unions and will work to help your credit union achieve its community impact goals.
If your credit union has already begun engaging in your community around a specific challenge or need and has a product or solution you would like to implement, a project grant might be a good fit. The purpose of the project grant is to pilot or expand a product or program to decrease the barriers to financial health in your community. Each project plan should be comprehensive, well-reasoned, and designed to address the unique challenges faced by your community. To the greatest extent possible, your project plan should be based on research and data. The Foundation encourages credit union members to be a part of the planning process and have a voice in the selected project plan their credit union chooses, as it will directly benefit themselves and their fellow members. Through this grant opportunity, the Foundation will fund project management expenses, marketing and community outreach support (no more than 10% of budget), loan loss reserves, interest subsidies, targeted finance education, and other reasonable expenses necessary to implement or pilot an innovative product or program that aims to increase access to the resources necessary for individuals and communities to thrive financially.