Kaiser Permanente grants $2.5 million to Change Machine and additional funding to regional nonprofits to embed financial coaching in 190 social service organizations
NEW YORK, New York | July 19, 2022 – Change Machine announced today the launch of a new financial health initiative designed to advance the economic wellbeing and health outcomes of thousands of families in low-income areas across the country.
The Change Machine + Kaiser Permanente Financial Health Initiative uses Change Machine’s technology platform to train and equip social service practitioners in financial coaching so that they can provide these services to their clients. Financial coaching includes: financial goal setting and budgeting; establishing and increasing savings; addressing debt; and connecting people to safe and affordable banking products. Funding from Kaiser Permanente supports training program implementation, allowing social service organizations to provide these programs sustainably.
Research shows that financial stress is a key clinical risk factor for poor health outcomes. In particular, poor mental health has been consistently linked with the experience of financial hardship and poverty, and in many instances the link between mental and financial health is cyclical – financial hardship increases mental distress, mental distress raises the risk of missing payments on rent or loans and incurring fees, which leads to increased financial hardship.
By offering financial coaching, social service organizations can disrupt these cycles and better accomplish their missions to serve their clients, leading to improved community health outcomes.
“The link between financial health and overall health is well-documented. Access to financial literacy and coaching is a crucial way to ensure individuals, families, and communities remain financially stable and able to meet the various social needs – including stable housing, reliable transportation, and nutritious food – that are foundational to good health,” said Stephanie Ledesma, Vice President of Community Health at Kaiser Permanente.
The initiative will serve 190 social service organizations in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington.
“Thanks to Kaiser Permanente, Change Machine’s platform further amplifies the thought partnership of practitioners on the ground. It is an engine to build financially-thriving and healthy communities across the country,” said Mae Watson Grote, Founder and CEO of Change Machine. “This combination of technology and capacity building is creating the field’s vibrant community of practice through which we amplify our collective impact on the financial security of clients.”
Change Machine + Kaiser Permanente Financial Health Initiative offers a flexible approach for organizations interested in offering financial coaching tools, training, and resources to enhance their missions. All participating organizations receive free access to tools that support social collaboration and can join a virtual community of financial practitioners and community leaders.
“The biggest value-adds for us is having the accountability of the financial health initiative. We’ve been wanting to do this work and now we have the grant, a timeline, and outcomes. This has been helpful to move the work forward,” said Jared Schapiro, Assistant Director of Professional Services, Workforce Snohomish in Everett, WA. “There’s no coordination between financial education empowerment services, at least in our county. The Change Machine + Kaiser Permanente Financial Health Initiative will help us close this gap.”
“It’s delightful to learn from practitioners across the country and now we can take these learnings back to our communities,” said Stephanie Gaines, Financial Empowerment Services Coordinator, The Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency. “The trainings opened up conversations among our colleagues on how we can make topics on financial security more relatable and non-judgemental when we engage with our customers.”
Change Machine + Kaiser Permanente Financial Health Initiative will build on Change Machine’s work in setting the standard for inclusive financial coaching. More than 8,000 practitioners serving families, job seekers, students, and more across 45 states have used Change Machine’s platform to build their financial coaching practice, connect with each other, and amplify their national impact. Learn more about embedding financial coaching within your organization and connecting with other nonprofits!
About Change Machine
Founded in 2005, Change Machine builds financial security for low-income communities through people-powered technology. Our products champion the aspirations of those most economically disadvantaged, as well as the expertise of financial coaches and customers, to transform how social service organizations and public agencies work with people to achieve their goals. Over 8,000 practitioners have used our platform to amplify their impact, including putting $45 million in the pockets of their customers. Together, we’re creating an equitable economy in which we all thrive.