NEFE Invests in Underserved Communities


Nonprofit Boosts Commitment Toward Equity Inclusion

DENVER—The National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) is making a greater commitment to address structural and systemic racism and inequality by investing in several organizations that support underrepresented populations.

NEFE is providing unrestricted grants to six national nonprofit organizations who serve communities most impacted by COVID and the resulting economic crisis, as well as those directly impacted by racism, prejudice and bias. Each organization is receiving $25,000 in operating support to help them continue to provide services focused on the financial and economic well-being of those they aid.

“A spirit of unity and collaboration is necessary as we work together toward real solutions. We are adding to our commitment to invest in new communities, specifically those who serve the underserved. We admire the work of these incredible organizations and the many others who are working to increase equity inclusion among underrepresented populations,” says Billy Hensley, Ph.D., president and CEO of NEFE. “We will continue to listen and reflect and be more well-intentioned in the work we do to support those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as those most affected by racism, prejudice and bias.”

Coalition of Communities of Color, Portland, Ore.

Formed in 2001, the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) is an alliance of culturally-specific community based organizations. The CCC supports a collective racial justice effort to improve outcomes for communities of color through policy analysis and advocacy, environmental justice, culturally-appropriate data and research, and leadership development in communities of color.

“At CCC, we and our members support many areas meant to improve the quality of life for people of color: advocacy, research, leadership, environmental justice, housing, education, healthcare and immigration issues. But none of these can ever ultimately be successful without a solid economic foundation, as is NEFE's focus,” says Marcus Mundy, executive director of CCC. “In the tumultuous present we find ourselves we must remember that even in 1968, in the very epicenter of the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was clear that the way out was through uplifting the financial condition of folks of color. We are honored to be the recipient of this generous gift from NEFE. We will use this gift wisely to further our work.”

EveryoneOn, Washington, D.C.

EveryoneOn is dedicated to creating social and economic opportunity by connecting low-income families to affordable internet service, computers and digital skills trainings. Since 2012, the nonprofit has helped connect more than 784,000 people, deployed thousands of computers and delivered hundreds of hours of digital skills trainings to diverse communities.

“At EveryoneOn, we view broadband access and digital literacy as among the most critical social justice issues of our time. Lack of internet access and low digital literacy skills can prevent people from fully participating in our society,” says Norma Fernandez, CEO of EveryoneOn. “We are committed to creating a society where people, in particular those who are underserved, harness the power of the internet and technology to build transformative opportunities for themselves and their communities.”

Foundation for the Mid South, Jackson, Miss.

The Foundation for the Mid South is in the business of improving lives in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The Mid South is home to 30 percent of the nation’s poverty, which has eroded the well-being of communities, education and health systems, as well as financial security. The Foundation for the Mid South was established to bring together public and private sectors and focus their resources on increasing social and economic opportunity. Their approach is straightforward and long term: enable communities to develop solutions to better conditions and improve lives.

“We believe empowering residents with the resources to manage daily living is essential to ensuring strong families and communities. Providing knowledge and developing skills are just the beginning in expanding individual and community potential throughout our region,” says Ivye Allen, president of the Foundation for the Mid South. “This partnership with NEFE will further the exposure and scope of our wealth building and community development work.”

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Denver, Colo.

The National Council Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) leads, mobilizes and raises voices to support efforts that demand a change of conditions that lead to domestic violence such as patriarchy, privilege, racism, sexism and classism. The NCADV is dedicated to supporting survivors and holding offenders accountable and supporting advocates.

“NCADV and NEFE have had a long, and strong, partnership through the efforts of NCADV Financial Education Project and our shared desire to support survivors of domestic violence on their journey to safety. NEFE took action one step further by understanding how the pandemic and the movement to end systemic racism has impacted our work and capacity and responded,” says Ruth M. Glenn, president and CEO of NCADV. “As a black woman, survivor of domestic violence and the leader of this organization, it is encouraging to know that NEFE took real action and supported our work in another way, answering the call to action.”

Society for Financial Education & Professional Development, Alexandria, Va.

Established in 1998, the Society for Financial Education and Professional Development (SFE&PD) is one of the first educational nonprofits to deliver customized financial literacy programs and professional development opportunities for financial educators nationwide. The nonprofit is on a mission to enhance the financial and economic literacy of individuals and households in the U.S., and to promote professional development at the early stages of career development through mid-level management.

“Thanks to NEFE’s generosity, SFE&PD will be able to teach financial literacy to students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and provide them with financially empowering tools for their future,” says Theodore “Ted” Daniels, SFE&PD’s founder and president. “For underserved students and their families, the timing is urgent –many are facing worsening financial and economic conditions due to COVID-19. NEFE is on the forefront of the financial education movement and we are grateful to collaborate to help address socioeconomic disparities and strengthen underserved communities in tremendous need at this critical time.”

Women’s Community Revitalization Project, Philadelphia, Pa.

The Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP) is committed to social and economic equity for low-income women and their families. The nonprofit develops affordable housing, provides supportive services, advocates for policy change, and honors and promotes leadership, dignity and justice in communities.

With a more than 30-year commitment to social and economic equity for low-income women and their families, WCRP strives to realize a vision of diverse and inclusive communities where all people have the information and resources they need to flourish, and where everyone has the opportunity to shape a hopeful future, channeling righteous anger at injustice into collective power and positive change,” says Nora Lichtash, executive director and co-founder of WCRP. “In this moment, it is especially meaningful that NEFE has acknowledged the importance and resonance of our work.

“One of the most important actions for nonprofits across the country right now is capacity building. I believe that NEFE—given our resources—has an obligation to support nonprofits that are leading the charge at uprooting systemic inequality through innovation and inclusion,” adds Hensley.

Read more about NEFE’s philanthropic response in Hensley’s op-ed Racism, Bias and Economic Inequality Impair the Financial Well-Being of Millions.

NEFE also is partnering with the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) to fully sponsor the training and credentialing of 100 new Accredited Financial Counselors® (AFC®), all of which will be people of color. The AFC is the gold standard in financial counselor certification, focusing on comprehensive life-cycle financial education, while providing the knowledge and skills to assist clients in complex financial decision making. AFCs address immediate money challenges, help create plans to achieve unique goals and dreams, and build a sustainable foundation for long-term financial well-being.

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