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Building Financial Security through Financial Coaching

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by Josh Blankenbeckler, Mae Watson Grote and Haidee Cabusora

INTRODUCTION In the growing field of financial coaching programs, The Financial Clinic (the “Clinic”) has one of the most established, high-performing models in the country. In celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Clinic took the opportunity to reflect on the organization’s inception, its growth and the achievements of its customers. Those achievements are quantified by the Clinic’s six-part financial security outcomes framework explained in this report. This paper will provide background on the development of these outcomes, as well as present how one-on-one financial coaching has been used to further the Clinic’s mission of helping working-poor Americans build financial security.

Through statistics and a story about a Clinic customer, the Clinic aims to illustrate how effective financial coaching is for customers who are prepared to work holistically on their finances, or whose issues can be resolved with the support of a coach. While financial insecurity is pervasive, not everyone needs a financial coach: Since 2008, the Clinic has led numerous cross-sector initiatives exploring the versatility of financial development work across different populations. The diversity of human services that have successfully adapted financial strategies into their programs demonstrates the valuable and far reaching role financial security can play as an integral part of the nonprofit sector. This paper will conclude with a discussion of the Clinic’s Ecosystem, which is its emerging strategy to provide comprehensive services to those who need it most.

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