Building Financial Assets Research Project
2011 begins year two of this multi-phased research project that involves assessing how successfully frontline staff, trained in financial coaching, can move adults in poverty toward financial independence. This project's fundamental goal is to determine how successfully clients achieve economic success when working with a trained financial coach and meeting his or her life and financial goals in order to move and stay out of poverty. Human and social services professionals participating in the implementation of this research project will complete the Financial Coaching for Prosperity by end of October 2011. This is an intensive training program developed by Burst for Prosperity in close partnership with the Washington Asset Building Coalition. Upon the conclusion of the training, Burst for Prosperity will begin examining the impact of the training on both the "coaches" and their clients.
Burst for Prosperity is aware of the great work being done across the country in the field of financial coaching, thus this examination will pay particular attention to how this work complements that of groups like EARN and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. For example, Burst for Prosperity will not only examine how successfully financial coaching raises the awareness and utilization of asset-building tools among adults in poverty but also how effectively these trained staff can empower their clients to hold themselves accountable in using these tools to move and stay out of poverty, particularly during crisis moments. Encouraging accountability in an empowering manner is paramount to clients having the ability to stay out of poverty due to the difficulty in addressing their survival modality. By the close of this project, Burst for Prosperity seeks to better understand how clients are able to achieve greater resiliency that allows them to weather life and financial storms.
We strategically allocate resources to conduct scalable or replicable pilot programs in order to demonstrate effective solutions that assist individuals with building both personal and financial assets that promote long term sustainable financial independence.
A closer look
Classifying families by education status, one of the best proxies for long-term economic status, reveals that families headed by someone who did not complete high school have only $49,900 in median asset holdings, compared with families headed by a college graduate, which have asset holdings of $357,000, or seven times as much.
Source: The Urban Institute