United Way Center for Financial Stability has launched FinCap Academy to offer best practices and provide financial capability services to working families. FinCap stands for financial capability, which is a person’s capacity to manage financial resources effectively, based on knowledge, skills and access to resources. United Way and Branches launched FinCap Academy as part of a $310,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase.
“The idea for a FinCap Academy came from our team realizing that there’s a lack of consensus on how quality is defined within agencies that offer financial coaching, literacy and other capability services,” Maria C. Alonso, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade, said. “For instance, there are limited professional certifications or established standards of quality for financial coaches and we are working hard to improve on that.”
The FINCAP Academy held its first quarterly training, where participants learned how to build internal capacity to deliver high quality financial capability services, build formal partnerships that may include offering co-located and/or co-branded services, and be part of a formal referral network that allows each agency to know each other’s expertise and be able to connect clients accordingly.
With 58 percent of households struggling to make ends meet according to the recent United Way ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report, the work of financial capability service providers is more important than ever. The key is for people to: learn, earn, save, own and protect their assets. FinCap academy participants will be better equipped to help people navigate the financial system, strengthen financial management skills, and connect them to resources in order to build wealth and long-term financial stability.
“Creating opportunities for more financial mobility is one of the most urgent challenges our country faces and any investment we make in supporting more individuals in our community with financial capability programs will result in a much stronger Miami-Dade,” Guillermo Castillo, market leader with JPMorgan Chase in South Florida and head of commercial banking, said.
Financially healthy individuals increase the financial stability and resiliency of their communities. Research has shown that traditional financial literacy efforts are not enough. To successfully manage daily finances, while building for their future, individuals need access to a wide range of resources, including well-timed information and affordable financial products.
To support these comprehensive approaches, JPMorgan Chase has been investing in financial capability programs that support innovative new products and services to help consumers increase savings, improve credit and build assets.
About the United Way Center for Financial Stability
Established in 2009, the United Way Center for Financial Stability helps working individuals and families pave a path to financial independence by providing a full range of services and support – from financial coaching and credit counseling to free tax preparation, employment assistance and more. The Center, operated by Branches, works with numerous partners to provide access to comprehensive financial stability services, because increasing the financial stability of families creates a stronger, more productive workforce and a prosperous community. Bank of America is the founding partner.