Since its inception in 2004, CFSI has managed four competitive request for proposals processes and provided grants totaling $3.75 million to 16 pioneering nonprofit-led projects. All of its funding projects share the common goal of having potentially broad industry acceptance and measurable impact. CFSI has also competitively awarded seed funding to efficiently advance targeted innovation. In CFSI's experience, it has been demonstrated that even small sums of money can bring about big change and generate valuable lessons on how to better serve underbanked consumers in ways that are responsible for the consumer and sustainable for the service provider.
With direct access to and trusted relationships with underbanked consumers, CFSI believes nonprofit organizations are uniquely positioned to help advance the financial services marketplace in serving this important consumer segment. Through its 2008 Nonprofit Opportunities Fund (supported by The Walmart Foundation), CFSI provided grants to five groundbreaking nonprofit-led projects that tested new transactional, savings, or credit products, marketing approaches, distribution channels, or risk management strategies. All involved partnerships between nonprofit organizations and other financial services providers.The Fund Overview
describes the five projects, their outcomes, and lessons on how nonprofit and financial services organizations can help put underserved consumers on a path to financial prosperity. For details about specific projects, see the individual Learning Briefs
The complete list of past grantees includes:
• Alliance to Develop Power’s Worker Center Collaborative
• Appleseed Foundation
• Center For Community Change
• Center for Community Self-Help
• Community Development Technologies Center
and Community Empower
• Credit Builders Alliance
• Doorways to Dreams Fund (D2D)
• Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED)
• The Community Action Project of Tulsa County (CAP)
• U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
• Urban Insurance Partners Institute
In 2010, CFSI launched the Financial Capability Innovation Fund, a new grant fund to support ground-breaking nonprofit-led projects designed to promote the financial capability of lower-income, underserved consumers. In September, CFSI issued a request for proposals to identify the most promising solutions through a competitive review process. CFSI received 246 applications and ultimately selected five projects that best aligned with CFSI’s priorities. The Financial Capability Innovation Fund is supported by a collaborative of funders led by the Citi Foundation and also including Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Experian, Capital One, U.S. Bank and Visa Inc. The Fund will be advised by a council comprised of funders as well as a number of other thought-leaders and experts including the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).
For more information about the Financial Capability Innovation Fund and the grantees, click here.