Ecosystem News and Year-End Woohoos!

Newsletter Issue: January 2019

The Coaches’ Column:

Brand new personal finance blogs from our very own financial coaches.

By Practitioners, For Practitioners

Field News and Insights From The Financial Clinic Staff

Change Machine Radio:

Empowering your financial future by giving you access to financial coaches and experts, anytime, anywhere.

Upcoming Events:

  •  January 22nd– Community Training: Our Financial Security Framework
  • February 5th– Community Training: The Key to Coaching
  • February 13th– Community Training: Maximizing Your Change Machine License
  • February 19th–  How to Apply Financial Coaching Principles to Your Workforce Development Program

The Financial Clinic Launches New Ecosystem with JobsFirstNYC

The Financial Clinic is launching a new two-year financial security ecosystem in partnership with JobsFirstNYC and funded by the Pinkerton Foundation. This ecosystem will focus on embedding financial coaching into youth workforce programming by building the capacity of eight to ten Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP) organizations.

Be on the lookout for more news about this exciting new project!

The Year-End Campaign

 

The new year marked the end of the Clinic’s 2018 year-end campaign. This year we were able to more than double our $5,000 goal and raise $11,683. Thank you to everyone who donated to this campaign and helped us end 2018 on a high note! Your contributions bring us that much closer to our goal of a financially secure nation.

If you are looking to donate to The Financial Clinic, please visit our website to learn how you can contribute!

The End of FinancialWorks

The Financial Clinic’s role in the FinancialWorks ecosystem came to an end at the close of December. In partnership with
UnidosUS and funded by the Prudential Foundation, FinancialWorks aimed to embed financial security practices into UnidosUS’s Financial Capability Network. FinancialWorks has served 20 organizations, reached 74,000 people across the country and provided light touch financial coaching to over 9,000 customers.

Thank you to everyone who made this project such a success. Although the Clinic’s role in this project may be over, the work will continue on under the leadership of UnidosUS. We cannot wait to see all of the successes to come!

Change Machine Radio

A new episode of Change Machine Radio, Connecting Financial Goals to Cultural Values available now! Listen to this episode to hear about how cultural background can affect customers financial choices and goal setting.

You can find the newest episode of the podcast here. While you are on our site, be sure to check out our first two Change Machine Radio episodes that are all about banking.

 

Social Media Spotlight

#GovernmentShutdown

This month, Policy Manager Michael Dedmon wrote a blog post about the effects of the government shutdown on low-to-moderate income citizens and government workers.

“Up to 450,000 of these government employees won’t be receiving a paycheck this Friday despite working throughout the shutdown, and there are thousands more who have been furloughed while the negotiations over reopening the government continue. Although the majority of the furloughed and all essential employees will receive back pay for the time lost to the shutdown, many staff working for government contractors, like cleaning and food service employees, will not. This loss of income presents a huge risk to these less financially secure employees who already receive significantly fewer protections and are paid much less.”

Read the full post here.

Don’t miss the latest news: follow the Clinic on Facebook and Twitter

 

November News, Campaigns, and Releases From the Clinic

Newsletter Issue: November 2018

The Coaches’ Column:

Brand new personal finance blogs from our very own financial coaches.

Change Machine Radio:

Empowering your financial future by giving you access to financial coaches and experts, anytime, anywhere.

Upcoming Events:

  • November 27th– Community Training: Our Financial Security Framework
  • December 3rd– Community Training: The Key to Coaching
  • December 10th– Community Training: Maximizing Your Change Machine License
  • December 12th– How to Apply Financial Coaching Principles to Your Workforce Development Program

CommunityBOOST Year Two

We are pleased to announce the second year of our financial security ecosystem CommunityBOOST! Supported by TD Charitable Foundation, CommunityBOOST looks to bring proven strategies for solving financial insecurity to communities across the East Coast. We are currently partnering with organizations in New Jersey and Florida, and very excited to be continuing this project together!

Additionally, we will be expanding CommunityBOOST to more organizations. Stay tuned on our Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as in our monthly newsletters for more news on CommunityBOOST year 2! Learn more about CommunityBOOST and our other ecosystems on our website.

#GivingTuesday

 

Last Monday, we kicked off our Giving Tuesday campaign! This year, we are asking everyone to think about why they give at this time of year, and share with you all the reasons we fight for a financially secure nation every day.

