The impact of COVID-19 on financial capability and asset building services.

The forced transition from in-person to online activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on how families and communities buy groceries, acquire medical care, and utilize social services. This rapid shift has raised important questions about how to address access and equity. AFN and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Financial Security (CFS) conducted this study to better understand the transition to remote services among financial capability and asset building (FCAB) programs, which includes financial education, counseling, coaching, emergency assistance, benefits navigation, housing supports, workforce development, and other related services. The insights from this study can inform strategies for FCAB services going forward.

This brief reviews recommendations for funders and organizations seeking to learn from the financial capability service delivery models employed in the COVID-19 pandemic, especially related to replication of findings that lead to more equitable delivery practices, improved accessibility of services, and greater financial improvements for clients. Six region-specific briefs complement the national findings - Indiana, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

This brief is generously supported by JPMorgan Chase & Co., MetLife Foundation, and Wells Fargo. 

If you missed the live webinar, watch the recording here.



Annual report 2021

AFN's 2021 Annual Report gives a high level review of our work last year, including some snapshots into the place-based initiatives in our regions. Across our regions, AFN is working with grantmakers on collaborative efforts to advance equitable wealth building and economic mobility.

One example the Annual Report highlights is the Bay Area Small Business Vulnerability Mapping Project. Last year, Bay Area AFN worked with the Urban Displacement Project to develop an online mapping tool highlighting vulnerable businesses owned by people of color. The multistage process also explores the feasibility of a permanent infrastructure for collecting data, monitoring business health, and recommending policies.



Why the Time is Right for a Guaranteed Income with an Equity Lens

Over 50+ mayors in the United States have joined a national initiative Mayor’s for Guaranteed Income (MGI). Many advocates and practitioners now believe the moment has arrived for a guaranteed Income with an equity lens. In this webinar, perspectives from a diverse group of thought leaders involved in GI initiatives including practitioners, government representatives and philanthropy were heard. Panelists shared outcomes and new research results from some of the most successful GI pilots in the country (Stockton and Mississippi); goals for the newly launched Mayor’s for Guaranteed Income; how philanthropy can play a catalytic role and what this moment tells us about the future of guaranteed income initiatives.



Strengthening the Economic Foundation for Youth and Young Adults During COVID & Beyond

The unemployment rate for young workers ages 16–24 jumped from 8.4% to 24.4% from spring 2019 to spring 2020 in the United States, representing four million youth. While unemployment for their counterparts ages 25 and older rose from 2.8% to 11.3% the Spring 2020 unemployment rates were even higher for young Black, Hispanic, and Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers (29.6%, 27.5%, and 29.7%, respectively. 

The following speakers discuss how to build financial security for youth (16-24) in this webinar: Monique Miles, Aspen Institute, Forum for Community Solutions, Margaret Libby, My Path, Amadeos Oyagata, Youth Leader, and Don Baylor, The Annie E. Casey Foundation (moderator).