We are putting the tools to build assets and financial capabilities into the hands of low-income families and empowering the families we serve to build a pathway out of poverty.
We have developed and refined an approach to our work that builds on expert research, the principles of a national asset development movement, and ten years of on-the-ground experience working with low-income families.
The participants with whom we work have deep aspirations for themselves and their families. Experience has taught us that successful asset building begins when families identify and tap into their aspirations, and when they believe that those aspirations are actually within their reach.
All of our programs combine three main elements:
Financial education workshops:
It is as true here as for any other thing in life – building something strong requires a solid foundation. Workshops focus on goal setting, budgeting, credit, debt management, savings, and asset building. These peer-driven workshops are designed to provide families with the foundation of skills, confidence, and practices that will help them reach their goals.
Through a unique approach to financial coaching, Compass works with families to break down their goals into measurable and achievable steps. The real, day-to-day, and at times frustrating work of budgeting, saving, managing debt, and building credit happens here. There are no shortcuts in this process. Small steps, such as paying down a single credit card, as well as larger steps, such as securing a second job to boost family income, are all key inputs into a successful plan. Our goal is to equip families with the financial capabilities required to both build, and ultimately preserve, financial assets. In addition, coaches support clients to research and evaluate high-quality financial products that can help them reach their financial goals.
Our core programs draw on research in the field of behavioral economics by including an incentive designed to help families build savings toward their financial goals. The type of incentive offered varies by program. These incentives mirror the kind of incentives available to higher-income families, such as an employer-matched retirement savings account. Families can use these savings to achieve their goals, such as buying a home, repairing and building credit, saving for their children’s education, completing a job training or college program, or starting a business.