We hope that you will head to our website and donate to the Clinic this Giving Tuesday and help us continue to be one of the 1.8 million service practitioners working to serve working poor Americans nationwide. Be sure to look out for more Giving Tuesday information on Facebook and Twitter. 

Three Years Later, the Study That Showed Financial Coaching Works Re-Published

In 2015, the results of a groundbreaking new national study were announced. The study conclusively showed that The Financial Clinic’s coaching model and programs help low- and moderate- income people move towards achieving their financial goals.

This study has been re-released in The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, a welcome additional validation of the Clinic’s faith in the power of financial coaching. Some key findings about financial coaching customers from the study are:

  • 3 more deposits to savings over those without financial coaching
  • Increase in assets of $1721
  • 12% lower credit utilization
  • 33 point increase in credit score
  • Reduction in reported feelings of financial stress

Click here to download the new release of this study. Be sure to download before 12/11 when the paywall goes up!

Change Machine Radio

A new episode of Change Machine Radio, Connecting Financial Goals to Cultural Values available now! Listen to this episode to hear about how cultural background can affect customers financial choices and goal setting.

You can find the newest episode of the podcast here. While you are on our site, be sure to check out our first two Change Machine Radio episodes that are all about banking.

 

Social Media Spotlight

#TreasureCRA

Last week, The Financial Clinic submitted a public comment to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) on its proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act or CRA.

The CRA ensures that banks and financial institutions provide critical financial services and lending in the communities where they operate.

As the financial sector changes, old rules need to be updated for a 21st-century environment. We argued that any changes need to protect – and expand – the responsibility of banks to invest in their communities and meet the needs of all people, especially the minority communities that have historically been locked out of mainstream finance.

Learn more about the changes to the CRA here.

Don’t miss the latest news: follow the Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.

Clinic Across the Country: Speaking Engagements, Presentation, and Features

  • Assistant Director of National Accounts Christine Auwarter  attended the American Express Leadership Academy from November 6th to November 9th
  • Director of Program Innovation Darren Liddell and Policy Manager Michael Dedmon lead a session at the 2018 AFCPE  Research and Training Symposium on November 14th.
  • Manager of Training Initiatives Patricia Sullivan and Program Associate Valliappan Lakshmanan have trained 100 Department of Homeless Services case managers as part of their partnerships with the Clinic all November long!

 

Just in Time for Fall: New Tips, Tools, and Team News

Newsletter Issue: October 2018

The Coaches’ Column:

Brand new personal finance blogs from our very own financial coaches.

By Practitioners, for Practitioners:

Field news and insights from Clinic staff.

From Founder and CEO Mae Watson Grote:

Upcoming Events:

National Financial Goal Day And Your Support Needed

 

This month we celebrate the power of financial goals, paying extra attention to goals that inspire us every day and setting goals for a happier and healthier financial future. In honor of the occasion, The Financial Clinic is running a month-long campaign to support our vision of a financially secure America.

Please consider making a donation today and help us unlock a 100% match when we reach $2,500 raised. Click here to make a donation, view our progress, and read customer stories about the power of setting financial goals. Don’t forget to share our campaign posts with your networks on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter!

Thank you for your partnership – we simply couldn’t do it without you.

Department of Homeless Services Launches New Program in Partnership with The Financial Clinic 

Department of Homeless Services announced the launch of their new Financial Independence Now program in late September.

In partnership with The Financial Clinic and CUNY School of Professional Studies to train 471 case managers and shelter executives to help clients with everything from setting up low or no cost bank accounts to checking and maintaining their credit scores, all with the goal of obtaining long-term housing.

Learn more about this partnership here.

ChangeMatters

 

ChangeMatters is our initiative to combine the richness of Change Machine’s customer data with more than a decade of experience in providing expert one-on-one financial coaching. The goal? To leverage our wisdom — and our customers’ resiliency  — to solve some of the most formative issues facing working poor Americans nationwide.

Check out the ChangeMatters webpage where you will find our announcement piece as well as our first issue brief, a comprehensive profile of consumer debt on Change Machine.

The Case for a Nonprofit Vision and Leadership

nLIFT (Nonprofit Leaders in Financial Technology) has recently released their manifesto Fulfilling the Promise of Fintech: The Case for a Nonprofit Vision and Leadership.

