The Economic Reality of The Asian American Pacific Islander Community Is Marked by Diversity and Inequality, Not Universal Success

By most measures of economic success—whether it be income, education, wealth or employment—Asian Americans are doing well in the United States, both when compared to other communities of color as well to White households. But while these measures of success are noteworthy, the way they are collected, analyzed and presented all too often masks the disparate financial situations of the dozens of ethnic subgroups categorized as “Asian American.”

This brief explores some of the misconceptions that feed into broadly held beliefs that all members of the AAPI community are part of one large homogenous and successful group.



Responding to Client’s “Now, Soon, & Later” Needs

This is a three-part webinar series exploring how practitioners, policymakers, and product developers are supporting the diverse savings needs of LMI households during the ongoing crisis. Solutions that help families save flexibly for short, intermediate, and/or long-term goals that address their current and future needs are discussed.



Tax Prep Dispatch: Alternative Service Delivery Tips!

Tips and considerations for providing alternative tax filing service delivery.



Tax Prep Dispatch: The Drop-Off Process

Considerations and best practices for drop-off and virtual tax filing services.



Virtual VITA Toolkit: Program Strategies

Program strategies grounded in an understanding of your community can increase the likelihood of engagement and follow-through. The following resources are intended to support VITA programs with implementation strategies at key program stages, like outreach and intake, and offer examples of how other virtual VITA programs have addressed critical challenges.



Communicating on Race and Racial Economic Equity

This document is a compilation of best practices and recommendations from a wide range of resources that Prosperity Now’s Racial Wealth Divide Initiative (RWDI) and Communications teams thought would be helpful for naming, framing, defining and understanding the issue of racial economic equity. Design guidelines on visually depicting diverse communities and definitions of important terms and concepts for understanding the nuance and complexity of racial economic equity, the racial wealth divide and racial wealth equity are provided.



Prosperity Now Scorecard Cost-Of-Living Profiles by State

Prosperity Now has created state-level Cost-of-Living profiles as new features on their Scorecard website. The Prosperity Now Cost of Living profiles provide a comprehensive look at the financial stability of every person living in the United States. Each state profile can be downloaded and used to determine the true cost of living is in the state, based on median monthly income and discretionary spending left at the end of each month after expenses. These values determine what is left over for emergency expenses and long-term aspirational expenses. 

This video presents the cost of living in Georgia.



Taking Stock and Looking Ahead: The Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color

Nearly a year since the outbreak began, and eight months since it was declared a global pandemic, COVID-19 has devastated hundreds of thousands of lives and millions of people’s economic prospects throughout the country. To date, the effects of this crisis have been wide-reaching and profound, impacting every individual and sector throughout the U.S.

For communities of color, however, the pandemic has been particularly damaging as these communities have not only been more likely to contract and succumb to the virus, but also more likely to bear the brunt of the many economic impacts that have come from it—including more likely to be unemployed and slower to regain jobs lost.

The Asset Building Policy Network and a panel of experts discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on communities of color, the fiscal policy measures congress has enacted to curtail those impacts and what can be done through policy and programs to foster an equitable recovery and more inclusive economy moving forward.



Human Insights Tools & Resources

Human insights are used when designing programs and improving services through understanding clients’ hidden preferences, environment factors and behaviors. The Human Insights Tools from Prosperity Now are intended to take you through the process of discovering opportunities for innovation from clients’ point of view, designing solutions to meet those needs, and testing your ideas to ensure they bring about the needed change.

Tools and resources are presented for each of the discover, design, and test phases.



How Are the Most Vulnerable Households Navigating the Financial Impact of COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has already had an unprecedented impact on the financial lives of households across the United States. During June and July 2020, Prosperity Now conducted a national survey of lower-income households to better understand the circumstances these households are confronted with and the strategies they use to secure resources to navigate this crisis.



Prosperity Now Scorecard

The Prosperity Now Scorecard is a comprehensive resource featuring data on family financial health and policy recommendations to help put all U.S. households on a path to prosperity. The Scorecard equips advocates, policymakers and practitioners with national, state, and local data to jump-start a conversation about solutions and policies that put households on stronger financial footing across five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Homeownership & Housing, Health Care and Education.



