Earlier this year I was invited to contribute MAF’s perspective to a joint publication from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), with the support of the Citi Foundation. The resulting book, titled What It’s Worth: Strengthening the Financial Future of Families, Communities and the Nation, is a collection of more than 30 essays that document the financial health and stability of Americans across the country. The authors put forth promising strategies for improving economic security and mobility in low-income and underserved populations.
My piece “Latinos in the Financial Shadows” highlights the informal lending practices common among immigrant communities, documenting the important role they play in the lives of people operating outside the financial mainstream. It reviews MAF’s strategy for formalizing these informal financial relationships through our Lending Circles program and attests to the impact of our work.
The essay also introduces the Hierarchy for Financial Needs (HFN), MAF’s new model for identifying and assessing the key components of an individual’s financial well-being. The HFN provides a ground-breaking and much-needed framework to help policymakers, practitioners and others working to improve consumers’ financial stability and mobility evaluate their impact more holistically, placing the work in the larger context of economic health.
To download a PDF of “Latinos in the Financial Shadows,” click here. To order a free copy of the What It’s Worth book, visit the Strong Financial Future website.
Tags: News, policy, Research, Spotlight, Vision
I’m thrilled to announce that JPMorgan Chase recently awarded MAF a $1.5 million, three-year grant to expand our signature Lending Circles program even further across the U.S. JPMorgan Chase is leading the financial capability field by making significant, long-term grants to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations at the forefront of providing meaningful services to consumers in the financial shadows.
We are grateful for their generous grant, which will allow MAF to bring lasting and positive impact to people’s financial lives by expanding our zero-interest Lending Circles across the country. Our work with JPMorgan Chase gives us great confidence as we prepare to scale this model to low-income communities throughout the country.
MAF is on track to more than double our network of Lending Circles providers over the next three years, building a critical mass of partners in key regions across the country: from New York, Chicago, and Miami, to Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco. We’ll also develop new technology to connect Lending Circles participants with on-demand loan information.
To you, our friends and colleagues, thank you for supporting us in this exciting time of growth. We can’t wait to share stories from the thousands of parents, students, and entrepreneurs working hard to build more secure financial futures thanks to this grant.
Tags: donor spotlight, News, Vision