Community Financial Resources (CFR) is a national nonprofit economic justice organization with a mission to provide a pathway to financial well-being through products, tools and education that improve financial stability, protect assets and establish a foundation to build wealth for low-income, low-wealth households, with a focus on communities of color.
Community Financial Resources (CFR) was founded in 2003 by a financial industry veteran who worked in commercial banking for more than 20 years. She established CFR after recognizing the disproportionate gap in access to safe and affordable financial products, and wanted to do something about it. CFR has grown to become a recognized leader and innovator in the financial inclusion space, staffed by economic justice advocates and seasoned financial experts while working with social enterprises and employers to provide financial wellness programming to their workforce.
Research shows that 72% of the US workforce are financially stressed, three out of four workers are sometimes living paycheck-to-paycheck and 46% of workers are distracted by their finances at work, and that was before COVID. Structural barriers within our nation’s economy create and perpetuate poverty. When barriers are removed and financial stress is reduced, research shows that people are not only better off financially, but have better health as well as higher satisfaction in life and relationships.
CFR promotes economic justice by providing financial inclusion solutions based on the latest research, backed by financial industry partners, and delivered by social enterprises, employers, and organizations. CFR’s Employee Financial Wellness programs are centered around basic banking (including promoting direct deposit for employees), credit building and financial education. CFR’s Employee Financial Wellness programs partner with social enterprises and other employers to support workers’ well-being by ensuring 100% payroll direct deposit, offering savings and credit-building opportunities, and integrating financial education into training and professional development programs. By doing so, the program increases employees’ productivity and performance, elevates job satisfaction, improves job retention, generates loyalty, lowers stress, reduces distraction and lowers absenteeism.
To date, CFR programs have helped over 100,000 people open new banking accounts or use CFR-sponsored financial tools. CFR serves over 7,000 low-income, low-wealth people annually through CFR’s national network of over 100+ employers and nonprofits.
Ty, a CFR Participant, said of the program:
Being referred to Community Financial Resources has been one of the most beneficial financial moves that I have made in my life. I regularly use the money management tips I learned about to build my credit, including declining a loan because I knew the interest rate was not something I wanted to pay. I enrolled in the Focus Card to receive disbursements via direct deposit, avoiding the high fees attached to cashing checks, and I use the savings account reducing the emotional burden knowing that my money is safe and secure.
This fall, CFR will embark on a five-year strategic initiative to expand access to their financial health pathways, including an expansion of social enterprise partners who are interested in partnering with CFR on Employee Financial Wellness programming. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Ann Schnuer, National Director of Partners & Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CFR joined Social Enterprise Alliance to connect, learn from and partner with mission-driven organizations. In partnering with social enterprises, they’ve not only been inspired by the work of organizations in this space but have also been energized by the fact that many enterprises have put time and programming into supporting employees’ financial wellness, thus allowing employees to have more time and mental bandwidth to focus on the enterprises’ missions.
To learn more about Community Financial Resources, check out their member directory profile.