Evaluating Tax Time Savings Interventions and Behaviors

This report explores the behaviors and outcomes related to savings and financial well-being of low- and moderate-income (LMI) tax filers in the United States. Findings from research conducted by Prosperity Now, the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis and SaverLife (formerly EARN) during the 2019 tax season are presented. This analysis is unique in that it compares tax filers' outcomes over time across three different tax-filing and savings program platforms: volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) sites, online tax filing through the Turbo Tax Free File Product (TTFFP), and SaverLife's saving program.



Helping Families Save to Withstand Emergencies

This brief identifies policy solutions to help American families build savings to withstand emergencies that threaten their financial stability.



Removing Savings Penalties for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

This brief discusses the savings penalties in public assistance programs in the United States, also known as asset limits, and that actions that can be taken to eliminate these limits and the barriers towards building savings for families living on low income.



Saving for Now and Saving for Later: Rainy Day Savings Accounts to Boost Low-Wage Workers’ Financial Security

This report discusses the vulnerability of millions of people in the US who lack adequate emergency savings. A workplace-based solution—rainy day savings accounts— can potentially help workers with low savings weather financial shocks.



Consumer Perspectives on Fintech

This brief raises consumer perspectives on financial technology (fintech), and offers guidance for fintech developers on how to best serve low- to moderate-income clients.



Running in Place: Why the Racial Wealth Divide Keeps Black and Latino Families From Achieving Economic Security

This report examines data from the Federal Reserve System’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances to understand how the wealth of median Black, Latino and White families have changed since the findings of its previous survey were released in 2013.



Introducing Savings

This is one video in a series of videos catered to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program volunteers on how to introduce the savings conversation to tax filers during the tax filing process. This video shows what the savings conversation could look like at different points in the tax preparation process: when reviewing the Intake Sheet and when entering wage information. The video also includes examples of commonly heard reasons tax filers give for not wanting to save, and possible responses.



Giving Savings Advice

This is one video in a series of videos catered to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program volunteers on how to introduce the savings conversation to tax filers during the tax filing process. This video shows what the savings conversation could look like at a specific point in the tax preparation process: when entering dependent information. The video also includes examples of commonly heard reasons tax filers give for not wanting to save, and possible responses.



Talking About Savings

This is one video in a series of videos catered to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program volunteers on how to introduce the savings conversation to tax filers during the tax filing process. This video discusses why promoting savings at tax time is a critical component of VITA volunteers.



Expanding Educational Opportunity Through Savings

This brief discusses the benefits that Children's Savings Accounts (CSAs) bring to help more families save for their children's education. Recommendations to federal policies in the United States are made for the purpose of helping families to start saving early to build greater savings and impact.



Spurring Savings Innovations: Human Insight Methods for Savings Programs

This brief uses the experiences of participants in a service design process called the Savings Innovation Learning Cluster (SILC) to gather key insights into client perspectives and how it can be used to better program design. Four human insights research and design methods are explored—client interviews, client journey mapping, concept boards and prototyping—which can be used to develop more effective savings programs. 



Fact File: Women Lack Sufficient Wealth to Achieve Economic Stability

Women own, on average, only 32 cents for every $1 owned by a man in America. Women of color have even less. Both the gender wage gap and the gender wealth gap need to be taken into account to address threats to women's economic security.



Analyzing the Landscape of Saving Solutions for Low-Income Families

To address challenges around savings, the asset building and financial services fields have developed an array of solutions that attempt to support savings and wealth accumulation. However, the landscape of savings solutions is complex, difficult for households to navigate, and full of solutions that are not designed specifically for low-income and low-wealth households.

This brief examines the savings challenges that households face, their underlying causes, and a vision for new solutions. 



More Than Just Taxes

Tax time financial capability services offered at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites range from encouraging taxpayers to save a portion of their refund to free credit reviews, to referrals to financial coaching, and others in between.

This report from Prosperity Now summarizes research findings on VITA programs offering asset-building and financial capability services. Specifically, findings address barriers to be overcome, facilitating factors, and the opportunities for targeted outreach, tailored messages, and policy improvements to move the needle on Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) take-up rates. 



VITA Volunteer Training Platform

This is Prosperity Now’s Taxpayer Opportunity Network VITA Volunteer Training platform, designed to help VITA volunteers (in the United States) train and become certified to provide free tax preparation services. These resources can provide a complete training or supplement the training offered by your VITA site.

This training platform contains twelve (12) modules to prepare you to pass the IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct, Intake, Interview and Quality Review, and Basic Volunteer Certification Tests. This resource is free and open to all VITA volunteers, program managers, site coordinators and others.  Feel free to access and/or download as many of the materials as you’d like! 



