In April, Ontario’s Libro Credit Union (95,000 members, $3.3 billion in assets) launched the Libro Prosperity Fund.
(Read the full story, “A Turnaround Manifesto.”)
The fund is handled through its branch council system, with decision on grants up to $10,000 per year made at the local level. Organizations applying must be a not-for-profit, a registered charity, a cooperative or community group that will generate benefits in southwestern Ontario.
Just over half the money, $270,000, is being earmarked for those grants. A panel of owner representatives, directors and staff makes decisions on corporate-level grants that can range from $10,000 to $150,000.
Money is allocated in three categories: Regional Economic Development, Youth Leadership and Money Smarts Education.
Regional Economic Development grants will back efforts that support small enterprises and co-ops, agricultural development and revitalization, food security initiatives and R&D in other areas.
For its part, The Youth Leadership fund will support youth entrepreneurship and job creation, opportunities for youth in farming and other rural activities, youth leadership and career skills development.
Finally, the Money Smarts Education resource will go to programs that support financial literacy at every stage of life, which help the economically disadvantaged get on their feet and to innovative financial literacy programs. ◊