Local Heroes Grants
With every swipe of a Local Heroes co-branded Gesa Visa® Debit Card, Gesa members earn funds designated for grants in that card’s Local Heroes category (Firefighters, Law Enforcement, Teachers, and Veterans). The Local Heroes Grants Program awards these funds to eligible organizations that support Local Heroes in regions where Gesa is active.
Applications are accepted starting June 7, 2021, through July 9, 2021. The funding amounts each year are dependent on the amount of funds raised the prior year through the Local Heroes co-branded Gesa Visa® Debit Cards. Gesa’s Grants Giving Committee reserves the right to partially fund grant applications. Grants are awarded annually in mid-August.
To qualify for a Local Heroes grant, an organization must provide proof that the project funds being requested for will support a Local Heroes population (Firefighters, Law Enforcement, Teachers, and Veterans) in a Gesa community. A Gesa community is defined as a community where Gesa has a physical location.
Grants will not be awarded for the following:
- Activities, groups, or events not in a Gesa Community.
- Administrative expenses or expenses such as conference and travel.
- Projects whose primary purpose is religious or political.
- Sponsorship requests that benefit or fund a single individuals’ participation in an event or activity.
Your application is not complete without the attachment of the following documents:
What are the eligible Local Hero populations?
Gesa Credit Union’s Local Heroes Affinity Debit Cards recognize Firefighters, Law Enforcement, Teachers, and Veterans.
What types of programs does the Local Heroes Grant Program fund?
The Local Heroes affinity debit cards fund programs, projects, and initiatives that support Local Heroes populations identified by Gesa: Firefighters, Law Enforcement, Teachers, and Veterans. This might include equipment, training, or program support for fire departments, healthcare facilities, police departments, schools, and organizations that work with firefighters, healthcare, law enforcement, teachers, and veterans.
Where does the funding come from?
Every time a Gesa member swipes their Local Heroes affinity debit card, Gesa makes a donation to the fund for that card’s Local Heroes category. Funds accumulate over the course of a year and are disbursed annually. Total amounts given are dependent on debit card usage, so some Local Heroes categories may have more available funds than others.
How does Gesa decide which grants to fund?
The Grants Giving Committee is made up of Gesa employees and community members who work together to evaluate every grant request annually. We use the following criteria as guidelines for our decision-making: connection to a Local Heroes population, financial need, anticipated impact, and the organization’s commitment to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion.
What is the application timeline?
Applications open on gesa.com/community/local-heroes on June 7 through July 9. The Grants Giving Committee will meet during the month of July to read and score applications and select recipients. Your organization will be notified by August 15 if your request was funded or not.
My grant wasn’t funded. Can I apply again?
Yes! Eligible organizations can apply annually whether you are awarded funding or not.
I am a Healthcare organization, but I don’t see a grant option for this category.
The Healthcare Heroes card was added to the Local Heroes suite in June 2021. Over the next year, Gesa members will have the opportunity to use a Healthcare Heroes affinity debit card to raise funds to help us fund grants for this Local Heroes category during the next grant application submission round.
Who can I contact if I need more information?