Integrating Financial Capability

 

At Prosperity Now, we work with community-based organizations and human services agencies to help them design and embed programs and services that can improve families’ financial lives into their existing programs.  

This process of embedding financial capability services – such as financial coaching or financial education - into existing programs is referred to as integration. Prosperity Now uses Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services as a key resource to guide our integration work and technical assistance to organizations.

Innovative social service providers in both the nonprofit and government sectors have embraced the idea of coordinating access to financial capability services as a way to improve outcomes and enhance the financial well-being of their clients. Evidence from these service providers shows that embedding such financial capability strategies – helping families access financial information, connecting families to safe and affordable financial products and services, building savings and wealth, and teaching them to protect themselves in the financial marketplace – boosts programmatic outcomes.

Integration at Work

Financial Capability services can be implemented in a variety of ways, ranging from basic coordination and referral of clients from one agency to another, to the building of an organizations’ capacity to offer services themselves.

 

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Referrals

Referring clients to other organizations involves finding organizations that provide services your clients need and setting up a process for referring clients to these services.

Example: VITA Referral and EITC Promotion. Partnerships that refer families to VITA sites to access the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can significantly boost low income families’ annual income, have occurred in many settings.

Partnerships

Partnering with other organizations to deliver services involves deeper relationships and “shared” clients.

Example: On-site Financial Education. TANF agencies and Head Start sites have invited financial educators on-site to provide classes and one-on-one coaching services directly to their clients.

DIY

Building capacity in-house involves developing internal capacity to embed financial capability services into your existing services.

 

Example: Head Start Staff Providing Financial Capability Services. Head Start programs are incorporating financial stability into Family Development Plans using conversations about financial security during home visits, financial education during classroom instruction and classroom-based financial education for parents.

 

 

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