The manifesto speaks about the role that nonprofits need to have in fintech to ensure that technology not only serves those in the financial mainstream, but also those who arguably need it most, working poor Americans.

Compiling data from founding nLIFT members: Commonwealth, Earn, The Financial Clinic, Mission Asset Fund, MyPATH, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, and Neighborhood Trust, the manifesto makes the case for why nonprofits need to be included in the fintech conversation and the opportunity fintech presents to create a more financially equitable society.

Read more about this exciting mission here.

News From WorkBOOST National

Year two states for WorkBOOST National have been chosen! The second year of implementation will take place in Texas, Kentucky, and California.

If you are looking to learn more about our financial security ecosystems, or become a part of year two of implementation, check out our website, where you can find WorkBOOST National news, successes, and information on how you can get involved. The deadline to submit a proposal is November 7th!

 

Social Media Spotlight

#TRANSFORM

The Financial Clinic has been highlighting our all new capacity building tool TRANSFORM.

TRANSFORM is a dynamic framework aimed at accelerating a partnering organization’s progress toward implementing financial security strategies into their existing programs. If you are looking to learn more about TRANSFORM check out the Clinic’s webpage. Also, be on the lookout for more tweets and posts about this exciting new tool on all of our social media pages.

Don’t miss the latest news: follow the Clinic on Facebook and Twitter

Clinic Across the Country: Speaking Engagements, Presentation, and Features

  • Assistant Director of Partnership Management Megan Kursik, Chief Program Officer Haidee Cabusora, and Director of Program Innovation Darren Liddell spoke at the Prosperity Summit from September 5th to September 7th.
  • Director of Program Innovation Darren Liddell, Manager of Service Delivery, Amy Cao and Products Associate David Bautista attended the Common Cents Lab Fall Workshop from September 11th to September 13th.
  • Manager of Service Delivery Zoe Goodman attended the NYETC Conference on September 20th.
  • Founder and CEO Mae Watson Grote spoke on a panel at the Qualitas of Life Financial Inclusion and Technology Conference on September 27th.

 

Successes, Sneak Peaks, and Staff Recommendations

Newsletter Issue: August 2018

The Coaches’ Column:

Brand new personal finance blogs from our very own financial coaches.

By Practitioners, for Practitioners:

Field news and insights from Clinic staff.

From Founder and CEO Mae Watson Grote:

Upcoming Events:

WorkBOOST National: 3 Months Later

This past April, The Financial Clinic launched WorkBOOST National with support from the MetLife Foundation. WorkBOOST National is a three-year initiative that brings financial security approaches to scale. In 2018, the Clinic partners with seven workforce development to partner organizations in North Carolina and Ohio. We are pleased to share that three months in, the initiative is already delivering amazing results:

  • Our expert financial coaches have had individual coaching sessions with 40+ people
  • 172 customers have received light touch coaching at the seven sites
  • 59 customers have completed 219 financial security building actions
  • 58 staff members have been trained to be light touch financial coaches

WorkBOOST National currently partners with seven organizations and plans to serve twelve more organizations in three additional states in 2019. We are so pleased with the progress WorkBOOST National has made and excited about what the future of this program holds! Below is a story that illustrates the amazing work being done by our WorkBOOST National partner organizations and the impact it is having on their customers.

  • Khadra* has big plans. Born in Somalia and raised in the United States, Khadra is currently in training to get her CompTIA
    A+ and Net+ certifications to begin working in IT support. Khadra is using financial coaching to plan for her future. Once she completes her training and begins working, she wants to begin saving to move back to Somalia. Her family owns a farm in Somalia, and Khadra wants to save money to install an irrigation system on the farm to improve crop yields and support the local community/economy. Longer term, she also sees herself starting a business as an Internet Service Provider in Somalia. Through financial coaching, Khadra has learned the steps that she can take now to begin planning for these goals and set herself and her community up for success.

Be on the lookout for more Ecosystem news on Facebook, Twitter, and The Financial Clinic website.

