Grantmakers and practitioners recognize the importance of financial security for individuals and families, and many organizations therefore offer financial capability programs aimed at strengthening the financial well-being of the people they serve. But good financial capability programs are often high-touch and costly to provide for program administrators, and time consuming for clients to participate in. To benefit fully from such programs’ offerings, clients must actively participate in the program’s coaching, counseling, or other sessions, and engage in related activities to boost their financial health.
Thus, understanding what drives client engagement is critical to helping programs improve program retention and outcomes, and concurrently, helps funders maximize the value of philanthropic dollars and customers’ time. Grantmakers concerned about best practices for funding effective financial capability efforts must therefore understand the vital role of client retention and the strategies for supporting the nonprofit sector to address this challenge.
The brief explains the importance of client retention and engagement for financial capability program success, describes three key barriers to effective program participation, offers strategies to overcome those barriers, and closes with recommendations for philanthropy.