Jul 5, 2013

Supporting innovative partnerships


When a group of nonprofits wanted to launch a public-private initiative to connect low-income households without bank accounts to affordable, mainstream financial services, we engaged 36 donors to help. In Napa County, it’s estimated that more than 2,000 households are “unbanked,” which means they use expensive check-cashing or pay-day lending services that can cost each family up to $4,000 in fees annually. Half a dozen agencies with deep experience helping at-risk households build self-sufficiency partnered with local banks to develop a program based on a proven, best-practice model used nationwide. Bank On Napa Valley launched in January 2013, and now, many who previously have been “locked out” from the financial mainstream will be able to open low-cost personal checking or savings accounts, build a banking track record, and learn how to manage their finances.


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