*Name has been changed

ChangeMatters: A Sneak Peak

Later this month, The Financial Clinic will unveil ChangeMatters, a comprehensive research series that aims to leverage Change Machine data to solve some of the most formative issues facing working poor Americans nationwide. The Clinic will combine this data with over a decade of experience in one on one financial coaching, and stories of our customers’ resiliency, to make sure that in this age of boundless information — where everyone is a policymaker, product innovator, and a disruptor of long-held ‘best practices’– we are asking the right questions. Find out more on August 15th when ChangeMatters officially launches!

Social Media Spotlight

#WhyWeCreatedChangeMachine

This July, The Financial Clinic has been giving our social media followers a glimpse into the many reasons why we do what we do by using our social media pages to explain why we created Change Machine. Each week, be on the lookout for a brand new inside look into the Clinic’s vision, mission, and inspiration. We hope that you are motivated by these messages and share them with those around you!

Don’t miss the latest news: follow the Clinic on Facebook and Twitter

Change Machine Radio

Be sure to check out the first two episodes of Change Machine Radio, The Financial Clinic’s all-new podcast. These episodes are all about banking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clinic Across the Country: Speaking Engagements, Presentation, and Features

  • Director of Capacity Building Kate Reeves, and Manager of Service Delivery Laura Christensen-Garcia spoke on a panel at the
    UnidosUS Conference discussing financial capability and The Financial Clinic & UnidosUS ecosystem FinancialWorks.

 

 

 

Stepping into Summer with New Resources and Over 40,000 Served

Newsletter Issue: July 2018

The Coaches’ Column:

Brand new personal finance blogs from our very own financial coaches.

By Practitioners, for Practitioners:

Field news and insights from Clinic staff.

From Founder and CEO Mae Watson Grote:

Upcoming Events:

The Financial Clinic and UnidosUS Celebrate Partnership

In celebration of our partnership with UnidosUS, we are thrilled to share some of our successes and lessons learned.

The Financial Clinic and UnidosUS partnered to create the FinancialWorks ecosystem which aims to build financial security for 40,000+ people across the nation. Currently the ecosystem is building the financial coaching capability of 14 organizations in Arizona, California, Illinois, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

As of April 2018, the FinancialWorks ecosystem has successfully promoted and introduced financial security outreach to 17,616 community members, and conducted financial security workshops and engaged in one-one-one conversations, otherwise known as light touch coaching, with 2,365 customers. Many of these customers went on to connect to financial coaches for more in-depth support to address immediate concerns and/or work towards a financial goal.

With another year of FinancialWorks to come, we are excited to continue to expand tour reach by serving more customers and deepening the financial security expertise of our affiliates’ frontline staff. All of the participating organizations have shown a commitment to adding financial security practices to their services, and we are inspired by the impact this work is having on the communities they serve.

If you are looking to hear more about FinancialWorks, The Financial Clinic will be speaking at a workshop discussing the ecosystem at the annual UnidosUS conference this month.

Introducing TRANSFORM!

TRANSFORM is The Financial Clinic’s brand new resource for organizational change. Based on years of providing capacity building services to over 500 organizations nationwide, the Clinic built TRANSFORM to aid organizations in all stages of program implementation.

From the first step of understanding how your participants’ financial insecurity effects the success of your mission, to leveraging programmatic data and analysis into more impactful services and advocacy efforts, TRANSFORM can support embedding financial security activities into your organization’s existing programs! A dynamic resource, TRANSFORM allows organizations to prioritize the following elements into a comprehensive and concrete action plan:

  • Program Asset and Mapping
  • Development and Stakeholder Cultivation
  • Goal and Vision Setting
  • Outreach, Marketing, and Communications
  • Service Delivery
  • Partnership Building
  • Infrastructure and Staff Support
  • Lasting Change

To learn more about TRANSFORM, tune into our July 12th webinar from 2:00 to 3:00 pm EST register here today!

Social Media Spotlight

#UnlockingChange

In June, The Financial Clinic partnered with BNY Mellon and Ashoka in their Unlocking Change Challenge- a nationwide competition to source leading innovators working to foster financial wellbeing for underserved communities.

The Challenge supports the most promising social entrepreneurs whose community-driven innovations have the power to increase financial wellbeing and stability for individuals or communities across the country. The top entries will receive funding, a collaborative digital platform to connect with peers, and feedback from the BNY Mellon and Ashoka team of thought leaders.

Submissions ended June 13th, and we are excited to see the difference these promising ideas will make in their communities. Click here to read more.

