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  • The Libro Prosperity Fund

    At Libro Credit Union, growing prosperity across southwestern Ontario is why we exist. We’re passionate about investing locally, in people, communities and enterprises, and we understand that prosperity is more than financial transactions and balance sheets. Our goal of prosperity for this region drives everything we do at Libro, from the products and services we offer to how we invest in our communities.

    One of the ways we are bringing our purpose to life is through the Libro Prosperity Fund annual granting program. This program will invest approximately half a million dollars in 2017 in initiatives that are aimed at growing prosperity in three focus areas. We conducted extensive research and looked at the areas Libro is best equipped to have the most significant impact on southwestern Ontario. We considered where our skills and ability as a cooperative financial institution intersect with the challenges and opportunities in southwestern Ontario.

    From that we developed an annual granting program that will support local organizations that are focused on growing prosperity in southwestern Ontario through the following focus areas:

    • Regional Economic Development

      Including programs that support:

      • Self-employment, entrepreneurship, small business and co-operative start-up, development and growth
      • Rural and agricultural development planning and revitalization
      • Food security (e.g. community gardens, farmers markets, processing and distribution projects that support self-reliance and job creation)
      • Co-operative and local economy projects (e.g. buy local programs, buying clubs, co-operative education and business collaborations)
      • Economic self-reliance for marginalized members of the community including skills development, employment and self-employment
      • Capacity building support for economic development organizations
      • Advancing research, development and innovation to improve the effectiveness of regional economic development initiatives and contribute to the regional economic development field
      Desired Outcomes

      Applicants in this category will be required to demonstrate their program or initiative will impact at least one of the following areas:

      • Contribute to increasing the number, size and viability of micro- and small businesses, co-operatives and agricultural businesses
      • Improve economic diversification, competitiveness and adaptability of small and rural communities
      • Help increase the number of local jobs
      • Improve the environmental sustainability of agricultural production; increase agricultural productivity and availability of locally grown produce; increase the viability of agricultural business
      • Contribute to increasing the number of residents and businesses buying locally or collectively
      • Improve skills or job outcomes of people with employment barriers
      • Improve the regional economic development knowledge and capacity of residents, business and organizations
    • Money Smarts

      Including programs that support:

      • Building financial knowledge, skills and confidence of individuals and families
      • Assisting economically disadvantaged people to build financial assets (e.g. matched savings programs)
      • Building financial capability of people and families to adopt or improve upon good financial behaviors such as saving consistently and making good use of financial products
      • Capacity building support for financial literacy organizations
      • Advance research, development and innovation to improve the effectiveness of financial literacy initiatives and contribute to the financial literacy field
      Desired Outcomes

      Applicants in this category will be required to demonstrate their program or initiative:

      • Increase financial literacy of individuals and families
      • Help increase savings, credit scores and financial assets of low income households
      • Improve the ability financial literacy organizations to achieve goals
      • Improve effectiveness of financial literacy initiatives
    • Youth Leadership

      Including programs that support:

      • Enterprise skills; equipping young people with the knowledge and support to set up their own businesses or income-generating activity
      • Opportunities for youth in agricultural business and other rural activity
      • Youth leadership and career skill development including for vulnerable youth.
      Desired Outcomes

      Applicants in this category will be required to demonstrate their program or initiative will impact at least one of the following areas:

      • Help increase the number of youth owned businesses
      • Help increase the number of employed youth
      • Help increase the number of youth in community leadership positions
      • Help increase rural youth retention

    Program Details

    Libro will review grant application requests through the annual granting program once per calendar year.

    Application period: February 6, 2017 - March 17, 2017

    Funding decisions & announcements: September

    Funds will be made available in November

    • Funding Criteria

      We seek to fund initiatives that build prosperity for southwestern Ontario communities, businesses, people and families.

      Projects must meet all the following mandatory criteria:

      • The organization must be a not-for-profit, registered charity, co-operative or community group.
      • Generates benefits in southwestern Ontario
      • Demonstrates fiscal responsibility, effective management and skills and expertise
      • Demonstrates a commitment to the project through a meaningful contribution of their own human and/or financial resources
      • Addresses one of the desired outcomes of our focus areas

      Once the mandatory criteria have been met, applications will be assessed based on the following value added criteria:

      • Initiative contributes to one or more of the desired outcomes of the focus areas
      • Has metrics for measuring outcomes in one or more of the focus areas
      • Uses, enhances, mobilizes or expands the skills, capacities and assets of local people and communities
      • Creates opportunities for Libro staff and Owner involvement especially if it helps us build new skills, insights and capacities
      • Shows evidence of collaboration with others in the same field
      • Initiative is new and innovative to our region and has elements others can learn from- addresses a challenge or opportunity in southwestern Ontario in a new way or from a new perspective
      Ineligible applicants or projects
      • Not aligned with Libro values
      • Individual or private business applicant
      • Projects and programs take place outside of southwestern Ontario
      • Partisan or religious event or purpose that are not open to all members of the community
      Ineligible expenses
      • Deficit or debt reduction
      • Retroactive expenses
      • Ongoing operational or core expenses
      • Endowment matching grants
    • Local Decision Making

      Local decision making is important at Libro to ensure we are meeting the unique needs of the communities that we serve, while also having an impact on the region of southwestern Ontario. All applications are reviewed and selected by a combination of locally elected Owner Representatives, staff and Libro Board members.

      Grant Levels
      • Minimum $5,000
      • Maximum $100,000

      Approved grants may be paid out over multiple installments at Libro’s discretion.

      Applicants may be invited to submit additional information or be asked to make a presentation related to their project.

    • How to Apply

      Libro uses an online grant application process to help administer and bring value to its Community Investment programs.

      The following information outlines how to apply for the Libro Prosperity Fund using the online application.

      • Applications must be submitted online between February 6-March 17, 2017.
      • The application will walk you through a series of questions.

      When you start a new application you will be assigned an Application ID and Password.

      Once your application is submitted you will receive a confirmation email. All applicants will be notified of funding decisions in September 2017- funding for successful applicants would be made available after that time.

    Application Closed

    Applications for the Libro Prosperity Fund will be open between February 6th to March 17th, 2017

    Check back then for more details.

    Application Closed

    2016 Prosperity Fund Recipients

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