Community foundation pledges $ 25,000 for financial empowerment
Focus on financial advice to make sound financial decisions
PATERSON, New Jersey – The Community Foundation of New Jersey announced today that it has pledged $ 25,000 for the financial empowerment of residents of Paterson. The funding will take the form of a grant to the Paterson Financial Empowerment Center (FEC), which was launched in June 2021.
With professional and one-on-one financial advice, residents are able to tackle current financial challenges, many of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and plan for the future. Three trained financial advisors run free one-hour sessions with low-income residents to help them create financial plans. While the financial plans are individualized, the sessions focus on debt reduction plans; establish, improve and build credit scores; grow your savings; increase the net worth of residents; and access secure and affordable traditional banking products.
“The Community Foundation of New Jersey was one of the founding partners of the FEC, believing in the vision of financial empowerment for the residents of Paterson and establishing a fund at the Foundation to help activate the philanthropic community,” noted the Mayor of Paterson Andre Sayegh. “We are now very grateful for this investment from CFNJ to continue the good work of helping our residents achieve the American dream of financial stability and upward mobility, which will impact generations to come. “
First founded in New York City, the Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) model has been successfully implemented in 26 cities and counties nationwide. The FEC model is based on the belief that all individuals, regardless of their income, deserve equal access to professional financial advice to empower themselves within their families.
The program will bring special value to Paterson, where many residents are underserved. Almost 15% of households in Paterson are unbanked, which means they do not have a bank account or use any other form of financial institution, which is more than 50% above the average for the state. More than 30 percent of Paterson’s households are underbanked, which includes people who have bank accounts but have frequently used non-traditional financial institutions in the past twelve months, such as non-bank money orders, banking services. ‘cashing non-bank checks, remittances, payday loans, option-to-buy leases, pawn shops or prepayment loans.
Since its launch in June, the Paterson FEC has served 157 Paterson residents.
“This proven model is a great example of how public-private partnership can fund programs to promote economic inclusion,” said Nalune François, program associate at the Community Foundation of New Jersey. “For many, Paterson’s FEC may be a first introduction, and for others, it may be the only path to wealth creation.”
The program is jointly managed by the Town of Paterson and the United Way of Passaic County. A true public-private partnership, it is funded by both the City and private philanthropy, integrating financial empowerment strategies into local government infrastructure. Partnership and collaboration among local government, community organizations, and philanthropy are fundamental to providing advice, engaging residents, achieving results, and sustaining the program.
Those interested in joining the initiative can contact Nalune François, program associate at the Community Foundation of New Jersey, at [email protected]
About the New Jersey Community Foundation
With $ 800 million in assets, the Community Foundation of New Jersey creates and scales personalized solutions for motivated individuals, families and businesses. The level of precision of CFNJ’s investment and grant-making capabilities is made possible by a team of specialists who understand the unique contours of communities and can manage the reach of CFNJ’s giving vehicles. From creative projects that address critical societal or political issues to scholarship funds, corporate philanthropy, legacy funds, and donor-advised funds, CFNJ manages nearly any giving vehicle and tailors solutions for meet critical needs. More than 1,100 funds award tens of millions of dollars each year, including $ 100 million in 2021 in New Jersey and beyond.
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