Financial Navigators

The Financial Navigators initiative helps residents deal with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing remote assistance in navigating critical financial issues and making referrals to other social services and resources. With support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Citi Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the Wells Fargo Foundation, the CFE Fund is partnering with 31 local governments across the country, providing them with technical assistance and funding to launch a new public Financial Navigators program.

Trained Financial Navigators provide structured guidance over the phone to help people strategize around supports for disruptions to their income and other financial concerns. They help residents triage financial issues, identify immediate action steps, and make referrals to other services. Assistance includes managing expenses through prioritizing payments and when to make them, as well as maximizing income through ensuring receipt of federal payments, unemployment benefits, and other resources. In partner cities and counties across the country, helping residents navigate the financial impact of COVID-19 through the Financial Navigators initiative is a critical part of front-line emergency response efforts.

To learn more about the Financial Navigators initiative, contact I-Hsing Sun, Chief Program Officer.

Bank On Fellowship

The CFE Fund’s Bank On national initiative supports local coalitions with strategic and financial support, as well as liaising nationally with banking, regulatory, and nonprofit organization partners to expand banking access, including through the first-ever Bank On National Account Standards.

The CFE Fund’s Bank On Fellowship program, generously supported by Wells Fargo, provides funding and in-kind technical assistance to support a full-time Fellow to lead their coalition’s activities. The first Bank On Fellowship cohort includes: Bank On Houston (Houston, TX); Bank On New Haven (New Haven, CT); Bank On Rubber City (Akron, OH); Bank On South Alabama (Mobile County, AL); and Bank On Suncoast (Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota, FL). The second cohort of Bank On Fellows includes: Bank On Maryland (State of Maryland); Bank On Greater Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI); Bank On Atlanta (Atlanta, GA); Bank On Jackson (Jackson, MS); and Bank On ONAC (Oklahoma Native Region).

Bank On coalitions are locally-led partnerships between local public officials; city, state, and federal government agencies; financial institutions; and community organizations that work together to help improve the financial stability of unbanked and underbanked individuals and families in their communities.

The CFE Fund is currently accepting applications for the next cohort of Bank On Fellows; apply now! Applications are due January 8, 2021.

Bank On

Bank On coalitions are locally-led partnerships between local public officials; city, state, and federal government agencies; financial institutions; and community organizations that work together to help improve the financial stability of unbanked and underbanked individuals and families in their communities. These first-generation banking access programs have already connected tens of thousands of people to safe and affordable account; Bank On programs also work to raise public awareness, target outreach to the unbanked, and expand access to financial education.

The CFE Fund’s Bank On national initiative builds on this grassroots movement, supporting local coalitions with strategic and financial support, as well as by liaising nationally with banking, regulatory, and nonprofit organization partners to expand banking access, including through the first-ever Bank On National Account Standards, updated for 2019-2020. The CFE Fund also announced an online Bank On account validation and certification process; banks and credit unions across the country, at no cost, now can submit for validation products they believe meet the national Standards. The list of financial institutions offering such products continues to expand across the country.

The CFE Fund hosted the 2019 Bank On National Conference in Washington, D.C.