Don’t miss the latest news: follow the Clinic on Facebook and Twitter

Change Machine Radio

Be sure to check out the first two episodes of Change Machine Radio, The Financial Clinic’s all new podcast. These episodes are all about banking!

Clinic Across the Country: Speaking Engagements, Presentation, and Features

 

  • From 6/13 to 6/15 Assistant Director of Capacity Building Jared Marling led FWCA & The Financial Clinic Organizational
    Development Sessions
  • Partnership Associate Erica Davis attended the CBA symposium on June 28th.

 

 

 

Introducing The Pulse: Your One Stop Shop for Clinic News

Newsletter Issue: June 2018

The Coaches’ Column:

Brand new personal finance blogs from our very own financial coaches.

By Practitioners, for Practitioners:

Field news and insights from Clinic staff.

From Founder and CEO Mae Watson Grote:

Upcoming Events:

The Financial Clinic Announces National Policy Agenda

This May, the Clinic announced its national policy agenda.  As part of our vision to create a financially secure nation, we are focusing on the root of many of the problems our customers face: policies that have a disproportionately negative impact on the financially insecure. The success of Refund529 has shown us the monumental difference this work can make, and with this new agenda, we hope to continue creating positive change for our customers for years to come.

“The powerful combination of data we collect through Change Machine, the knowledge and expertise of our partners across the nation, and the lived experiences of our customers have reinforced our belief that many of the most significant barriers low- to moderate-income people face when attempting to build financial security are the result of systems and institutions that make it impossible to get ahead. ” –  Policy Manager Michael Dedmon, The Clinic’s Journey to Creating Lasting Change

Introducing TRAIN!

TRAIN joins LEARN, COACH, and SHARE as an all new addition to the Change Machine services suite! It includes everything a trainer needs to facilitate a training for staff or other members of their network, including professionally designed tipsheets and worksheets! The addition of TRAIN to Change Machine will increase sustainability by allowing organizations to internally facilitate trainings that will have all the tools and resources for the specific needs of their staff. To learn more or to set up a demo, email: partnerships@thefinancialclinic.org

Plus, tune in for our July 12th webinar from 2:00 to 3:00 pm EST for the unveiling of our exciting new Transformation Toolkit (TRANSFORM).  Big things are happening.  Register here today!

RSVP for SHARE Live NOLA Today!

ShareLive

If you will be in the New Orleans area TOMORROW, June 5th, join us for SHARE Live, a happy hour networking event where you can meet the people you have been talking to on SHARE, face to face! Build real life connections and learn more about the work we are doing in partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF).

Space is limited so be sure to RSVP now!

A Special Preview of the Clinic’s New Podcast: Change Machine Radio

The Clinic is launching its very own podcast! Created by award-winning Senior Financial Coach, Kristen  Baker, Change Machine Radio aims to make financial coaching strategies accessible to anyone who needs them. Kristen offers solutions to the common, persistent challenges her customers face – yet there are thousands more people in need who are unable to see her personally for help. Through Change Machine Radio, Kristen, her team of Clinic coaches, and field leaders will discuss common financial challenges and offer actionable solutions, no matter your experience (or lack thereof) in personal finance.

Listen to our newly released official trailer! Plus, keep an eye out for new episodes – Change Machine Radio’s first full episode will be released in June, discussing challenges related to Banking.

#HandsOffSNAP

In May, the Clinic joined in on the effort to  raise awareness about a new bill that would increase the work requirements for SNAP, cut $20 million from the program, and be potentially detrimental to many families across the nation, many of which are the customers we work with every day. Although the bill has been taken off of the floor, it is likely that we will see it again in the months to come. Because of this, we urge everyone to check out #HandsOffSNAP and #FarmBill2018 on Twitter to learn more and stay informed.

Don’t miss the latest news: follow the Clinic on Facebook and Twitter!

Clinic Across the Country: Speaking Engagements, Presentation, and Features

  • Becky Smith and Mae Watson Grote present at the public launch of Change Machine.On April 19th, Manager of Service Delivery Alma Rojas hosted a webinar with Hacienda Community Development Corporation (CDC) and Credit Builders Alliance.
  • Founder and CEO Mae Watson Grote attended a meeting of the Aspen Consumer Insights Group on April 24th.

