EMPath Secures $3.7 Million for Economic Mobility Scaling Efforts
Nov 19, 2020
BOSTON – EMPath (Economic Mobility Pathways)—a nonprofit that helps individuals move out of poverty, and helps other organizations do the same—has received a first round of funding to expand its impact. The Studio @ Blue Meridian has committed $2 million; the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has committed $1.24 million; and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $500,000. The funding will allow EMPath to expand both its direct services in Boston, and its impact nationally via its learning network.
The extraordinary outcomes of families who engage in the EMPath’s intensive coaching program drew the attention of these major national funders, as well as the early network members. Individuals who complete the nonprofit’s flagship program increase their annual incomes 183% on average, moving from $16,000 to $46,000. The organization currently serves roughly 1,300 individuals in Greater Boston ever year.
The funds will allow the expansion of coaching for an additional 200 families for three years. EMPath has partnered with the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) to recruit families with low incomes for the project. Included in the expansion is a rigorous evaluation of the coaching model, which will be led by Lawrence Katz, Scientific Co-Director of J-PAL North America and a Research Principal of Opportunity Insights at Harvard University. EMPath, BHA, and Katz have entered into a planning phase and aim to start working with the additional families in early June 2021.
The funds will also allow for the expansion of the nonprofit’s learning network, by which other social service practitioners learn and implement the coaching model in their own areas. The network currently includes over 140 nonprofit and government organizations located around the country.
What started as a pilot program for 20 families in South Boston has now reached over 220,000 individuals across states and countries.
“We have been doing this work for more than a decade, and have built a model that is demonstrably impactful. We’re excited to be able to reach new families, especially during a time when we know so many people are struggling,” says Elisabeth D. Babcock, President and CEO of EMPath.
EMPath will seek a second round of funding for the dual expansion of their direct services and network.
EMPath is a Boston-based nonprofit that disrupts poverty through direct services, advocacy and research, and a global learning network. Through a unique approach that combines direct service programs with research on the root causes of poverty, EMPath developed Mobility Mentoring®, a coaching model for creating pathways to economic independence for low-income families. More at www.EMPathways.org.