Designing a remote financial help service

Amidst the COVID-19 lockdown, community service agencies across Canada have had to rapidly adapt the way they engage and support people in the community. ​ A growing number of Canadians need (or soon will need) support as they deal with the financial strain brought on by an unprecedented global pandemic. ​Community agencies would like to help connect people to support and there is increased interest in how to deliver that support remotely. ​

Over a nine-month period beginning mid 2020, and with funding from Capital One, Prosper Canada worked alongside service design firm Bridgeable and community agencies in Manitoba, British Columbia, and Ontario to study the remote delivery of financial help services in each setting. The research was followed by a period of learning, sharing and data collection reflected in the reports and toolkit published here.



Reports
These slide decks describe the goals and outcomes of this project.
Socialization deck: Supporting the design of a remote financial help service (Bridgeable)

Client Journey maps
These journey maps offer a visual explanation of the process used by the 3 participating community agencies offering one-on-one client support.
Family Services of Greater Vancouver
SEED Winnipeg
Thunder Bay Counselling

Toolkit
This toolkit was developed in collaboration with community partners, and shares tools for coaches and clients in the virtual one-on-one process.
Virtual service delivery tools (Toolkit)

Roadblocks and Resilience

This report, Roadblocks and Resilience Insights from the Access to Benefits for Persons with Disabilities project, provides insights on the barriers people with disabilities in British Columbia face in accessing key income benefits. These insights, and the accompanying service principles that participants identified, were obtained by reviewing existing research, directly engaging 16 B.C. residents with disabilities and interviewing 18 researchers and service providers across Canada. We will use these insights to inform development and testing of a pilot service to support people with disabilities to access disability benefits.

The related journey map Common steps to get disability benefits also illustrates the complexities of this benefits application process. 

This journey map illustrates the process of applying for the Disability Tax Credit.

The journey map Persons with Disability (PWD) status illustrates the process of preparing for and applying for and maintaining Persons with Disabilities Status and disability assistance in B.C.



Helping financial empowerment champions deliver critical services to low-income Canadians

Service design consultancy Bridgeable provides an overview of the project partnership with Prosper Canada in April 2020 to take a design sprint approach in providing remote tax-filing and benefits application service solution.

Over the course of four consecutive days, Bridgeable worked with eighteen financial empowerment champion (FEC) partners to generate solutions to four key aspects for remote service delivery:

  1. Communicating with clients
  2. Verifying client ID
  3. Obtaining consent or signatures
  4. Obtaining or accessing client information



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.



From Emergency to Opportunity: Building a Resilient Alberta Nonprofit Sector After COVID-19

This report presents an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the nonprofit sector drawn from data collected in CCVO's Alberta Nonprofit Survey, data from surveys by the Alberta
Nonprofit Network, Imagine Canada, and partner organizations across the country.

The analysis in this report shows that the effects on the nonprofit sector have been magnified through increased service demand, decreased revenue, and diminished organizational capacity coupled by delays in support and inadequate recognition for the leadership role that the sector is being called upon to play.



Five good ideas for remote client service work

Marco Campana shares his five good ideas for nonprofit organizations to connect deeply with their clients and communities and to start thinking about what their work might look like in the post-pandemic new normal.



Virtual tax filing: Piloting a new way to file taxes for homebound seniors

WoodGreen Community Services, a large multi-service frontline social service agency in Toronto, provides free tax preparation services year-round to people living on low incomes. WoodGreen was interested in designing a novel solution to address the tax filing needs of homebound seniors who are unable to access WoodGreen’s free in-person tax-preparation services due to physical or mental health challenges. Specifically, WoodGreen wanted to know… How might we provide high-quality professional tax preparation services to all clients whether or not they are onsite? Prosper Canada and a leading commercial tax preparation software company partnered with WoodGreen Community Services in order to answer this design question.



Supported Self-File: Piloting a new way to empower individuals to file taxes independently

Many frontline community organizations provide free tax preparation services to people living on low incomes across Canada using a variety of methods. However, when COVID-19 struck, a large majority of agencies offering free tax-filing supports were forced to close their doors and halt in-person services. Non-profit organizations, EBO (Ottawa) and WoodGreen Community Services (Toronto) with a long-standing history of delivering tax-filing supports, needed to explore alternative models that catered to the different needs of their clientele.

Prosper Canada and Intuit, a leading commercial tax preparation software company, partnered with WoodGreen and EBO, in order to answer this design question.

These journey maps describe the process of this service flow, from intake to client sessions and post-session activities.