 

Spring Into Your Best Financial Future

Newsletter Issue: April 2018

Office Candids Photo by Syd London Copyright 2014

Quick Clicks

CEO Mae Watson Grote Speaks at Center for Social Development Event Honoring Financial Capability Month

“The real promise for this work […] is ultimately building partnerships with other human service sectors and organizations, understanding their needs and advancing a framework that helps accelerate mission” – Mae Watson Grote, Founder and CEO, The Pivotal Role of Human Service Practitioners in Guilding Financial Capability

Look out for full published remarks on our website.

Be sure to check out the livestream from the event! (Mae begins speaking at 1:33:45)

The Clinic’s Tax Season in Numbers

April 18th marked the end of tax season, so we thought this was the perfect time to give you all a tax season round up! The 2017 tax season was an exciting one for the Clinic. Through our VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program, we were able to…

  • Prepare 4,811 returns
  • Put $5,416,424 back into the pockets of our customers
  • Help customers deposit $4,975 into 529 accounts

Congratulations to all dedicated tax teams! Please note that the Clinic will be available for limited post tax season support Tuesdays and Thursdays at our Industry City address through mid June.

Introducing WorkBOOST National, Supported by MetLife Foundation

On April 10th we announced the launch of WorkBOOST National, a national ecosystem supported by MetLife Foundation, that kicked off with our first training in North Carolina. WorkBOOST National is a three year initiative that will bring financial security approaches to scale to seven partners in North Carolina and Ohio. These partners are:

  • The North Carolina African Services Coalition in Greensboro, NC
  • The Power of the Dream in Raleigh, NC
  • Durham Technical Community College in Durham, NC
  • Goodwill in Columbus, OH
  • Jewish Family Services in Columbus, OH
  • Per Scholas in Columbus, OH
  • Towards Employment in Columbus, OH

The Clinic and WorkBOOST National partners will build the capacity of frontline staff to integrate proven financial interactions with program participants. This program will build upon the success of the Clinic’s recently completed program WorkBOOST NYC, a two year project with eight workForce development organizations in NYC.

“The Clinic and MetLife Foundation are excited by the opportunity to build financial security for thousands of jobseekers nationally over the next three years and to increase the efficacy of embedding our proven financial coaching strategies into a diverse range of workforce development programs,”– Mae Watson Grote, Founder and CEO of The Financial Clinic

“To unlock financial health, consumers require more than basic access to quality financial services and products – they need products that will make it easier to manage their money, and reduce their stress […]we support The Financial Clinic for its pragmatic approach, integrating financial coaching with obtaining and retaining quality jobs, and believe that this combination is the key to achieving better results for the families and communities striving to build a more resilient future”– Sarah Willis, Program Manager, MetLife Foundation.

Stay up to date on all #WorkBOOSTNational news through our Facebook and Twitter pages. We will be regularly posting updates on the progress of our new partners in Ohio and North Carolina!

Social Spotlight: #FinancialCapabilityMonth

In April we highlighted Financial Capability Month, a time dedicated to making sure that everyone takes the time to understand all of the important financial decisions that lie ahead of them. Make sure you are doing something to better your financial knowledge this month so that when the time comes you will be ready to make the best decisions for you and your clients.

Don’t miss the latest news: Follow the Clinic onFacebook and Twitter.

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:

  • Assistant Director of Capacity Building Jared Marling presented on a panel on March 28th for the Workforce Invest Forum in D.C.
  • CEO Mae Watson Grote joined the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for a meeting of the  Community Advisory Group on March 29th and spoke on a panel at the Just Economy conference in DC on April 10th.
  • Chief Program Officer Haidee Cabusora and Director of Development Aubrie Fennecken attended Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative Meeting in Chicago on April 10th.

