What We Do

Community Financial Resources designs and  builds or sources financial products that make it less expensive and less stressful to have low or moderate income in the United States. Our financial product distribution models are based on delivery platforms that meet people where they are. We help community-based organizations connect their financially marginalized constituencies to a portfolio of financial products and services that are structured to encourage beneficial money management behaviors while eliminating unnecessary fees and providing needed functionality. We also offer a “wrap-around” product-based financial education curriculum that embodies the learnings of behavioral economics by incorporating incentives and “making the best choice the default and presenting it as the norm”. With these valuable tools, low-to-moderate income households can improve their financial lives.

CFR partners with progressive financial service providers, community organizations, unions, government entities, public and private social service agencies to demonstrate best practices to the financial services industry and to ensure that consumer friendly financial products are out there in the marketplace. In addition to providing CFR sponsored products, CFR supports our community partners by evaluating product offerings and performing vendor due diligence.

CFR provides consulting and technical assistance to bridge the divide between the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds. As an example, CFR works with VITA programs nationwide to engineer site workflows and train staff to connect clients to consumer-centric financial products and other resources at tax time.

To challenge structural issues which are the root cause of poverty, CFR’s coalition work and financial education approach addresses the personal and the structural issues affecting household financial stability.

 Banking / financial education tools developed or under development by CFR include:

  • The CFR Prepaid Visa Payroll/Debit Card offered in partnership with US Bank. Available through the San Francisco and New York City Offices of Financial Empowerment, Paycheck Plus--a pilot program to simulate an expanded EITC for low-income single workers without dependent children, social enterprise employers and B corporations, social service agencies, community and workplace organizations, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites around the country.
  • A secured credit builder card offered through Cooperative Center Federal Credit that combines building savings and building credit.
  • A Banking Menu developed with the Alameda County Community Asset Network (AC CAN) an on-line tool that matches consumer needs with the “Best-Fit” entry level checking and savings accounts at Banks and Credit Union throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Integrative Financial Capability Programs combining workshops and coaching with beneficial products and tools creating behavioral pathways with agencies around the country including, New Haven MOMS Partnership, The Educational Alliance,  HIP Housing, Center for Employment Opportunities, Brighter BeginningsContra Costa County Head Start and YouthBuild.
  • Technical assistance to  Prepare+Prosper's FAIR initiative with Guaranty Bank, and SF Office of Financial Empowerment's CurrenC (payroll direct deposit) programs.