Financial Coaching Program Design Guide: A Participant-Centred Approach

This comprehensive resource from Prosperity Now supports organizations in developing a participant-centered financial coaching program. Grounded in a field survey, over 100 interviews, expert advice and beta-testing with six new financial coaching programs, the Coaching Guide highlights the strengths and limitations of financial coaching, offers designs tools, showcases promising models and practices, and includes resources from program leaders and financial coaches. 



Measuring Financial Capability and Well-Being in Financial Coaching Programs

This brief describes the data collected and lessons gleaned from the Financial Coaching Impact & Evaluation Fellowship, which took place over the course of 10 months in 2017. Ultimately, this brief argues that the Financial Well-Being Scale and the Financial Capability Scale are promising tools for financial capability programs seeking to understand the impact of their programs.



The Ever ­Growing Gap: Without Change, African ­American and Latino Families Won’t Match White Wealth for Centuries


This report examines the growing racial wealth divide for Black and Latino and the ways that accelerating  concentrations of wealth at the top compound and exacerbate this divide. It looks at trends in wealth accumulation from 1983 to 2013, as well as projections of what the next thirty years might bring. It  also considers the impact public policy has had in contributing to the racial wealth divide and how new policies can close this gap.




Paving the Way – A Roadmap for Organizations Partnering to Deliver Financial Capability Services

Integrating Financial Capability Services into Community Health Centers

Managing Debt & Setting Goals for the Future

Increasing Income & Managing Expenses

Tips for Providing Financial Capability Services to Immigrant Communities

Families of Color in the Quest to Build Wealth – A Special Report from CFED

So You Want to Conduct A Survey?

Selecting Programs for Integrating Financial Capability Services

Power Point for Frameworks Blog Post

Equitable Investments in the Next Generation: Designing Policies to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Meeting People Where They Are: Five Lessons for Integrating Financial Capability Services

Unaccounted: The Millions of Americans without Bank Accounts

Racial Wealth Divide in Miami

Racial Wealth Divide in New Orleans

An Advocacy Roadmap for Enacting Statewide Policies to Encourage Retirement Savings

Growing Youth Financial Capability through Workforce Development: Opportunities for Lawmakers & Advocates

Building Economic Security in America’s Cities New Municipal Strategies for Asset Building and Financial Empowerment

Encouraging Savings for Public Benefit Recipients, a Win for Families and States

Resource Guide: Lifting Asset Limits in Public Benefit Programs

Lifting Asset Limits Helps Families Save

Rebuilding American Success: Savings and Opportunity for All

What It’s Worth: Strengthening the Financial Future of Family Communities and the Nation

A New Framework for Achieving Household Financial Security

Financial Capability Life Cycle

Financial Coaching Leads to Long-Term Financial Stability

Increasing Financial Well-Being through Integration: Gaining and Retaining Employment

Getting a Head Start on Financial Security

Hidden in Plain Sight: A look at the $335 Billion Federal Asset-Building Budget

Tracking Financial Capability: Select and Collect Indicator Data

Integrating Financial Empowerment Strategies into Housing and Homelessness Prevention Programs

Integrating Financial Empowerment Strategies into Social Service Organizations

Leveraging the Tax Moment to Build Financial Capability

Lead By Design: Deepen Understanding of Program Design & Models to Better Meet People Where They Are

Meeting People Where They Are

Tracking Financial Capability – Identify and Prioritize Your Expected Outcomes

Programs, Policies, Partnerships: Coming Together to Heal the Racial Wealth Divide

The Steep Climb to Economic Opportunity for Vulnerable Families

From Upside Down to Right-Side Up: Redeploying $540 Billion in Federal Spending to Help all Families Save, Invest, and Build Wealth

2014 VITA Data: Volunteer Tax Preparers Helped Return Nearly $4 Billion to Low-Income Taxpayers Across the Nation

Small changes, real impact: Applying behavioral economics in asset-building programs, A brief from the BETA Project

Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services



Building Your Own Platform for Prosperity: A Program Design Toolkit

Tracking Financial Capability – Build Your Logic Model

Integrating Financial Capability: A Toolkit for Social Service Organizations

The Ever-Growing Gap: Without Change, African-American and Latino Families Won’t Match White Wealth for Centuries

Family Strengthening Through Integration and Scaling of Asset-Building Strategies