JPMorgan Chase Grants MEDA $600K to Replicate Innovative Financial Capability Service-Integration Model

Career Success BlogJPMorgan Chase & Co. knows that too many people lack the tools and resources to manage their daily financial lives, whether for unexpected emergencies or to plan for the future. To help improve financial health, the company provides grants to impactful community-based organizations such as MEDA, which was recently awarded $600,000.

MEDA and JPMorgan Chase know that what is needed are actionable, well-timed information and sustainable financial services tailored to clients — in MEDA’s case, services for the low-income Latino community in San Francisco. This approach helps to foster family financial stability.

“We are proud to support MEDA’s work to expand their model for integrating financial capability into existing social services, “ said Colleen Briggs, Program Manager of Financial Capability Initiatives for JPMorgan Chase. “By doing so, they will help ensure that more people have access to the right financial information and tools they need at the right time — ultimately setting them up for long-term, financial success.”

MEDA weaves Financial Capability, focused on debt, income, savings, and credit, through the nonprofit’s service-integration model. Whether a new client comes through the doors of Plaza Adelante, MEDA’s Mission neighborhood center, for housing opportunities, free tax preparation, digital literacy, small-business development or job training, they will immediately have their current fiscal situation assessed. They also have access to workshops and one-on-one coaching.

JPMorgan Chase’s grant supports the replication of this successful model. To start, a pair of nonprofits are now being trained to implement this model, with MEDA’s Lucy Arellano, Director of Asset Building Programs, spearheading this work. MEDA is collaborating with the National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) on this project, which identified member organizations Community Resource and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC) in Denver, CO and Ventures in Seattle, WA.

20151120_101244Arellano, along with MEDA’s Financial Capability Program Manager Jaqueline Marcelos, spent two days in Denver in mid-November, for an initial round of meetings to understand how CRHDC currently operates, and design an individualized Financial Capability service integration plan.

CRHDC has been around for over four decades, its original aim being to address the abject living conditions plaguing migrants and seasonal farm workers in Colorado. The mission of the organization has since expanded to address many housing needs and asset-building opportunities in rural and urban communities of the state.

At the meeting, Arellano explained MEDA’s model in detail, abetting a robust conversation on how CRHDC could weave financial capability into its homebuying services. Arellano’s presentation was called, “Sharing the Model: Capacity Building to Strengthen Financial Capability in Latino Communities.”

CRHDC has a solid track record of helping individuals become home purchase ready with an existing Financial Capability curriculum that they also share with local partner organizations.

The JPMorgan Chase grant will provide the CRHDC with technical assistance to revamp and integrate financial capability services and the associated data systems, from day one of a client’s service plan. MEDA will provide support to Ventures to integrate financial capability services into their Business Development program for the long-term sustainability of their clients’ progress.

Today, Arellano is meeting with Ventures in Seattle to learn about the Washington State nonprofit’s two-decades-old mission of microbusiness development. Like CRHDC, this organization was seen as the perfect fit for MEDA’s financial capability model.

Ventures is known for its innovative approach to helping underserved communities–particularly low-income women, Latinos and other people of color–launch and expand successful businesses. MEDA will provide support to Ventures to integrate Financial Capability into their Business Development Training program (BDT) and Financial Management Training program (FMT), for the long-term sustainability of their clients’ progress.

This generous investment by JPMorgan Chase is furthering collaboration and supporting best practice sharing among asset-building organizations, particularly those focused on low- to moderate-income Latino communities.

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