Getting to Know Our Field: 2018 Community Survey Results

Partnerships with advocates and practitioners bring meaning to Prosperity Now’s work by extending financial well-being to people and communities who need it the most. We rely on this Community to help identify the most relevant topics in financial health, which then inform our research, policy and programmatic work.

To gain insights from our partners, Prosperity Now releases an annual Community survey. This year, a total of 523 people and 446 organizations responded to the survey distributed in May 2018. Here’s a visual summary of what we learned and key takeaways from the responses:

About Responding Organizations

While we can’t generalize the data from this survey to our whole 22,000+ member Community, we will continue building on our racial equity work and relationships with organizations of color.

Asset-building coalitions have been an important part of our field, bringing multiple stakeholders together around common agendas across the country. It is clear that coalition-building is still a major part of the financial empowerment field.

Program and Service Delivery

The top services provided in 2018 are largely unchanged from what we gathered in 2017. These are also some of Prosperity Now’s top programmatic issues, reaffirming our focus. The programmatic solutions our respondents see as most useful to increase wealth equity and financial well-being are largely the same as services provided, aside from matched or incentivized savings. This is likely due to the lack of federal funding for that program after the end of the Assets for Independence program.

Respondents’ top areas of focus outside of financial capability indicate that the field is focusing on holistic solutions to financial insecurity.

We are happy to see how much progress organizations are observing in their clients’ financial well-being.

Policy and Advocacy Engagement

These results tell us Community members are doing more advocacy than they realize. In 2017, we asked organizations simply, “Are you engaged in advocacy?” and 59 percent replied in the affirmative. This year, we posed the question differently, asking specifically if organizations were educating public officials, engaging in advocacy campaigns, participating in coalitions and more—all activities that could be grouped under the label of advocacy—and 84 percent said yes to one or more of these. 

Prosperity Now Resource Evaluations

Respondent evaluations of Prosperity Now’s resources indicate that the least-used resources are often the most helpful. It’s no surprise that many respondents rated our most widely-used resources as "very helpful", such as the Scorecard, research reports and policy briefs. But we learned this year that we’ve got a few “best kept secrets” because some of our least-used resources got some of the highest ratings for helpfulness, such as the Advocacy Boot Camp, campaigns and policy alerts and the Advocacy Center. We’ll be looking into how we can do a better job of getting these hidden gems into your hands and will continue building and improving your favorite resources.  

Thanks to all our Prosperity Now Community members who responded to the 2018 Community Survey. We are constantly learning from you and this information has already helped us determine where we need to improve. If you missed this year’s Community survey, look out for the 2019 survey to be released this coming May. And if you’re not already part of the Community, join here to get our latest tools, updates and resources.

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