WE DESIGN PROGRAMS THAT SUPPORT ECONOMIC DIGNITY

The Prosperity Agenda works with nonprofits, businesses, financial institutions, and government agencies across the country to design effective and pragmatic solutions to financial stress. We use insights from families and individuals living in poverty to build financial wellness services that promote better experiences and outcomes. Our projects address a wide variety of economic security issues—from savings and employment engagement to financial resilience and the financial health of immigrant and refugees—all in pursuit of stopping persistent poverty.

Interested in learning more? Contact: design@theprosperityagenda.org

THE TPA APPROACH

Let go of bias

By listening to families experiencing poverty, we can understand that many of our traditional ideas about what people “need” to do in order to achieve financial stability can do more harm than good. Many traditional approaches to poverty are based on middle-class values, and do not take into account the experiences of people living in poverty.

Shift mindsets

Our human-centered design approach challenges and shifts mindsets so that our partners are able to co-design and implement more engaging financial wellness and career readiness programs. These programs reflect and celebrate the resilience and wisdom of the people seeking assistance.

Partner for success

We collaborate with our partners to ensure that they can be innovative with TPA as a catalyst. We take the lead in design, evaluation, and organizational development, while our community partners lead implementation and provide insight. Together, we can co-author a path for people in poverty to reach their own self-defined destiny.

A SELECTION OF OUR PROJECTS

THE SAVINGS INITIATIVE PROJECT

(Money Power-up Packs)

Savings is not just money in a bank.

Traditional financial literacy assumes that the end goal is always money in the bank. We found that in reality there are many savings behaviors (such as babysitting in exchange for laundry access, or over-paying utility bills during lower cost months to offset the demand of expensive months) that are precursors to, or replace, traditional savings. Programs that focus on traditional financial models are unrealistic for those that don’t have money to save, and cause organizations to miss the opportunity to foster these nontraditional savings behaviors and ignite better financial resilience.

The Savings Initiative Project was launched to build the financial resilience of parents enrolled in Washington State’s TANF program (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). Out of this project, we developed Money Powerup Packs. These are event kits that include flyers, banners, activities, a presentation deck, and decoration, to help staff from all financial backgrounds facilitate engaging community events to recognize, and foster, these non-traditional savings skills.

Interested in learning more? Contact: design@theprosperityagenda.org

FINANCIAL HEALTH FOR DIVERSE COMMUNITIES

Testing two interventions: Building trust with financial institutions, and integrating financial coaching into health education.

Immigrant and refugee communities have many financial wellness tactics and strategies outside of the more traditional banking system. Despite these strengths, some engagement in United States financial system is integral to long term financial stability.  But how do you cross cultural, language, and background divides? Our design approach was to design, test, and implement two complementary interventions.

In one approach, we’re integrating financial coaching into community health classes. This includes a culturally-tailored curriculum, and includes change work to shift staff mindsets from a tight focus on physical health to a wider view of complete wellness, including financial well-being.

The other focuses on building trust between immigrant and refugee communities and financial organizations. Through an assessment tool to measure trust, transparency, and cultural sensitivity instead of new accounts opened, we’ll measure and put in place actions to help our credit union partners better  serve these communities.

Interested in learning more? Contact: design@theprosperityagenda.org

PARTNERS

      

PARTNERS

MONEY MINDSET: INTENTION TO ACTION PROJECT

Building financial wellness and goal practice in apprenticeship programs

The Intention to Action Project was born to fill a need: to build financial wellness into Farestart’s groundbreaking food-service apprentice program. Staff at FareStart believed having financial capability training built into the training curriculum would help their graduates more effectively sustain careers. With few resources, they needed a way to start a conversation about money early and often so that their graduates can start building intention and awareness into their financial lives, and achieve long-term goals through persistence and focus.

The Prosperity Agenda’s Money Mindset Cards were designed in 2018 with the input of a variety of organizations and their participants. The cards are a group facilitation tool to help people talk about money in a way that taps into their own experience and wisdom, as well as that of the group. Designed to be facilitated by someone with no financial education training, they help people explore and practice their own motivations and beliefs about money, saving, and overall financial goals, so that when financial stresses hit they have the confidence to make different financial choices for themselves and their families.

