The Citi Foundation and CFE Fund Launch Ninth Year of Summer Jobs Connect

This press release announces an additional $3.5 million in support from the Citi Foundation to provide more than 145,000 low-income youth with summer jobs and access to financial education as part of Summer Jobs Connect in 2022; the Summer Jobs Connect initiative is also supported by The Skillman Foundation and the PNC Foundation. Since launching in 2014, the Citi Foundation has invested over $40 million in this initiative, which has provided 16,500 young people with summer jobs and over 800,000 low-income youth with access to financial education and safe and affordable financial services. 25 Summer Jobs Connect city partners have built these financial empowerment strategies into the infrastructure of their Summer Youth Employment Programs. The CFE Fund also launched a national social media campaign, highlighting youth and partner voices on the impact of Summer Jobs Connect, and a new SJC website.

Three Cities to Kickstart Financial Empowerment, Racial Wealth Equity Efforts Through CityStart

In this May 2022 press release, the CFE Fund announced that three new cities have been chosen to join the next CityStart cohort, with a new focus on racial wealth equity. The CityStart initiative helps local leaders develop and implement proven strategies to help local families and communities become more financially stable. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, whose mission is to accelerate the pace of Black wealth accumulation in the U.S., will advise the CFE Fund on the design and execution of the latest iteration of the CityStart program with a specific lens on racial wealth equity.

The CFE Fund will partner with the cities of Cincinnati, OH; Mobile, AL; and South Bend, IN to help them address the financial empowerment needs of residents and the opportunities to meet those needs, prioritizing the financial stability needs of Black residents. Each of the three cities selected will also receive a $75,000 planning grant, drawn from a previous $19 million investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

CFE Fund Announces the Launch of Small Business Boost Initiative

In this March 2022 press release, the CFE Fund announced the selection of five local governments to offer small business owners and entrepreneurs one-on-one Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) financial counseling. Akron, OH; Lansing, MI; Pittsburgh, PA; Polk County, IA; and Rochester, NY will connect their Financial Empowerment Center initiatives, which offer professional financial counseling as a free public service, to local business support services. This new initiative called Small Business Boost, supported generously by Principal® Foundation, will help local entrepreneurs and small business owners improve their personal finances, better positioning them to access capital and achieve their business goals.

CFE Fund Announces New $19M Commitment from Bloomberg Philanthropies

In this November 2021 press release, the CFE Fund announced its latest partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies that will greatly expand local government-led financial stability efforts across the country over the next three years. With nearly $19 million in new support, the CFE Fund will replicate its proven Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) model – which helps low- and middle-income residents decrease debt and increase savings – under its nationwide FEC Public platform, resulting in as many as 100 cities and counties total looking to offer FEC financial counseling services. Additionally, the CFE Fund will establish a new network of 10 “Financial Empowerment Cities” that will institutionalize government efforts by supporting new financial empowerment offices and cohorts of leaders. The CFE Fund also will help to catalyze new commitments from as many as 30 local governments, partnering with Black-majority localities and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative to create community-informed financial empowerment strategic blueprints through its CityStart initiative, and continuing the Financial Navigators emergency response initiative. Finally, support from Bloomberg Philanthropies will also enable the CFE Fund to pilot a new financial counseling integration in five cities to test FEC eviction prevention strategies in response to COVID-19 housing instability, and field a multi-city evaluation of FEC impact in three to five partner cities.

CFE Fund Announces More Than 100 Bank On Certified Accounts

In this press release, the CFE Fund announced that there are now more than 100 bank and credit union accounts nationally certified as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards. Banks and credit unions offering certified accounts comprise over 50% of the U.S. deposit market share, and 40% of all US bank branches offer a certified account; nearly two million Bank On certified accounts were opened in 2019. With the certification of BMO Harris’ Smart Money™ Account, BOM Bank’s EZ Checking account, Rio Grande Credit Union’s Fresh Start Checking, US Eagle FCU’s Flex Checking account, and Wintrust Community Banks’ Money Smart Checking account, there are now 108 accounts certified as meeting Bank On National Account Standards. These accounts can expand access to safe and appropriate transactional accounts to the almost 36 million people outside of the mainstream financial system, and can be used to receive and manage the federal Child Tax Credit and other emergency payments.

