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


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


The Business Case for Ecosystems

Written by: Mae Watson Grote, Founder and CEO of The Financial Clinic

A little less than two years ago, we assembled a cohort of NYC’s most innovative workforce development organizations, and presented them with a simple, yet ambitious goal: We want to help you bake financial security strategies into the DNA of your organizations, not only so that its sustainable, but so it also accelerates your mission. In creating our first Financial Security Ecosystem, we sought to embrace, and ultimately propel “dynamic and co-evolving communities of diverse actors who create new value through increasingly productive and sophisticated models of both collaboration and competition,” which has come to define the concept in the private sector.

At the beginning of WorkBOOST NYC, we were certain that this “business ecosystem” approach could have a profound impact in workforce development, not only for the customers seeking their job placement services, but for the organizations themselves hoping to better understand the systemic barriers relating to financial insecurity that hindered the communities and households they serve.

Now, as we reflect back on what we’ve accomplished and how it informs our future projects, we’ll be showing off some of our “tricks of the trade,” and we’d love it if you’d join us this Friday at Impact NOW, a free half-day professional development opportunity aimed at arming workforce and financial security practitioners with the tools they need to begin this work.

Spoiler alert: I am proud to note that our partners and Clinic team accomplished exactly what we set out to achieve! Data collected from WorkBOOST NYC partnering organizations shows that 80% of job-seekers going through our program set financial goals, seeing their weekly income increase up to $34.43. On the frontline staff side, 55% reported that they feel very confident in reaching their financial a goal, up 20% increase from a survey conducted at the outset of the project. On the organizational level, 37% of the cohort raised money aided by the Clinic for future financial security activities and 62% revised or created new marketing materials showcasing their financial security work as an integral element to their programs. Armed with this data and more, I can confidently say that we proved not only the value of embedding financial security into workforce programs, but a blueprint for how to execute and sustain this important work going forward.

As our WorkBOOST NYC partners have amply demonstrated the “new value” of embedding financial security strategies, the Clinic is now turning to making the business case for the ecosystems that exist between workforce organizations and their employer partners — “sophisticated models of collaboration” in their own right — whose needs are so critical towards building the type of workforce we envision to be within our reach. Embracing this challenge head on, we’ve deepened our understanding of the challenges employers face with respect to turnover, scalability, and existing employee financial wellness programs, and our experience with WorkBOOST NYC has allowed the Clinic to produce a suite of employer-partner centric supports:

  • We’ve created specific tools in Change Machine that support casemaking and employer engagement strategies;
  • We’ve supported workforce organizations by providing detailed and actionable data collection, and analytics tools that they can use to demonstrate to their employer- partners that their program graduates lower the cost of the employer’s human resource supports, and;
  • Looking to the future, we’ll be closing out Impact NOW with a plenary panel fittingly titled “The Nexus of Work and Wealth,” because the panel will look ahead to field-wide questions, like how employers and corporations are promoting their employees’ financial well-being in their workplace. We’ll explore in detail how financial security helps build “quality jobs” and overall job satisfaction in workforce.

Where we hope to land — or rather, what we hope will come from this new sophisticated model of collaboration — is the pursuit of a labor market where employers see the interconnectedness of work and wealth building as not only a morally-just goal to pursue, but an integral part of their organizational culture that gives them a competitive edge in recruiting talent at all staffing and wage levels.

This is our vision for the future of work, so I hope you’ll join us, not only for this exciting free professional development opportunity, but also more broadly in strengthening our collective mission of building a more inclusive economy with quality jobs for every American.