Fresh Features and Financial Finds

Newsletter Issue: March 2018

Office Candids Photo by Syd London Copyright 2014

Quick Clicks

  • New blogs launching:
    • Looking for somewhere to send your customers who want easy access to financial security advice? Look no further than the all new Coaches’ Column! The Coaches’ Column is a customer facing blog that will offer tips and tricks to help them take steps towards a more secure future. Check out our first one, by Clinic financial coach Andy Collado.  (Hint: all you need to know about 529 Plans!)
    • Also, be on the lookout for new blogs from our CEO Mae Watson Grote about goings on in the field of financial security and how you can do your part to build a financially secure nation.  First up: The Business Case for Ecosystems.
  • Hot off the press from Credit Builders Alliance and The Financial Clinic:
    • BRAND NEW tools and webinars as a collaboration with our friends at CBA. Be sure to check them out!
    • CBA is now offering a Master Trainer Certification program! Experienced coaches can become credentialed to deliver CBA’s nationally recognized Credit as an Asset training. Learn more.

A Year of Impact and Growth

“Celebrating the success of others — whether it’s a family regaining financial independence, a partner organization seeing their outcomes soar, or the thousands of working poor individuals benefiting from a long-awaited policy change — gives me a distinct sense of hope for the future…” -Mae Watson Grote, Founder and CEO

From the #Refund529 policy win, to the first national financial security ecosystem, to the nearly 30,000 individuals working toward their financial goals thanks to Change Machine clients — 2017 was a busy year for building financial security. Download the Clinic’s newly released Annual Report to learn more!

Tax Season and the 529

Throughout tax season, we have been making sure that our filers know all about the benefits of 529 savings accounts. Just in case you have not seen any of our #TaxTalkTuesday tweets, here are a few 529 tips and tricks to help your customers save this tax season.

  • Funds held in a 529 account for more than two years are protected from creditors.
  • Anyone can contribute to a 529 account. For example, if you open one for your child, friends and family can add to it as gifts for holidays and birthdays.
  • You can change the beneficiary of your 529 account at any time so long as the beneficiary is an immediate family member of the original beneficiary.
  • One beneficiary can have multiple 529 accounts opened by different people.

Be sure to pass these tips along, and share any success that you or your customers have had with 529 savings accounts with us on Facebook and Twitter using #Refund529​​​​​.

Impact NOW – Final Thoughts

During the closing panel of Impact NOW, Leah Mayor from Asset Funders Network explained that in order to create sustainable change, we must first understand what it is that drives change.

On Friday March 16th, the Clinic was thrilled to host Impact NOW, a free professional development opportunity where financial security and workforce development practitioners came together to discuss everything from personal finance, to the nexus of work and wealth (with delicious, fresh baked goods thanks to Ovenly!).

Many interesting and thought provoking conversations were started over the course of the day, filled with shared learning of skills and insights:

(1)  The day started with Harold Pollock and Helaine Olen’s keynote address where they gave us a glimpse into their celebrated book, The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to be Complicated. They broke down the essentials of personal finance, including these infamous credit myths:

  • Your credit score is not a reflection of your character. It’s simply a reflection of having debt and how you’ve paid your bills.
  • Credit cards aren’t inherently evil; however, it is important to be wary of any opportunity where someone else is helping you finance something – for example, paying for a gym membership upfront at $150 a year vs. $20 a month means you’ll actually be paying $90 in “interest” over the course of 12 months.
  • Reward cards are great if you can pay off your bill in full each month, but we are more likely to spend more in order to get that reward.

(2)   Breakout sessions lead by NYATEP, Support Center, and WPTI joined forces with Clinic staff to lead inspiring breakout workshops. Attendees discussed how to implement financial security programs at their organizations, how to optimize their financial security building work for increased buy-in, and what opportunities exist to collaborate on systems change.Tip: If you missed our workshops but want to learn more, register for our free virtual presentation on May 15 – How to Apply Financial Coaching Principles to Your Workforce Development Program.

(3)   Finally, the day closed with a panel discussion, moderated by Ken Adams, Dean of Workforce & Economic Development at Bronx Community College, discussing the nexus of work and wealth for workforce development programs, employers, and funders. Thank you to Tara Colton of Seedco, Leah Mayor of Asset Funders Network, Agatha Kulaga of Ovenly, and Alex Visher of JUST Capital for participating in the lively and thoughtful discussion.

If you were unable to attend the event, head over to our Facebook page for livestreams of both the keynote with Harold and Helaine, and the Closing Panel!

Senior Financial Coach Kristen Baker Sweeps Spotlight Superlative Awards at NYC All-Counselor Meeting

Senior Financial Coach Kristen Baker received recognition from New York City’s Office of Financial Empowerment for Most Sessions, Highest Client Retention, and Most Client Outcomes achieved:

MOST CLIENT SESSIONS IN 2017
Holding down the OFE team Kristen held over 700 meetings. That’s about 17 meetings per week sustained through the full coaching year.

