Of Americans don't have an extra $400 in their account if an emergency came up
Americans are living in poverty
American households are either unbanked or underbanked
The average unbanked family with an annual income of around $25,000 spends on financial transactions
Since 1980, workers’ real wages decreased, labor rights dismantled, the safety-net shredded, all while wealth and income inequality dramatically increased. Our communities must wield our collective economic and political power to remedy these inequities.
Given the challenge posed by the current U.S. economy, we work at both the grassroots and systemic levels. We leverage research and insights from behavioral economics* to create interventions that engineer beneficial money management behaviors in individuals. We use a similar approach to instigate institutional and systemic behavior change to overcome the barriers that negatively impact low-income communities. We line up incentives with goals and then track, report, and refine.
By taking this approach, we help people develop their financial survival skills and use civic engagement as an asset-building strategy. We are also changing the marketplace by demonstrating that fair, safe, and effective financial products and services are a sustainable best practice.
Poverty is not a character flaw, rather a policy choice.
*Behavioral economics combines the disciplines of psychology, sociology, and economics to understand how financial choices are made and how financial decisions can be improved to produce better results.
Observing the long-term impacts of our programming, CFR constituents participate in a longitudinal survey that guides our framework. Below are the key metrics we measure throughout our programming.
IMPACT & OUTCOMES
Direct deposited in more than 9,500 CFR Focus Cards in 2017
Banking and check cashing fees avoided in 2017
Deposited into over 200 savings accounts linked to the Focus Card in 2017
Challenging the asset-building narrative nationwide from personal responsibility to systemic inequities and the need for structural change.
Bringing the first $0 monthly fee prepaid debit card to the nonprofit sector driving down prepaid debit card fees in the industry.