What's Your Change Machine?

We want to help you find the ideal balance of Change Machine's available platforms that fits in with your program design. Our varied subscription levels ensure you have the resources you need to complete your unique vision of social service. Read below to learn how Wesley Mission Center, LIFT-DC, and University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) are making the most of their Change Machine subscriptions - you may be inspired by a new idea for using the platform, we know we were!

Manager License

Wesley Mission Center - Director of Programs, Charlene Hurst:

"We are using Change Machine to track all our face-to-face client interactions, not just financial coaching. We have a total of 5 coaches using Change Machine for all of our programs.  We have had a couple of custom actions and reports added to accommodate us. Here are the programs and how we use Change Machine for each: 

Access Ability: Program provides wrap around services for disabled and seniors in our community Change Machine: Use for financial coaching sessions and to track home visits made to those clients that need other services but who can't come to us

Unity Lending: Provides interest-free micro loans as an alternative to payday lending. Financial coaching is tied to the loan program as the client has to attend financial coaching sessions for the length of the loan Change Machine: Use for financial coaching; also use to track Unity Lending loan repayments.  The total amount of the loan is put in as a debt in Change Machine, and the payments are deducted, so debt reduction is also tracked

Financial Ed: Money management class that uses an outside curriculum              Change Machine: Use the Change Machine worksheets to supplement the outside course curriculum that covers budgeting, credit, etc. Use Change Machine to track clients that attend the financial education class and their goals/actions

Employment: Our employment specialist tracks job coaching sessions with clients and moves them into financial coaching as they become employed Change Machine: We utilize the Workforce Path in Change Machine and the corresponding tipsheets and worksheets

Financial Coaching: Offers traditional financial and group coaching Change Machine: Use Change Machine to track coaching clients’ progress, meetings, action plans, etc. 

ESL: We offer English as a second language classes Change Machine: We track all course participants and look for ways to move them into financial coaching or other programs

Food Matters: A once-a-week food pantry open to the public Change Machine: We had custom reports built to track each time a person accesses our pantry.  We track this as well as other information that summarizes the number and type of clients that access our services, which is helpful when it comes to grants and funding options

VITA: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. We are a VITA tax site this year for the first time. We only have access to basic contact info for these individuals due to privacy and confidentiality  Change Machine: We enter basic info for these clients: name, email, and phone number so that we can contact them with info on our other programs, in particular financial coaching"

Enterprise License

LIFT-DC - Program Manager, Tony Eccles:

"This past November, LIFT-DC launched a financial coaching program specifically for parents and caregivers of young children. The idea of our program is to partner with parents to accomplish goals related to finances - like saving for homeownership, improving their credit rating, or returning to school - by building off of the great things they are already doing to provide for their family.

Change Machine was already well-reviewed by our colleagues in LIFT's Los Angeles office. Their use of the full suite of Change Machine capabilities helped inform how we'd meet our specific needs in DC. LIFT-DC’s Coach subscription with Change Machine has been an essential support in the design and implementation of our program. From the very beginning, Change Machine’s customer service has been exceptional. Before we committed to the subscription, Laura Malecky was able to walk me and our Program Director through our options and provide specific examples of how we might leverage the Change Machine platform. Once we signed up, Clement and Laura took time to orient us to the platform with a personal touch and have remained highly accessible for questions and troubleshooting. I love the IM chat feature!

Our financial coaches completed the Core Training program in LEARN prior to meeting with customers, to ensure a foundational understanding of Goals, Assets, Credit, Debt, Taxes, and Banking topics. Once we began meeting with customers, the diverse selection of specialty modules allowed coaches to focus on developing knowledge customized around the specific topics raised most commonly by our customers - like student loans and credit-building - rather than attempting to build skills across each and every financial topic at once (which would be overwhelming and inefficient). We love that the trainings were self-directed, accessible from any location, and available in “bite-sized” chunks to fit better into our coaches’ complex daily schedules. Other highlights include how clearly the content is presented, and the fact that coaches become familiar with the same tipsheets and worksheets they’ll be using with customers in their meetings as they move through the modules. Finally, having the opportunity to apply the knowledge in real-world scenarios through the quizzes was critical to build the skills and identify learning gaps. The training topics and scenarios truly aligned with the goals and financial situations we encounter with our families in DC.

We’ve also found huge value in the SHARE section. Being a small team here in DC, it is so important to have access to a wider network of peers, fellow coaches and advisors. We’ve posed questions to the network about interpreting challenging codes on credit reports and credit repair scams our customers have fallen prey to, and gotten timely, helpful answers every time. I really appreciate Clement’s facilitation of the discussion threads, and how he highlights the best answer for our future reference.

Finally, we use the COACH feature as a blueprint for our initial “on-boarding” financial coaching sessions with customers, particularly Change Machine’s suggested financial action steps. We prompt our coaches to lead customers through actions like “Calculate financial transaction costs,” “Develop a spending plan” and “pull credit reports and scores,” early on with customers to ensure that the full financial picture is understood early on. This helps us support our customers in the strongest path towards financial security. Before meetings with customers, our coaches print out copies of any relevant worksheets and tipsheets based on their customer’s identified priorities, and also access them during meetings to support customers’ financial literacy and ability to plan their next steps. Finally, we email them to customers outside of meetings so that they can make progress independently with some guidance. Overall, the tipsheets and worksheets - such as the “Credit Report Inspection” worksheet and “Student Loan Glossary” - present information clearly in a way that empowers our customers to take ownership of their situation."

Community License

University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) - Director of the Northwest Bronx Resource Center, Jumelia Abrahamson:

“We’ve been using Change Machine since the very beginning - it’s a great tool because it gives us the opportunity to stay in the loop without being on top of everything ourselves. It gives me the chance to know if there are any changes to any additional resources when it comes to credit, when it comes to housing, when it comes to any other referrals we are looking to make without me the one that’s reading up on everything on credit and the all other issues and the nuances with how that changes.

And then the fact that we have the financial coach here - it helps me see what are some of the things that she is looking at or experience at our site without having to call her on a weekly basis. We try to chat as frequently as possible, but seeing what are the particular things she is witnessing at the site is great. Then, some of the information she shares on SHARE on Change Machine is useful to see and to actually have the resources to open them up to our other clients who have yet to meet with her. Most recently, she shared information on a new bank account that offers free banking…Knowing those new products that are available has been life-changing.

In addition to having the one-on-one financial coaching onsite, we also do larger outreach events, and staying in the loop and connected with other coaches and the city as a whole allows us to see what are the other common issues that programs are experiencing (is it Bronx based or is this something that is city-wide?) and then we can shape our programs and services as those things come along.”

Want to learn more about how Change Machine can work for your organization? Talk to a partnership expert today!

comments powered by Disqus

Try Change Machine for Free! Free Trial