HIGHEST CLIENT RETENTION ACHIEVED IN 2017
Almost half (48%) of Kristen’s customers came back to see her. That’s out of the total 354 customers she met with in 2017.

MOST CLIENT OUTCOMES ACHIEVED IN 2017
She was awarded for the 254 outcomes achieved from the OFE framework. Most notably, 22% of her customers achieved both asset-oriented and debt- oriented outcomes.

Financial Coach and Customer

Social Spotlight: #InternationalWomen’sDay

On Women’s Day we highlighted the persistent wealth gap between men and women. This Women’s History Month, we want to take the time to remind everyone that financial security does not affect everyone equally.

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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:

  • On March 13th, Assistant Director of Services Alyssa Keil and Director of Capacity Building Kate Reeves lead a webinar in partnership with Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
  • Megan Kursik, Assistant Director of Partnership Management, spoke to Detroit based nonprofits and financial institutions at the Community-Up Conference in Detroit February 8th.
  • Our Managers of Service Delivery completed ten site visits to our new FinancialWorks partners nationally.

Power to the Practitioners

Something for Everyone: Taxes, Partnerships, and a Convening!

Newsletter Issue: January 2018

Office Candids Photo by Syd London Copyright 2014

Quick Clicks

Deep Breath…Tax Season is Here

Tax Season

We know this may not be your favorite time of year, but we are on a mission to make this year’s tax season as easy and rewarding as we can for you!

NEW THIS YEAR! Eligible New York state filers can split their refund towards a direct contribution into a 529 college savings account – download the Refund529 flyer for more information on 529 accounts and how to take advantage of this new opportunity!

Impact NOW – Registration Now Open

Impact NOW Professional Development Convening

The Clinic is thrilled to present Impact NOW (New Opportunities for Workforce), a FREE professional development opportunity for workforce development and financial security practitioners in New York City. Join us, or send your staff, on Friday, March 16 for a half-day of interactive workshops, learning and sharing! Visit the event page to register and learn more.

Celebrating a Year of Success

Grant Associates Organizational Development Session

Grant Associates Organizational Development Session

Congratulations to Grant Associates for completing their first year of financial security integration! Grant Associates rolled out various levels of financial security work implementation over the first few months of 2017, across 16 programs. Since then, they have made tremendous progress in how they support their customers in building financial security. They have provided one-on-one financial coaching to over 5,000 customers and provided numerous other services, including direct referrals, workshops, and savings programs. The financial security outcomes have been on the rise over the last several months, and coaches at several programs have built incredible momentum, putting nearly $100,000 back into their customers’ pockets so far!

The Grant Associates coaches and staff have also been building their own financial security and knowledge. In fact, across all the Grant Associates programs, staff members have completed nearly 2,800 quizzes in the LEARN section of Change Machine. This has led to several inspiring success stories about how the staff members themselves have seen positive change in their lives.

We are looking forward to an even more powerful second year of partnership with Grant Associates in 2018!

Learn more about Grant Associate’s implementation of financial security strategies in a recent blog post by the Clinic’s Jared Marling, Assistant Director of Capacity Building.

Social Spotlight: #MoreNotExtra

#MoreNotExtra Twitter

Don’t miss the five-part blog series by the Clinic and Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) on the intersection of workforce development and financial security. Read the latest posts here!

Don’t miss the latest news: Follow the Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.

The Clinic Across the Country
Speaking Engagements, Presentations, and Features

FinancialWorks Kickoff

FinancialWorks Kickoff

The Clinic staff have been busy, offering their expertise at various conferences and presentations. A selection of recent appearances include:

  • The second year of FinancialWorks launched in Chicago, IL, January 24-26! Assistant Director of National Accounts, Jessica Wise, Ecosystem Account Manager, Isaias Garcia, Manager of Service Delivery, Erica Mancinas, and Manager of Organizational Development, Danielle Denisenko, welcomed 11 new partner organizations traveling from AZ, IL, OR, TN, TX, UT and VA with a series of organizational development sessions, trainings and networks. Stay tuned for updates later this year as the project develops.