By John Thompson, Chief Program Officer, Financial Health Network
Solving the U.S. savings epidemic requires cross-industry partnership and a long view towards better stability for millions. Earlier this year, the Financial Health Network joined forces with BlackRock and fellow nonprofit leaders Commonwealth and Common Cents Lab to make a sizable effort in addressing the nation’s savings epidemic and are honored to be joined by our first partners: UPS, Mastercard, Etsy, Brightside, Arizona State University, and Acorns.
What makes this initiative different from other efforts — and what makes me so excited to be a part of it — is that we have collectively set out to address the savings challenge with a focus on finding corporate and organization partners that are committed to helping their employees, students, and communities change their savings behavior and thrive. Institution-wide adoption of savings techniques and financial health tools is a profound step toward a future that empowers people to save.
Our first group of partners is leading the charge.Working together with us,Commonwealth, and Common Cents Lab, each partner will test proven savings techniques and tools in an attempt to create stable financial cushions for the unexpected yet unavoidable emergency life expenses that arise.
According to the 2018 U.S. Financial Health Pulse, 79% of respondents with savings accounts were saving regularly or whenever possible. This finding shows that the issue doesn’t lie with intention; and the solutions should move beyond financial education to tap into designing solutions that meet people where they are. Organizations and employers have an opportunity to leverage behavioral design to provide tools, resources, and capabilities to help people build more emergency savings.
BlackRock’s Savings initiative works to bridge that gap.
The caliber of the initial partners that have signed on sends a profound message that employers are engaged and ready to help their employees and larger communities build financial resilience. This is a huge step in creating a sturdier foundation of financial health in this country. If more companies and organizations can embrace the unique and prime position they are in to enhance the financial lives of their employees, customers, and/or stakeholders, we could see the emergency savings crisis evaporate.
I am looking forward to working toward that reality, and I hope even more companies will join us in this endeavor. Read more about this announcement, and to learn more about the BlackRock Emergency Savings Initiative and how to get involved, please visit https://savingsproject.org/.
BlackRock’s Emergency Savings Initiative is a three-year commitment to help people living on low- to moderate income gain access to and increase usage of proven savings strategies and tools to help them establish an important safety net. Led by their Social Impact team, BlackRock, along with nonprofit experts known for their innovative approach to consumer finance, Financial Health Network (formerly CFSI), Commonwealth, and Common Cents Lab, are working to address the crisis and fuel the future of savings innovation. This post is content developed in conjunction with the Emergency Savings Initiative project.
By Financial Health Network on October 3, 2019.