Month: April 2015

Lessons-Earned-Blog-Banner copyWhen you walk through MAF’s offices, you’ll notice the colorful walls and vibrant artwork that are so reflective of the members we work with. If you look closely, you’ll see much of this artwork integrates a very specific image: the butterfly. A symbol of the immigration community, the butterfly has a lot of meaning behind it.

It only seems natural that my time at MAF has mirrored the metamorphosis that all butterflies undergo.

BBA Presentation in Mountain View
BBA Presentation in Mountain View

In my first post, I talked about MAF’s agile nature and that things moved fast. I’ve spent the last couple of months jumping from project to project so quickly that I almost didn’t notice the transformation my role was undergoing.

It all began with the start of our BBA campaign, our efforts to expand Lending Circles throughout the Bay Area. My role at MAF changed each time these organizations took one step closer to becoming a Lending Circles provider moving from strictly a marketing position into the intersection of marketing and partnerships.

It’s in this new position where I will be best equipped to provide our partners with the tools they need to succeed.

I conducted outreach to invite them to our presentations in January (marketing), answered their questions about the program and application in February (outreach and programmatic knowledge) and reviewed their applications in March (partner success).

These large steps have brought me to where I am today: working towards creating and implementing systems that will enable long lasting partnerships with our Lending Circles providers.

Here are the pieces that will make up my position at MAF in the coming months:

  • Recruitment: Reaching out to organizations interested in becoming Lending Circles providers, explaining the benefits of the program and reviewing incoming applicatiobutterflyns.
  • Management: Helping our current partners get on-boarded and trained while providing them with continued technical assistance throughout their time as a Lending Circles Provider.
  • Retention: Building out our online Partner Resource Platform- Lending Circles Communities- while sharing provider success stories.


Partner management is the base around which recruitment and retention envelope.The three pieces together enable the butterfly to fly.

The recruitment piece allows MAF to set realistic expectations of the partnership. It also enables MAF to find organizations with a community who could benefit from the program and the capacity to see it through. Management smooths out all the bumps in the road. Finally, retention focuses on demonstrating support for the organizations we work with by providing them with the tools they need for continued success.

Being able to slide into such a role is a demonstration of why the mobile mentality at MAF works so well. As the number and type of partnerships we form grow, partners needs change. The weeks ahead are sure to include much training and learning on my end, but I’m looking forward to being in a place where those changing needs can be met.

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MAF is excited to announce the Better Bay Area initiative awardees! This moment has been months in the making. The Better Bay Area initiative launched late last year with support from Google, Y & H Soda Foundation and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to invite nonprofits in all of the 9 Bay Area counties to become Lending Circles providers.

Since then, we have been engaging with hundreds of people from a diverse group of organizations that provide imaginative and impactful programs and services and want to help their community build credit and increase their financial stability.

We are excited to be working with such an amazing organizations representing the diverse group of people and communities across the Bay Area to implement the Lending Circles program! In the next few months we will be sharing the stories of these new partnerships, the families they work with, and how lives are transformed through the power of Lending Circles. Stay tuned!


We’re excited to introduce the 9 organizations that will join the next phase of financial empowerment through credit building social lending in the Bay Area.


Brown Boi LogoBrown Boi Project, Oakland:

Launched in 2010, Brown Boi works to empower womyn, trans-men, and queer/straight men of color to become social justice community leaders. They prioritize support that improves the lives of the community, and feel that financial empowerment and financial literacy are key factors in creating positive change. Brown Boi Project wants to implement the Lending Circle program to help their clients take their economic readiness to the next level.


imagesBuilding Skills Partnership, San Jose:

BSP launched in 2000 from a collaboration of the SEIU-USWW and property service employers in Northern California. BSP improves the quality of life for low-wage property service workers and their families by increasing their skills, access to education and opportunities for career and community advancement California. BSP believes that Financial empowerment is a key factor towards acquiring individual success. They intend to use the Lending Circle program to provide hands on financial trainings that also support accessing money for citizenship fees , saving for college, and credit building for their clients.


gta.logo_Game Theory Academy, Oakland:

Game Theory Academy’s (GTA) mission is to improve economic decision-making and provide economic opportunities to low-income youth, to increase their financial stability and help them develop analytical skills that they apply to many areas of their lives. GTA is excited to incorporate Lending Circles into their programs in order to give young people the opportunity to build a strong credit foundation, practice budgeting in a supportive environment, and prepare for financial independence.


OBDCOBDC Small Business Finance, Oakland:

OBDC Small Business Finance’s mission is to create economic opportunity by empowering entrepreneurs. Through innovative partnerships, they provide business owners with capital, education, and relationships that allow their clients to flourish. Since 1979, OBDC has been helping their clients expand in size, increase their profits, and reach their goals. They plan to use Lending Circles to provide business owners with credit building opportunities, financial education, and community relationships to help their businesses thrive.


PFSPeninsula Family Service, San Jose:

Founded in 1950 to strengthen families in the wake of Word War II, Peninsula Family
Service continues to help members of our community achieve their full potential. The organization reaches over 10,000 individuals each year, assisting underserved populations to overcome barriers to opportunity, financial stability, and wellness through an integrated network of tools and support. Lending Circles will bolster their existing Financial Empowerment services by adding a new credit-building tool to their innovative financial education, prepaid debit card, IDA, and vehicle loan programs.


Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, Mid-Peninsula / East Palo Alto:

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center breaks the cycle of poverty by bringing the power of entrepreneurship and financial capability programming to low-income and economically vulnerable individuals, families and communities. Through our Secure Futures partnership with Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto and Nuestra Casa our Mid-Peninsula site is able to provides financial education and coaching to different communities in San Mateo County. As students are learning about setting savings goals, implementing household budgets, understanding the banking system and using credit beneficially, they are also introduced to safe financial services and products. Lending Circles will provide our clients with a safe and beneficial way to increase or build credit, lower existing debt or start saving for a predetermined goal of their choice!


www.ucarecdnRubicon, Richmond:

Founded in 1973, Rubicon’s mission is to transform East Bay communities by equipping low-income people to break the cycle of poverty with a personalized, comprehensive collection of services that includes job placement, housing, legal services, and financial literacy. The organization is looking forward to using Lending Circles to financially empower adults in their financial boot camp as well as those who have been formerly incarcerated and/or homeless.


1656240_605867339468263_299581131_nThe Unity Council, Oakland:

The Unity Council is a non-profit community development corporation committed to enriching the quality of life of families primarily in the Fruitvale District of Oakland since 1964. Its mission is to help families and individuals build wealth and assets through comprehensive programs of sustainable economic, social and neighborhood development. The Unity Council will use the Lending Circles credit building program to increase the capacity of their work with small business owners and aspiring homeowners, as well as help their low income clients rise out of poverty.


VECVeterans Equity Center, San Francisco:

The Veterans Equity Center is a nonprofit organization located in the South of Market of San Francisco. Established in 1999, VEC was originally established to provide services for Filipino World War II veterans. VEC has expanded its services to include low-income seniors, families, people with disabilities, immigrants, LGBTQ, formerly incarcerated and homeless individuals. VEC provides support services to these groups through counseling, free legal clinic, affordable housing opportunity assistance, advocacy and activities for seniors and adults with disabilities. The Lending Circles program will complement their already robust services to further help immigrant and veteran clients become more financially empowered with the resources and credit they need.


Thanks to Jon D’Souza for his contributions to this post. 

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