Change Machine’s Approach To Partnership Success
Change Machine works with social service agencies on the front line of anti-poverty work to sustainably embed financial security services into their existing programs. Our comprehensive, tailored approach provides capacity building to the whole organization — from frontline staff to financial coaches to leadership — through practitioner-tested tools and strategies. Working with organizations across the country for more than a decade, Change Machine has refined its capacity building services to support organizations across a myriad of sectors and sizes.
Supports for Frontline Staff
Change Machine provides extensive training support for frontline staff that is built from lessons learned and best practices from the field. The training empowers frontline staff to provide fundamental financial coaching services to their program participants. We teach frontline staff how to build basic “hard” skills (financial security content) and “soft” skills (coaching to support retention, goal setting, and relationship building).
Change Machine’s training content is for beginners to advanced financial coaches and includes topics such as setting action-driven financial goals, prioritizing and managing different kinds of debt, and creating savings plans. During training, staff also practice session management, retention techniques, and effective action planning.
Change Machine’s training model is based in an RCT-tested financial coaching model. In 2015, Change Machine (formerly The Financial Clinic) announced the results of a groundbreaking national study that conclusively demonstrated its financial coaching model and programs help low- and moderate income people move toward achieving their financial goals. The milestone study, “An Evaluation of the Impacts and Implementation Approaches of Financial Coaching Programs,” led by the Urban Institute and funded by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, shows for the first time that financial coaching, once viewed as an emerging field, can make a measurable difference in an individual’s financial well-being by helping clients take financial control of their lives – resulting in improved credit, reduced debt and increased savings. With financial coaching, participants saw a $1,721 increase in savings, a $1,009 decrease in debt, a 33 point increase in credit score, decreased levels of financial stress, and increased satisfaction in financial status.
Supports for Organizational Leadership
Change Machine works with leadership teams to create a concrete action plan, implement new strategies, surmount implementation barriers, and examine how financial security services and the coaching approach can amplify the achievement of all of their outcomes.
To support organizations through the process of embedding financial security strategies into their programs — especially for under-financed nonprofits that struggle with infrastructure and core support — Change Machine uses its Capacity Building Framework, to examine and prioritize elements of an organization’s business model where they can sustainably embed financial security work.
Capacity Building Framework
- Goal & Vision Setting: Organizations set goals for financial security work in their program and envision how financial security services will enhance the achievement of their mission.
- Service Delivery: Organizations implement financial security activities into their existing programs.
- Infrastructure & Staff Support: Organizations memorialize financial security work by changing organizational protocols and integrating staff onboarding and professional development services into existing procedures.
- Development: Organizations identify development priorities and create a strategy to fundraise for and sustain financial security strategies.
- Outreach, Marketing, and Communications: Organizations review and revise stakeholder materials to include financial security services.
- Partnership Building: Organizations create plans and develop referral processes to community partners whose services would enhance their delivery of financial security strategies.
What Success Looks Like for the Change Machine’s Partners
PARTICIPANT FINANCIAL SECURITY: Practitioners who embed financial coaching strategies have more financially secure clients:
- 32% increase in savings balances
- 31% increase in credit scores, with a third of that total moving to a higher scoring tier
- 50% reduced their debt
MISSION AMPLIFIED: After embedding financial coaching, partner organizations see better results and higher outcomes:
- Weekly income increased $34.43
- After two meetings, the number of clients achieving outcomes doubled
ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE: Partner organizations make building financial security a permanent and sustainable part of their service delivery models.
- 63% created new marketing materials to build new stakeholders and audiences
- 38% were able to successfully raise money for a financial coach