CHALLENGE
50%
Of Americans don't have an extra $400 in their account if an emergency came up
43M
Americans are living in poverty
33.5M
American households are either unbanked or underbanked
$2,300
The average unbanked family with an annual income of around $25,000 spends on financial transactions
 

OUR APPROACH

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.

CORE SOLUTION
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.
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*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.

METRICS
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. 

cost of THE FOCUS CARD

VS TRADITIONAL BANKING

savings & automatic PLANS

credit score

IMPROVEMENT

NUMBER OF PEOPLE IMPACTED

BY CFR

EFFECTIVENESS OF OUR CURRICULUM

confidence

& future orientation

SCOPE OF OUR PARTNERSHIPS

IMPACT & OUTCOMES
$27m+
Direct deposited in more than 9,500 CFR Focus Cards in 2017
$1.1m
Banking and check cashing fees avoided in 2017
$227K
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.​​

© 2018 Community Financial Resources

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