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December 2017 Newsletter

RAISE Texas News

SAVE THE DATES for the 2018 RAISE Texas Summit!

RAISE Texas Network mark your calendars now. The 2018 RAISE Texas Summit dates have been finalized and we hope to see YOU there! Culminating our 10th year of RAISE Texas, we will be holding a two-day Summit on December 5-6, 2018 in Dallas. More information will be sent out next year, but we want this to be our biggest summit ever! Join us to celebrate 10 years of RAISE Texas and to discuss important topics like workplace financial wellness programs, available small dollar loan alternatives, prize-linked savings, children’s savings accounts, financial coaching, Fintech solutions and more!

RAISE Texas Presents Solutions to Income Volatility in the Workplace
Last month, RAISE Texas’ Lauren Gates presented on Workplace Financial Wellness opportunities and how these products and programs can help employees lessen the impact of income volatility on their financial situations. The North Texas Asset Funders Network in Dallas and the San Antonio Area Asset Funders Network in San Antonio, both held events focused on “Income Volatility: Why it Destabilizes Working Families and Sector-Based Approaches that Make a Difference” where panelists discussed the impact of income volatility on working families in Texas, and then some innovative workplace financial wellness opportunities to assist families in combating the income swings within the workplace. Many of the products and programs that Lauren discussed during the panels can be found in our newest report on Workplace Financial Wellness Programs. Click here to access RAISE Texas and CPPP’s new report.

Texas News

Congratulations to Texas Organizations Participating in CFPB’s 2018 Cohort

RAISE Texas is excited to have five Texas organizations selected to participate in the CFPB’s 2018 Your Money, Your Goals Cohort! The cohort will receive training and technical assistance on how to use Your Money, Your Goals financial empowerment materials in their work. Congratulations to the following organizations: City of San Antonio, Department of Human Services; Catholic Charities of Dallas; Association of Financial Educators; PATH; and, United Way of Denton County. We look forward to hearing about how Your Money, Your Goals helps your clients before more financially secure!

Border Federal Credit Union Leads the Way to Financial Empowerment

Border Federal Credit Union (FCU) in Del Rio, Texas was one of the first credit unions nationwide to pilot Pathways to Financial Empowerment with its clients. Pathways to Financial Empowerment is a highly effective outcome tracking platform that supports delivery of best practice financial counseling and coaching in credit unions. This platform allows Border FCU to pair financial products with education, and can ultimately boost the financial health of its members by helping them achieve financial action steps, establish or improve credit, build savings and decrease debt. To read more on Border FCU’s success with the Pathways to Financial Empowerment platform, click here.

Houston Selected for First Financial Empowerment Center Public Cohort

The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund announced the twelve local governments selected to replicate the Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) model including Houston, Texas! Based on the success of the FEC model in New York City, Denver, Lansing, Nashville, Philadelphia, and San Antonio, Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed $7.75 million to launch the FEC Public platform with the goal of making free financial counseling as a public service available across the country. Houston and the other FEC Public cohort partners will receive funding and assistance to plan for launching an FEC initiative in their city, participation in a national learning community with other cohort members, and the opportunity to apply for additional funds to launch their local program. RAISE Texas is very excited to have another FEC cohort member in Texas and would like to congratulate the City of Houston on this initiative! We look forward to seeing the positive impact of the free counseling on the lives of Houstonians. Click here to read the announcement.

Texas Community Leader from Brownsville Receives LISC Fellowship
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has announced the winners of the inaugural Michael Rubinger Community Fellowship awards, which invests in nonprofit talent from across the country. Each fellow will receive a $40,000 award to support a special project of their choice to address critical demands in America and projects range from economic development and financial literacy to affordable housing and community engagement. Congratulations to Zoraima Diaz-Pineda from the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville for being selected as one of the 10 fellows. Part of her project will be engaging in research and writing to evaluate whether financial health metrics resonate with clients in the community. Click here to read the entire announcement.

National News and Resources

New Brief on Income Volatility and the Unique Role for Philanthropy

The Asset Funders Network released its newest brief, Income Volatility: Why it Destabilizes Working Families and How Philanthropy Can Make a Difference, to show the challenges that income volatility has on working families and some strategies that grantmakers can use to help empower families to protect themselves against the effects of the volatility. The brief is based on research from EPIC, an initiative of the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, and is now available here.

Report: Since Great Recession Wealth Inequality Worsened

A report, by Pew Research Center, analyzing new data from the Federal Reserve Board Survey of Consumer Finances reveals that wealth inequality has worsened across racial and socioeconomic lines since the Great Recession. According to the report, How Wealth Inequality has Changed in the U.S. Since the Great Recession, by Race, Ethnicity and Income, the overall racial wealth gap narrowed in 2016 but white families still have four times more wealth than black families and three times more wealth than Hispanic families. Also, the wealth gap between upper-income families and lower- and middle-income families is at the highest level recorded. Click here to read the entire report.

Blog: Employers Chop Down College Loans
The Squared Away blog recently posted about how the City of Memphis assists its 600 employees by paying down $50 a month on each of their college loan balances. Memphis joined other major employers like Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Fidelity Investments, Live Nation and more to offer this benefit because it appeals to young employees. College debt exceeds $1.4 trillion nationwide, and according to surveys young employees’ put paying off their college loans as their top financial priority. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, only about 4 percent of U.S. employers offer college debt-payment benefits. Find out how Memphis pays down employee loans here.