The Financial Capability Demonstration Project, a $5 million, multi-year partnership between NeighborWorks America and the Citi Foundation aimed at expanding the scale and scope of nonprofit capacity to provide financial capability programs that support low- and moderate- income Americans, released its report “Scaling Financial Coaching: Critical Lessons and Effective Practices” at a roundtable of experts in the financial capability and financial education fields.
The report affirmed that coaching is an effective approach that facilitates financial behavior and attitude changes over a short period of time and helps people move toward achieving longer-term goals, such as increasing savings and improving credit scores. Key findings include:
• 54% of clients with no savings at the start of the project had some savings after participation in coaching, resulting in a median savings of $668.
• 48% of clients who had savings at the start of the project increased that amount over time, with a median increase of $938.
• 55% of clients who had unsecured debt when they began coaching decreased the amount of that debt, with a median decrease of $3,005.
• 47% of clients raised their credit scores over the course of the project, with a mean increase of 59 points.
At NeighborWorks, this 2.5 year project was planned and implemented by a cross-divisional team including Success Measures, NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and NeighborWorks National Homeownership Programs, who introduced NeighborWorks’ newly-developed financial capability curricula and evaluation tools to more than 400 practitioners, through NTIs and place-based trainings. In addition, 30 organizations from across the country received intensive training and technical assistance to implement financial capability programs, using Success Measures financial capability indicators and data collection tools, to evaluate the impact on clients.
Next phases of the project will focus on expanding NeighborWorks financial capability training opportunities and creating a financial capability specialized certification within NeighborWorks Training Institutes, scaling up the reach of Success Measures financial capability tools, and continuing to engage policy and thought leaders in helping to advance this work nationwide.
For the full NeighborWorks America news release: http://www.nw.org/network/newsroom/NetNews06242013.asp
To access the full report and evaluation findings: www.nw.org/FinCoaching13