Growing the
Lending Circles Communities

#LendingCirclesCommunities

Our greatest strength lies in community. We come together to learn, share, support – and rise to the oncoming challenges as one.

The Lending Circles Communities campaign was an opportunity to strengthen community. We hosted launch events in 6 cities to connect with nonprofits across the country interested in joining the Lending Circles Network and bringing 0% interest, credit-building loans to their communities.

Now, we are excited to share that 7 new partners have joined the Lending Circles Network through the campaign! Together, we’ll officially launch new Lending Circles providers in San Diego, Phoenix, Houston, Atlanta, and Charlotte. 

The Plan

What are we trying to address?

Millions of low income people across the country lack access to basic banking services and credit. Without bank accounts or credit scores, these communities are locked out of the financial system, preventing them from building a life of safety and security for themselves and their families. It’s a momentous challenge, but it’s one challenge we can tackle together.

What can we do about it?

We are bringing together a nationwide network of nonprofits to offer better solutions. Different people need different things – there is no one size fits all. To support the challenges, journeys, and dreams of different communities across the U.S., we’ll work with partners to find the programs that are right for their community, whether it’s Lending Circles, Immigration Loans, or Business Loans. All of our programs will be supported by MyMAF, our own financial coaching app.

Who are we looking for?

We’re in search of nonprofits in San Diego, Phoenix, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, and New York who are interested in bringing Lending Circles programs to their local community. There is no such thing as a typical Lending Circles partner. We welcome applications from organizations serving diverse communities with diverse missions. The best candidates can demonstrate a clear programmatic fit and show how the Lending Circles program will act as a complement to their current work.

So how do we do it?

Thanks to our sponsors, selected applicants will receive the following benefits:

  • Ongoing trainings and technical assistance from MAF
  • Access to our platform that makes enrollment, loan management and credit reporting a breeze for your staff
  • Free access to online and mobile-accessible financial education (English/Spanish)
  • A toolkit to help your organization market the program and spread the word

Campaign Awardees

We are thrilled to bring on 7 incredible nonprofit partners through the #LendingCirclesCommunities campaign!

Beginning October 1st, this new cohort will dive into a month-long Lending Circles training program. After that, they’ll start doing community outreach and forming their very first Lending Circles. Read more about the new Lending Circles providers below and stay tuned for updates on their program launches!

A New Leaf

Phoenix, AZ

A New Leaf is working to address the Phoenix Metro community’s most challenging issues including homelessness, domestic violence, poverty, and mental health. Lending Circles will be integrated into a diverse array of programming by staff and trained volunteers facilitating group education classes, workshops, and one-on-one coaching, as a tool for reaching financial and asset building goals.

Casa Familiar

San Diego, CA

Casa Familiar allows the dignity, power and worth within individuals and families to flourish by enhancing the quality of life through education, advocacy, service programming, art and culture, housing, and community economic development. They serve a predominantly Latinx community in the San Ysidrio neighborhood. Casa Familiar plans to integrate Lending Circles into their Financial Opportunities Center.

Chinese Community Center

Houston, TX

The Chinese Community Center (CCC), a United Way Agency, was founded in 1979. Since then, CCC has expanded its programming to offer comprehensive, wraparound services that address the needs of Greater Houston residents from any racial or ethnic group and at any stage of life – from early childhood to retirement age. CCC operates a Financial Opportunity Center and plans to integrate Lending Circles with their financial coaching programming.

Common Wealth Charlotte

Charlotte, NC

Common Wealth Charlotte’s mission is to support low-income wage earners to achieve higher levels of financial capability, less reliance on financial assistance, and ultimately, enhanced financial security. They pursue these objectives with trauma-informed financial education (TIFE), asset- and wealth-building strategies and programs, and access to non-predatory banking and financial services. 

Neighborhood Ministries

Phoenix, AZ

Neighborhood Ministries’ mission is to break the cycle of poverty in inner-city Phoenix. They have helped low-income Phoenix residents transition from poverty to economic self-sufficiency by providing workforce development, job training, and financial education since 1982. Neighborhood Ministries plans to integrate Lending Circles into their workforce development programming.

Refugee Women’s Network

Atlanta, GA

Refugee Women’s Network (RWN) is an organization founded for and by refugee and immigrant women. For over 20 years, RWN has worked to lift up the voices and leadership of women at home and in their communities. Lending Circles will be an excellent complement to their core Economic Empowerment Program, which supports clients in job readiness, entrepreneurship, financial education, and more.

SER Jobs

Houston, TX

SERJobs helps individuals from low-income communities transform their lives through the power and purpose of work.  Through SER’s four core services of career coaching, occupational training, employment services, and financial empowerment, clients are provided support, hope, and the opportunity to achieve their career and financial goals. SER plans to integrate Lending Circles into their vocational training and financial stability coaching and mentoring.

Timeline

Launch Events

Lending Circles Communities Launch Events were opportunities to dive deep into MAF’s signature Lending Circles program, explore all the unique benefits of joining our national network through the campaign and connect with MAFistas and community champions. Check out photos from the Launch Events in San Diego, Phoenix, Houston, New York, Atlanta, and Charlotte!

SAN DIEGO, CA

January 29, 2020 

PHOENIX, AZ

February 5, 2020

NEW YORK, NY

February 13, 2020

HOUSTON, TX

February 19, 2020

ATLANTA, GA

February 25, 2020

CHARLOTTE, NC

February 27, 2020

Want to learn more?

Attend a webinar

Sign up for a Becoming a Lending Circles Provider webinar

Talk to a MAFista

Chat with us to explore a potential Lending Circles partnership

LCC campaign

Read about the campaign and our new partners

“Lending Circles are a game changer for our community. We serve community members, many undocumented and mostly women, who face difficulties getting access to bank accounts. Lending Circles makes participating in a credit building program possible for so many in our community. Some of our members and families still stay connected to those in their circles because they shared their goal.”
Allie Olson, Executive Director
LIFT – Los Angeles

Partner Testimonial

Funding for the Lending Circles Communities campaign is provided through a generous grant from Wells Fargo Foundation.

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