EARN Case Study: How to Help Millions of Low-Income American Families Save for a Better Future While the Great Recession is Still Fresh in Our Minds
2012 MAY 4 - (VerticalNews.com) -- EARN, a California-based nonprofit that is the nation's leading provider of matched savings accounts, released a case study today, "Redesigning Matched Savings to Scale: EARN's Efforts to Improve Efficiency and Increase Autonomy." The case study is an incisive and timely exploration of how EARN redesigned it matched savings accounts to serve more low-income families, more cheaply, and more effectively.
The U.S. economy is finally showing signs of recovery from the Great Recession. Unfortunately, if this recovery follows the patterns of the past, it will be accompanied by a return to the low-to-zero household savings rates of the past. Although saving is not easy, especially for low-wage workers whose incomes have been stagnant for decades, household savings plays a key role in national economic stability and individual financial security. Authors Iliana Montauk and Nga Chiem warn, "If we do not harness the savings momentum quickly while the recession is fresh in the minds of Americans, we run the risk of missing a key opportunity to influence the future trajectory of the national savings rate."
"This is the time to develop products that give families the tools and motivation to save for the future, increasing individuals' self-efficacy and strengthening our nation's ability to withstand future economic downturns," says EARN President and CEO Ben Mangan. "EARN is an expert on how to save, and we realized that the current model of matched savings accounts is only serving less than 1% of the more than 57 million Americans who need it. That's why we decided to seek a different solution that would lower the cost of providing savings accounts to low-wage families while maintaining - or even increasing - the impact for those families." The case study sets forth the research that led to EARN's redesigned matched savings account, which now takes significantly reduced staff time and resources to administer, making it possible for EARN - and everyone who wants to help low-income families save -- to put many more low-wage families on the path to prosperity. About EARN EARN is a nonprofit that gives low-income working families the power to create prosperity for generations. As the nation's leading microsavings provider, EARN gives families the tools to build wealth and achieve life-changing goals such as saving for college, buying a first home, or starting a small business. Since 2001, we have helped tens of thousands of low-wage families through innovative financial products including matched savings accounts, checking accounts for the unbanked, and money management coaching. The EARN Research Institute evaluates the impact of EARN's work and publishes original data, sharing lessons learned and best practices. We use this unique grounding in rigorous applied research and direct service experience to transform the financial services landscape and to champion effective public policies. EARN's ultimate vision is that millions of well-informed, low-wage American families will achieve financial success through proven strategies, fair public policy, and their own hard work.
Connect with EARN at www.earn.org, twitter.com/earn and facebook.com/earnorg.
Keywords: Finance and Financials, Investing and Investments.
This article was prepared by VerticalNews Economics editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2012, VerticalNews Economics via VerticalNews.com.