Interested in learning more? Contact: design@theprosperityagenda.org

FUTURES PROJECT

Bringing continuous process improvement techniques to community action agencies

The Futures Project (formerly CLIPP) is a collaborative of six Community Action Agencies in Washington, Idaho and Oregon working to update the story of how change happens at the agency and community level. Together, they are advancing the clarity, impact, and performance of Community Action work.

The Futures Project is about growing the impact of the Community Action network on individuals and communities by clearly demonstrating value through measurable outcomes, proven programs and validated research, and promoting a common platform for working collaboratively within local communities by creating a culture of innovation and accountability.

As a 3-state Community Action Agency Initiative, Futures uses a single Theory of Change to tell one, common story of Community Action by engaging agency staff at all levels (frontline to board of directors) using data collection, analysis and dialogue to convert data into informed decision-making. This includes examining individual and family service-level data, participant feedback, and other information to inform conversations that lead to quality improvements related to services, delivery and meeting the needs of individuals and families serve.

Learn more here or by contacting Kim Tully at Kimt@thefuturesproject.org.

PARTNERS

   

PARTNERS

Idaho CAP Logo https://theprosperityagenda.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Partner-Logo-CAP-Idaho-Logo.jpg

INCREASING EMPLOYMENT ENGAGEMENT & EQUITY PROJECT (EmpACT: Employment as a Practice)

“I don’t feel like I’m at a job anymore–I feel like I’m in a career”

How do you increase engagement, reduce attrition, and help entry-level employees develop critical professional skills? Perhaps even more importantly, how do you make frontline employees feel valuable rather than expendable?

To answer, TPA designed and tested EmPACT: Employment as a Practice, a training framework that includes two complementary approaches. The first is a 12-week, classroom-based training that develops professional skills which go beyond traditional job readiness activities. Instead, the applied training focuses on foundational skills and competencies necessary to improve career retention and advancement. To reinforce the training, TPA and its partners developed tools that help managers drive lasting impact across the organization, which includes: management guides, an employee development timeline template, a first day kit, and more.

Although designed for frontline employees, our partners have found that running managers at all levels through the program builds awareness and helps supervisors treat staff with more empathy and respect.

Interested in learning more? Contact: design@theprosperityagenda.org

THE COACHING INTEGRATION PROJECT

Creating coaching-led organizations

Financial coaching programs succeed when a coaching culture is integrated throughout the organization–from program design, to people management, fundraising, and impact measurement. But how do you build that coaching culture? Our overall experience with financial coaching reveals that implementation challenges begin not just with training, but also sustaining the financial coaching model, from practice to supervision to funding. Organizational change is difficult, and adopting an organization-wide coaching culture to sustain a successful coaching practice is no exception.

Collaborating with four nonprofits in Washington and Oregon, we developed the Financial Coaching Accelerator Program, which builds, tests, and refines resources that middle managers and others can use to measure, fund, and maintain effective financial coaching programs within their organizations.

Through the Accelerator Program we developed, refined and tested  5 dynamic and insightful tools for the field: 1) How to measure the strength of the coaching relationship, 2) Hiring Coaching Inclined Individuals, 3) Person-Centered Program Design Action Plan, 4) Finding Coaching Inclined Funders and Funding Coaching Inclined Organizations, and  5) Pitching Your Coaching Program for Funding.

Interested in learning more? Contact: design@theprosperityagenda.org

PARTNERS

   

PARTNERS

  

FINANCIAL CAPABILITY INTEGRATION PROJECT (Money Mindset Cards)

The fourth box of financial capability – knowledge, skills, access to resources, and YOUR MONEY MINDSET

What if you could integrate financial education into your program, even when your team doesn’t have the expertise? We did just that when working with youth and pre-apprentice workforce development programs in South King Co, WA. Together we designed and tested a solution that would add financial wellness-type activities to the workforce programs without organizations relying on outside assistance or financial expertise.

With insights gathered from program graduates, current students, and staff in the career development programs, we developed  Money Mindset Cards, which are dialogue-based activity cards designed to generate discussion, and build awareness and intention when it comes to money. Importantly, Money Mindset Cards are designed specifically for untrained facilitators, so participants can work directly with program staff rather than outside experts such a financial counselors and educators.

Unlike traditional financial education approaches, Money Mindset Cards rely on the wisdom of the group to help participants deepen their money mindsets.

PARTNERS

Get Involved

We’re always looking for new partnerships. Whether you’d like to donate to our efforts, join the design team, or get help in solving an interesting problem, let’s have a conversation.

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