Boosting the Financial Empowerment Services of Nonprofits of Color

The Racial Wealth Divide Initiative (RWDI) at Prosperity Now, in partnership with JP Morgan Chase, launched the Building High Impact Nonprofits of Color project in January 2016. Over the last two years, the project has worked with local organizations of color to strengthen their capabilities and access to resources. The project engages organization leaders in four cities (Baltimore, Chicago, Miami and New Orleans) and supports the organizations’ growth and development by providing training, resources and analysis, and in-person and virtual gatherings to share best practices for addressing racial economic inequality. In 2018, the RWDI expanded its reach to two new cities, Dallas and Wilmington.

To address the significant financial insecurity facing families and communities of color, RWDI is partnering with the Savings and Financial Capability team at Prosperity Now to launch a sub-cohort focused on financial empowerment programs. The Financial Empowerment Sub-Cohort seeks to:

  • Strengthen an organization’s financial empowerment services, with an increased understanding of racial economic inequality and its impact on service delivery
  • Build knowledge on advancing current wealth building strategies
  • Boost the visibility of participating organizations and position them to collaborate effectively in their communities to address the racial wealth divide

Prosperity Now will provide technical assistance, actionable tools and resources that will support organizational champions to: 

  • Assess their internal operations and the external environment to modify current service delivery to support financial empowerment of their clients and community
  • Explore the individual, local and systemic barriers clients face, and deepen understanding of clients’ strengths and desires
  • Garner multi-level stakeholder support for financial empowerment and influence those stakeholders to facilitate change within the target program and larger organization
  • Share lessons learned with Prosperity Now and the field

We are excited to introduce the organizations selected to engage in the Financial Empowerment Sub-Cohort: 

Bon Secours Community Works (Baltimore, MD)  

Bon Secours Community Works (BSCW) works to enrich West Baltimore communities with programs and services that contribute to the long-term economic and social viability of neighborhoods. This nonprofit seeks to further the mission of the Sisters of Bon Secours through housing, health and community development initiatives and adheres to the Sisters’ commitment to provide good help to area residents.

Greater New Orleans Housing Action Center (New Orleans, LA) 

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) was established in the summer of 1995 to eradicate housing discrimination throughout the greater New Orleans area. Since its inception, GNOFHAC has built an impressive record of advocating for the fair housing rights of New Orleans consumers through enforcement, education and homeownership protection programs. In 2012, GNOFHAC expanded its services throughout Louisiana.

Hispanic Unity (Miami, Florida) 

Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF) is a nonprofit founded 36 years ago by community leaders to ease the acculturation transition for newcomers from other nations. Today, HUF provides assistance through 12 programs and 30+ services in four languages to South Florida's diverse community. HUF, an UnidosUS Affiliate, is one of South Florida’s largest agencies dedicated to the immigrant population, providing them with the tools they need to build a new life.

North Lawndale Employment Network (Chicago, IL) 

The North Lawndale Employment Network’s mission is to improve the earnings potential of the North Lawndale community through innovative employment initiatives that lead to economic advancement and an improved quality of life for residents. Its unique program model bundles employment training, financial counseling and income supports as well as hands-on employment and management experience through the social enterprise, Sweet Beginnings.

Sant La, Haitian Neighborhood Center (Miami, Florida) 

Sant La's mission is to empower, strengthen and uplift South Florida's Haitian community by providing free access to information and services to ensure its successful integration. Sant La’s objectives are twofold: 1) to serve as the central intake and referral point for neighborhood/community residents; and 2) to provide information and referral services for increased access to safety net benefits, educational and training opportunities, housing opportunities, economic self-sufficiency and access to healthcare and legal services.

Between November 2018 and January 2019, Prosperity Now will visit each of the five partner organizations to provide in-person technical assistance and help them kick off the discovery phase of the project. During the discovery phase, we will focus on understanding the socio-economic environment of each organization, the structures driving racial economic inequality and the unique financial challenges facing their clients. We will also identify opportunities to enhance and strengthen their work to help families of color build financial security and wealth. We will provide ongoing technical assistance through early 2020 as the programs engage in one-to-one support, in-person convenings and virtual peer learning opportunities.

We have learned that communities of color need nonprofits of color with high-impact asset-building services to address America’s broad and deep racial wealth divide, and we are excited to launch the Financial Empowerment Sub-Cohort to continue addressing this challenge. Throughout the process we will share updates on the organizations’ progress. Stay tuned! 

Prosperity Now is grateful for the JP Morgan Chase Foundation and its support of the Financial Empowerment Sub-Cohort. We look forward to our continued partnership. 

To stay up to date with Prosperity Now’s work on the racial wealth divide, join our Racial Wealth Equity Network!

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