Last week, the US Department of Labor reported its 28th consecutive week of seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims that were higher than at any point before the COVID-19 crisis. This is just one indicator of the financial hardships caused by COVID-19. During the first few months of the crisis, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and other federal polices government provided new forms of support, including expanded delivery of unemployment aid, stimulus checks, and loan deferrals. Many of these supports have since ended, and new policies, such as the eviction moratorium order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, continue to be developed.
Financial coaches collaborate with clients one-on-one to establish and reach personal financial goals and navigate periods of financial uncertainty. Over the past two decades, financial coaching programs have grown and diversified their services. In 2007, there were approximately 40 active financial coaching programs in the US (PDF). As of 2016, the Asset Funders Network estimates 2,265 coaches deliver services through 453 coaching organizations to approximately 18,120 clients monthly (PDF).
Research suggests financial coaching can help people build and sustain access to credit, and our recent evaluation of the Stand By Me program in Delaware adds to this growing evidence base. We found that clients took active steps to improve their financial well-being, such as reducing debt in collections and lowering credit card utilization rates.
Building on this research, we sought to understand how financial coaching has adapted to the current crisis. We spoke with leaders of coaching organizations across the country to find out how their organizations, coaches, and clients were responding. What they told us suggests that well-supported coaches can offer people vital guidance in response to shifting economic conditions.
Financial coaches are helping their clients vet and validate new financial interactions. Some clients have needed help determining whether emails from their banks and creditors are spam and which are helpful. Others have needed help finding and connecting with new services. Others still have simply found value in knowing they aren’t facing this crisis alone.
Read the full article about financial coaches during a pandemic by Benny Docter, Daniel Teles, Brett Theodos at Urban Institute.
COVID-19 is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
Are you ready to give?
In addition to learning and connecting with others, taking action is a key step towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for COVID-19 take a look at these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects.