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The Foundation Scholarships & Grants

The Foundation provides funding through scholarships and grants that support Wisconsin credit unions, as well as the professional development and continued education of credit union staff and volunteers. Three unique scholarship opportunities and three unique grant opportunities are currently available on an annual basis. 


CUNA Management School Scholarship

Become a more dynamic and effective manager and leader through The Credit Union Movement's longest-running professional development program.

  • CUNA Management School convenes students for two weeks of learning every July over three successive summers in Madison. Engage in an in-depth analysis of your credit union and its potential for member and community service. 
  • Topics that prepare students for increased responsibility include: lending practices, vendor due diligence, enterprise risk management, employment law, economic challenges, crisis management, internal controls, and financial statement reporting. Graduates receive the designation of Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE).
  • Applications are accepted January 15 - February 28 annually. Winners are notified by March 31.
  • Learn More & Apply >>

Pat Wesenberg Development Education (DE) Scholarship

Learn to improve members' lives and communities through this philosophy immersion experience. The program explores the principles shared by all cooperatives and challenges participants to apply this perspective to issues affecting members and local quality of life. 

  • Whether you’re new to the movement or a seasoned executive, the DE program shapes an appreciation for credit unions' unique member-ownership and its potential to impact the vitality of communities, economies and nations. For young professionals it can be the eye-opener that seals a career with credit unions. 
  • The program, offered by the National Credit Union Foundation, bestows on graduates the certification of Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE).
  • Applications are accepted March 15 - April 30 annually. Winners are notified by May 15.
  • Learn More & Apply >>

Professional Development Scholarships

Learn the skills you need by applying this scholarship toward a credit union system program of your choosing, within the award guidelines.

  • Consideration will be given for at least two distinct awards of up to $2,000 each, one to a Young Professional and another to any other eligible applicant regardless of age, for at least $4,000 during the scholarship cycle.
  • Acceptable programs are sponsored by The Wisconsin Credit Union League, CUNA, CUNA Mutual Group, Filene Research Institute, National Credit Union Foundation, and World Council of Credit Unions.
  • Applications are accepted September 15 - October 31 annually. Winners are notified by November 15.
  • Learn More & Apply >>


Credit Union Development Grant

Apply for funding toward technology and operations-related expenses that will measurably help your credit union serve members.

  • All Wisconsin credit unions are eligible with a preference given to those under $100 million in assets. Your credit union's current financial position will be considered.
  • Applications are accepted May 15 - June 30 annually. Winners are notified by July 31.
  • Learn More & Apply >>

The Difference Grant

The Difference helps real consumers build financially strong, self-supporting families and communities. The Difference Grant (formerly known as The REAL Solutions Initiative Grant) supports Wisconsin credit unions offering innovative services.

  • Innovative services include programs that provide affordable alternatives to high-cost financial products and services, reduce dependency on predatory financial providers, increase financial literacy, programs, improve personal financial management, encourage saving and wealth-building, build creditworthiness, provide an avenue to personal financial stability, and improve the financial and economic well-being of Wisconsin communities.
  • Applications are accepted May 15 - June 30 annually. Winners are notified by July 31.
  • Learn More & Apply >>

Inclusion Fund Grant

To help credit unions continue their mission to serve the unserved and unrepresented, multi-cultural groups, the Inclusion Fund Grant was created in 2023.

  • This grant will support Wisconsin credit union's efforts to reach unserved and unrepresented populations, with a focus on multi-cultural demographics. The funds from this grant are applied to the cost of using Coopera Consulting for market analysis, strategic development, improving business practices, and more.
  • Applications are accepted February 15 - April 30 annually. Winners are notified by May 31.
  • Learn More & Apply >>