To learn more about Bank On, visit www.cfefund.org/bankon.

CFE Fund and Wells Fargo Announce Third Cohort of Bank On Fellowship

This press release announced a $1 million grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation to increase the size of the Bank On Fellowship Program, which funds a full-time Bank On coalition leader for two years to focus solely on improving banking access for residents. The CFE Fund, with support from the Wells Fargo Foundation, welcomes six Bank On coalitions (Bank On Florida; Bank On Martinsville-Henry; Bank On Pierce County; Bank On Pueblo County; Bank On Rochester; and Bank On Tulsa) to the third cohort of the Bank On Fellowship. The Bank On Fellowship program is the first national initiative of its kind focused on building a multi-city network of Bank On program coordinators, equipping them with the training, tools, and resources to make significant advancements in local banking access efforts and at the same time generating best practices for other coalitions around the country.

To learn more about the Bank On Fellowship program, visit www.cfefund.org/bankon

Five New Cities Chosen to Develop Free Financial Counseling

In this March 2021 press release, the CFE Fund, with support from seed funder Bloomberg Philanthropies, as well as Capital One, the Citi Foundation, The JPB Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the Wells Fargo Foundation, welcomes five new local governments (Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Jackson, TN; Louisville, KY; and Pueblo, CO) to the newest FEC Planning cohort after a competitive application process. They join 30 other local governments that have already launched, or are working to launch, FEC services that have already served 116,000 clients, helping them to reduce $160 million in debt and build $26 million in savings. 

Over 50 Cities and Counties Offering Financial Counseling or Navigation Services To Build Resident Financial Stability During COVID-19

In this August 2020 press release, the CFE Fund announced that more than 50 city and county governments across the country will expand financial counseling and financial navigation services for their local residents in need. As part of this effort, the CFE Fund is launching a new Financial Navigators initiative, which will help 31 city and county governments newly offer their residents one-on-one remote sessions to help navigate the financial impact of COVID-19 through access to local, state, and federal resources. In addition, the CFE Fund announced an expansion of its Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) initiative, which offers professional, data-driven one-on-one financial counseling as a public service, funding additional FEC counselors and pivoting its national FEC infrastructure to accommodate remote services. This work is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Citi Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the Wells Fargo Foundation.

New Cities Selected to Launch Local Consumer Financial Protection Efforts

This press release announces the second cohort of the Local Consumer Financial Protection initiative, generously supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Chattanooga, TN; Detroit, MI; Philadelphia, PA; Shelby County, TN; and St. Paul, MN will begin planning a communications campaign to raise consumer awareness of and protect residents from COVID-19 related scams, and continue planning for broader consumer financial protection capabilities within the city. Local consumer financial protection is a critical component of disaster response. Each city has received a $10,000 grant, paired with a nine-month technical assistance engagement partnership to begin planning for a local consumer financial protection initiative. This process will include a structured approach to identifying critical local consumer issues, convening key stakeholders, and surveying the legal landscape that will inform the development of an actionable strategic plan.

The Citi Foundation and CFE Fund launch the sixth year of Summer Jobs Connect

This press release announces an additional $5 million in support from the Citi Foundation to provide more than 2,550 low-income youth with summer jobs and access to financial education as part of Summer Jobs Connect in 2019. Since launching in 2014, the Citi Foundation has invested over $28 million in this initiative, which has provided 13,535 young people with summer jobs and over 500,000 low-income youth with access to financial education and safe and affordable financial services. Summer Jobs Connect city partners, which include Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, St. Louis, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and eight additional cities across the country, have built these financial empowerment strategies into the infrastructure of their Summer Youth Employment Programs. The CFE Fund also launched a national social media campaign, highlighting youth and partner voices on the impact of Summer Jobs Connect, and a new SJC video.