Community Rewards Giving

Our primary giving program, Community Rewards®, represents our values, supports our objectives, and strengthens the well-being of communities across New Mexico. Nusenda is committed to making a positive impact and supporting organizations and community initiatives that members care about. When members opt-in to Community Rewards, every signature-based transaction with their Nusenda Visa® debit cards helps the Nusenda Foundation contribute a cash reward to key initiatives and community focus areas. 

View our 2023 Community Rewards grant recipients

In 2023, Nusenda Foundation gave $630,000 to 108 programs across the state.

Community Rewards grant application

Nusenda Foundation's goal is to partner with organizations that share in our work to help New Mexicans thrive in the communities they call home. Applications for Community Rewards must demonstrate how the requested resources are being invested and leveraged. In addition to Community Rewards, Nusenda Credit Union also provides year-round sponsorship opportunities which you can apply for here.

Applicants are evaluated based on:

Alignment to Nusenda Credit Union and Nusenda Foundation's values and focus areas.

Organization history and financials
Successful program implementation
Overall organizational impact and performance
Have more questions? Explore our FAQs or email us at [email protected]

How to apply for a Community Rewards grant

Review the application guidelines below

Submit an online application

Email questions regarding Community Rewards grants directly to [email protected]

Expect to hear from us in December

Community Rewards grant eligibility

  1. Your organization serves in one of our service areas:
    a. Northern New Mexico (includes Santa Fe, San Miguel, Mora, Taos, Rio Arriba, and San Juan Counties)
    b. Central New Mexico (includes Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia, and Torrance Counties)
    c. Southern New Mexico (includes Dona Ana, Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, Otero, Sierra, and Socorro Counties)
  2. Your organization is a 501(c)(3) or public school, and in good standing with the Attorney General’s office and the Secretary of State’s office.
  3. Your organization fits within one or more of our five focus areas:
    a. The Arts
    b. Community Services & Support
    c. Education
    d. Environment & Wildlife
    e. Healthcare
  4. Your organization would like to apply for funding through one of our support categories:
    a. Operational support
    b. Program support
  5. Your organization can provide the following proper documentation (size limit per file: 25MB):
    a. If funded, a completed Patriot Act compliance form
    b. A copy of your W-9
    c. A copy of your audit or financial statement
    d. A copy of your annual report (optional)
    e. A copy of your IRS letter of determination

Request amount

Community Rewards grant sizes vary from organization to organization based on need. Typically, grants are no smaller than $2,500 and do not exceed $15,000 for any given program. Nusenda Foundation is often unable to fund grant requests in full; if awarded, applicants should expect to receive no less than 30% of their total ask. Nusenda Foundation receives more requests for funds than we can fulfill. Applicants are encouraged to be mindful of these constraints when requesting resources.

Community Rewards FAQs

What is the difference between Community Rewards beneficiary support and sponsorship support?

Groups who request funding through Community Rewards must be charitable 501(c)(3)-eligible nonprofit organizations or public schools who have applied through our process. Sponsorship requests do not require 501(c)(3) status but must show how the request fits Nusenda Credit Union’s focus areas of support.

What is the application process timing?

The 2023 application cycle is currently closed. 2024 applications will open in June 2024. Community Rewards distributions are made annually. Recipients will be notified in the winter prior to distribution.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Nusenda Foundation does not fund individuals, political organizations, for-profit organizations, organizations not providing services in our geographic focus areas, or organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or religion. Nusenda Credit Union and the Nusenda Foundation reserve the right to deny any request. All decisions are at the discretion of the organization. Features of the program are subject to change, and the program may be withdrawn at any time.

Are all funding requests approved?

Only requests that qualify will be considered for approval. All requests are evaluated on a per-case basis, and all applicants will be notified regardless of the funding decision. We receive many more qualified applications than we have available funding.

What is the difference between a Program or Operational Support Grant?

Program grants support a specific project or activity of your organization, and are tied to specific, project-based outcomes. General operating grants support an organization’s overall activities, including operating expenses and overhead. The application is the SAME for both program and operational grants. If your organization is applying for operational support, please answer questions as they relate to the whole of your organization.

Is one type of grant preferred over the other?

No. Nusenda Foundation does not give preference to either type of application. Selection is for data collection and understanding the needs of our community partners.

What is the best way to write the grant application?

We recommend writing like you are explaining to a friend what your organization does and for what you plan to use the grant. Please avoid using nonprofit jargon that our employee volunteers may not understand.

What is the registration number in my application?

The registration number is the same as your organization’s EIN or Tax ID number.

What are the reporting requirements if awarded?

A mid-year survey will be sent out to all awardees asking for a status update on either the project funded or the organization, if organizational funding was selected. Completion of these reports is required for applicants to be eligible for current year Community Rewards funding.

What does the scoring rubric look like?

The scoring rubric is linked here for organizations to reference when writing their applications.

Who is reviewing the applications?

More than 50 Nusenda employee volunteers review grant applications each year. Volunteers provide insight from each community we serve and represent a diverse set of professional roles across the credit union.

Why do I need to supply Patriot Act paperwork?

Patriot Act paperwork is used to help the government prevent or identify terrorism funding and money laundering activities. Federal law requires that all financial institutions obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. While grantees are not required to open a Nusenda account, we have incorporated this practice into our due diligence policies for all grant recipients.

Who should I contact if I have a question about 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.

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

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