In This Issue: The Joys of Spring
The sun is shining, the weather is getting warmer, and we have all survived another tax season! In celebration, we’ve gathered some of our favorite tax-related success stories. Then, learn about the Clinic’s products work and take a look at innovative solutions to housing barriers. Plus, a video from our all-star coaches to kick off baseball season!
Founder and CEO, Mae Watson Grote, is honored to join the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a member of the Community Advisory Group (CAG), composed of leaders of nonprofit and community organizations from throughout the Federal Reserve’s Second District. The CAG held its first meeting on April 19 with the goal to provide the New York Fed with with a more thorough understanding of of the economy’s impact on communities and individuals. If you want to hear more from Mae, check out her new post on the Aspen Institute‘s blog, with her thoughts on why every American deserves financial security, as part of a series dedicated to nLIFT (Nonprofit Leaders in Financial Technology). Read Every American Deserves Financial Security.
What’s in Your Refund?
With over $426.1 billion issued through more than 122.3 million refunds by the IRS, there are a multitude of ways to use this hard-earned money. The Clinic’s VITA tax preparation program alone was thrilled to provide free tax preparation for 5,284 returns, leading to $7.9 million in refunds and saving $1.3 million in tax preparation fees for New Yorkers who need it most. For low-income Americans, the tax refund often represents a significant portion of their annual income – up to 40% – and gives them the opportunity to achieve their financial goals by kickstarting a savings account, paying off lingering debt, building credit, or even placing a down payment on a house.
Plus, watch Director of Services, Stefan Hench, featured on Fox 5 discuss the Clinic’s VITA program!
Products Making a Difference
Financial insecurity exists in every corner of every community across the country. As social service providers, we wish we could reach them all, and with the exponential rise of technology, maybe that dream can become a reality. The Clinic recognizes a huge opportunity provided by the growing field of fintech and seeks to identify the ways it can be leveraged to fill the needs of the low- to moderate-income populations we serve.
In a new article by Program Associate, Amy Cao, discover why and how LMI families stand to benefit from these technologies.
Housing: Looking for Solutions
With NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio’s recent announcement of a plan to add 90 new shelters in an attempt to meet the needs of an ever-growing homeless population, we began to wonder what other communities were doing to fight homelessness. Housing is the foremost presenting issue with our financial coaching customers, so we sought the expertise of our SHARE community:
- Our partners at UNHP wrote an informative article on the state of NYC homelessness in response to Mayor De Blasio’s proposal
- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide Affordable New York Housing Program
- Several states have found innovative ways to create more housing:
- A California developer turning shipping containers into housing for low-income veterans
- A Rhode Island development mixing micro apartments with an existing shopping center
- Chicago architects bidding on plans to co-locate public housing and public libraries
- Tennessee’s 100,000 Homes initiative providing homeless individuals with permanent housing
Want to join the conversation? Learn how you can become a member of the SHARE community!
Social Spotlight: Baseball
With the start of the 2017 baseball season, we were inspired to feature our very own all-star coaches! Watch as they put on their best game-day gear to explain the magic of coaching – for baseball and for finances.
The Clinic Across the Country Speaking Engagements, Presentations, and Features
The Clinic staff have been busy, offering their expertise at various conferences and presentations. A selection of recent appearances include:
- Mae Watson Grote traveled April 25 with Assistant Director of Partnership Management, Megan Kursik, to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to participate in a panel discussion on Effective Client Engagement as part of the CFPB’s Financial Coaching Symposium.
- Assistant Director of Financial Coaching, Karen Goodheart, shared her story of transitioning from private banking to financial coaching on Lustre’s blog.
- Alma Rojas, Financial Coach, was featured in Norwood News for her work in the Bronx.
- From April 24 – 26, Chief Operations Officer, Martin D’Andrade, and Partnership Associate, Laura Malecky, bring Change Machine to the Goodwill Conference in Houston.
- Haidee Cabusora joined the FDIC on April 26 in Arlington to participate in their 2017 Economic Inclusion Summit: Strategies to Bring Consumers into the Financial Mainstream.