As part of our commitment to addressing key community issues, United Way of Washtenaw County is developing strategies to positively impact the financial stability of our citizens. The goal is to help move people towards greater economic self-sufficiency and away from the safety-net services that are used during crisis situations. Below, find research, tools and information that informs our Financial Stability work.
(For Individual Financial Coaching and Resources: See our Financial Stability for Individuals page)
Agency Tools and Resources
Your Money, Your Goals: This toolkit can be used by agencies to add some financial empowerment into their existing programming. The toolkit is designed to supplement the work that is already being done by social workers and case managers.
MoneySmart Curriculum: FDIC Money Smart workshops can be downloaded or ordered via CD-Rom from the FDIC. Money Smart curriculum is widely used across the financial education sector. Module based, the FDIC Money Smart materials cover a wide range of topics, and are produced for multiple age groups. It is also possible to pick and choose information from different modules to create an effective presentation based on individual group needs.
Video: Payday Loan Debt Traps Explained (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 2016)
Banking Product Matrix: Grid of available banking products at each bank for low-income consumers. (Southeast Michigan Alliance for Economic Inclusion)
Microloans Presentation (Angela Barbash of Revalue Investing, May 2016)
Research & Data
Debt in America: Interactive map that puts the pervasiveness of America's modern debt epidemic on full display. The main takeaway? While Americans struggle with househodl deb from coast to coast, residents in the South-especially residents of color-are much more likely to have debt in collections. (2017)
The Road to Zero Wealth: Report from Prosperity Now on how the racial wealth divide is hollowing out America's middle class.
New America Map: This interactive map shows the ratio of alternative to mainstream financial services by state and county. The map can also be explored relative to counties’ demographics, such as median household income and percent minority population.
Opportunity Atlas: An interactive data tool that tracks where people grew up and their chances of climbing the economic ladder. (U.S. Census Bureau & Opportunity Insights)
Prosperity Now Scorecard: These data show that that “even as many major economic indices suggest that the U.S. economy is gaining momentum, only a lucky few are actually enjoying the opportunity to get by and get ahead. This year’s Scorecard assesses the states on 113 measures in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Homeownership & Housing, Health Care and Education.
The Inequality Longevity Gap: Findings of a recent Congressional Research Service report showing a gap in life expectancy between rich and poor people and discusses why that gap is making social security less progressive. What's happened is that longevity for those in the bottom 20% has stagnated or even moved backward, while it has soared for those at the top. (LA Times, 2017)
Tax-Time Savings Research: Overview of gathered research about individuals' likelihood to save all or part of their tax refunds. (Mat Despard, UofM School of Social Work, 2016)
EITC Periodic Payment white paper: Examination of policy idea to provide EITC payments in installments, rather than a lump sum. (Brookings Institute, December 2015)
Asset Value of Whiteness: Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap: "This paper explores a number of these popular explanations for the racial wealth gap, looking at individual differences in education, family structure, full- or part-time employment, and consumption habits. In each case, we find that individual choices are not sufficient to erase a century of accumulated wealth: structural racism trumps personal responsibility." (Demos, Feb 6, 2017)
Black Wealth/White Wealth: Hidden Costs of Being Black: Tom Shapiro is the Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy and the Director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University. Shapiro is a leader in the asset development field with a particular focus on closing the racial wealth gap. He is the author of The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality, and with Dr. Melvin Oliver, he wrote the multi award-winning Black Wealth/ White Wealth. (Video of presentation from Tom Shapiro at Brown University, 2015)
The Ever-Growing Gap: This report examines the growing racial wealth divide for Black and Latinos households and the ways that accelerating concentrations of wealth at the top compound and exacerbate this divide. (Institute for Policy Studies and CFED, August 2016)
Closing the Opportunity Gap: White paper distilling the best evidence-based ideas for narrowing the opporutnity gap. (Harvard Kennedy School: The Saguro Seminar, 2016)
The short guide to "Capital in the 21st Century": Explainer covering important economics book detailing the growing wealth disparity around the globe. (Vox, 2014)
The millennial success sequence: Marriage, kids, and the 'success sequence' among young adults: This report examines the 'success sequence,' a pattern of behaivors and milestones to adulthood that research would suggest stear them away from poverty. (AEI, 2017)
Finland Pilots Universal Basic Income: Initial findings of this pilot program in Finland show a reduction in stress levels of citizens. (Independent, May 8, 2017)
Disrupting Food Insecurity:This dashboard equips counties with data about their food insecuirty levels and related risk factors, identifies cross-cutting opportunities for intervention and groups counties by shared challenges. This is a useful tool to see the intersection between food insecurity and employment, debt, and credit score.