We're working to create strong communities where members live and work

At Nusenda, we’re working to create stronger communities where members live and work through collaborative partnerships and by investing in innovative solutions to improve education, health, social, and economic outcomes.  One way to increase access is through financial capability. Financial capability is the capacity, based on knowledge, skills, and access, to manage financial resources effectively. Successful programs provide a variety of tools, resources, and fundamental skills development that support program participants in their financial capability journeys.

With roots in education, and a commitment to financial well-being for all, Nusenda Credit Union is excited to provide the Financial Education Innovation Award to elevate educators and programs that prioritize financial capability.

How to apply

  1. Submissions for 2024 are closed. Stay tuned for updates.

Award details

  • ONE (1) $15,000 award will be given to an outstand organizational program
  • FIVE (5) $1,000 awards will be given to educators for their classroom initiatives


Community Organization Programs (Eligible for $15,000) 

  • Non-profit, not-for-profit, and social clubs ONLY
  • Focus on financial well-being
  • Must be established with documented community impact
  • Financial well-being is aligned to part of an organization’s mission or strategic goal 
  • Innovative, creative, or strategically designed to support underserved populations
  • K-12 and higher education schools, districts, and programs are not eligible to apply in this section
  • See FAQ for more details about eligibility

Individual Classrooms (Eligible for up to $1,000)

  • K-12 and higher education classroom teachers ONLY 
  • Focus on financial well-being
  • Must be established with documented student/family impact 
  • Financial well-being is integrated into instruction and/or aligned to New Mexico Social Studies Personal Financial Literacy standards 
  • Innovative, creative, or strategically designed to support students and families
  • See FAQ for more details about eligibility

Learn about our 2024 Financial Education Innovation award winners

Financial Education Innovator Award FAQs

Who can apply for the Financial Education Innovation Award?

Individuals or organizations providing financial well-being programs or instruction can apply to receive a Financial Education Innovation Award. There are two categories of recipients. The first is for community organizations who are providing community-based programs within their organizations. The second is designed to support individual educators in the K-12 and higher education system in classroom settings. Please do not apply for this award if you cannot provide an outline of your financial education program detailing the various aspects you are covering such as budgeting, credit, saving, investing, etc.

Who can nominate for a Financial Education Innovation Award?

Organizations or individuals can be nominated by anyone in the community. Innovative financial educators are encouraged to self-nominate. All nominees will be asked to complete the full application. 

What types of programs will be considered for the Financial Education Innovation Award?

Any program that prioritizes improving the financial well-being for its participants will be considered for an award. Programming must address one or more components of financial well-being. Programs that support foundational skills development, like literacy, business coaching, or life skills in pursuit of financial well-being will also be considered.

What types of educators will be considered for Classroom Instruction Awards?

Any classroom educators in the K-12 system or higher education will be considered. Classroom financial educators that support financial education for students and families with dynamic, creative, and effective teaching practices will be considered. Instruction could be a financial literacy unit, semester course, or be lessons integrated throughout the day. Programming should address one or more components of financial capability.

How often are awards made?

The application and nomination cycle is open on a rolling annual cycle. Awards are announced annually. 

Can schools apply for Community Organization Awards?

Schools should apply only if:
  • The program supports a significant portion of the student population
  • More than one educator within the school is providing instruction
  • The program is aligned with the school’s strategic goals
  • The program is supported by administration

If I apply for a Financial Education Innovator Award and do not receive one, can I apply again in the next cycle?

YES! We receive more worthy applications that we’re able to award in a given cycle. Organizations and individuals are encouraged to apply again if not selected. Applicants should only apply once per open cycle. 

Who should I contact if I have a technical problem with my grant application?

For technical assistance on the application, please contact [email protected]

Who should I contact if I have a question about my nomination or status of my application?

For questions about your Community Rewards grant application or Nusenda sponsorship request, please carefully review the FAQ's listed on this page. If you have additional questions, please contact [email protected] for guidance.

Glossary of Terms

Documented community impact: This can include: testimonials from participants, pre and post test or survey results, a needs assessment, attendance records, curriculum maps, or outcome tracking. If you have questions about what qualifies, please email us at [email protected].

Financial well-being: Financial well-being describes a condition wherein a person can fully meet current and ongoing financial obligations, feels secure in their financial future, and is able to make choices that allow them to enjoy life. It’s determined by the extent to which people feel that they:

  • Have control over day-to-day and month-to-month finances
  • Have the capacity to absorb a financial shock
  • Are on track to meet their financial goals
  • Have the financial freedom to make the choices that allow them to enjoy life

Financial Capability: Financial capability is the capacity, based on knowledge, skills, and access, to manage financial resources effectively.

Community Organization:  Community organization or community-based organization refers to organizations aimed at making desired improvements to a community's social health, well-being, and overall functioning. Organizations could be nonprofits, advocacy networks, professional development groups, government agencies, and more.

Individual Classrooms: One or more teachers or classrooms in a single school completing shared learning or instruction.

Innovation: Innovation can appear as a new teaching technique, instructional tool, learning process, or institutional structure that, when implemented, produces a significant change in teaching, resulting in better student learning. Innovations in education are intended to raise productivity and efficiency of learning and/or improve learning quality. Read more about the definition for innovation we use here.