Jamaica Plain Patch

By MARI ROSS (Open Post) - April 8, 2016 2:54 pm ET

BOSTON – As part of an ongoing commitment to give consumers the confidence and tools they need to be fiscally healthy, Citizens Bank together with Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg announced today that 17 nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts will receive $512,000 in contributions as part of the Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money financial literacy initiative.

The need for funding and education in Massachusetts communities is great; only 35.5 percent of households have three months’ worth of expenses saved[1]. Massachusetts is 1 of 12 states that does not require financial education for students[2].

“Massachusetts citizens are walking a financial tightrope and are in need of the basic necessities that can help them become financially successful,” said Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “Through our Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money program, we are working together with state and nonprofit organizations to empower our fellow citizens with the knowledge and resources they need to budget, save, invest and be fiscally healthy.”

The Women’s Economic Empowerment series - a pilot program through the Economic Empowerment Trust Fund consisting of educational events in Quincy and Newton that focus on wage negotiation, money management, retirement and investment strategies for women of all ages, ethnicities, economic backgrounds and levels of fiscal knowledge - is one of the funding recipients. These free conferences, facilitated by the Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office, enable the state’s female residents to become more informed about how to secure their economic future.

“Our Financial Literacy Task Force found that Massachusetts residents of all ages and backgrounds needed improved access and innovative tools to give them the skills they need to navigate today’s financial environment,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “I am delighted to partner with Citizens Bank in providing educational programming that empowers women throughout our entire state.”

Leveraging the financial expertise of its bankers and its partnerships with local nonprofits focused on financial education, the Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money program this year includes $1.3 million in donations to 77 nonprofits and volunteer outreach by more than 400 trained Citizens colleagues throughout the bank’s 11-state footprint.

Nonprofit organizations were chosen in a competitive application process based on their track record of success providing financial education programs, with clear and measurable goals for the program and sustainable program plans. Massachusetts organizations include:

  1. Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Inc. (Boston)

  2. Crittenton Women’s Union (Boston)

  3. Economic Empowerment Trust Fund (Boston)

  4. Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, Inc. (Boston)

  5. HAPHousing (Springfield)

  6. Lawrence CommunityWorks (Lawrence)

  7. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Boston)

  8. Madison Park Development Corporation (Roxbury)

  9. Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, Inc. (Dorchester)

  10. Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc. (East Boston)

  11. Teach For America (Boston)

  12. The Midas Collaborative, Inc. (Boston)

  13. The Neighborhood Developers (Boston)

  14. uAspire Inc. (Boston)

  15. United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Inc. (Boston)

  16. Urban Edge Housing Corporation (Roxbury)

  17. Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, Inc. (Roxbury)

One of Treasurer Goldberg’s first initiatives in her administration was the creation of the Task Force on Financial Literacy, a group of policymakers, educators, bankers and advocates responsible for examining the state of financial education in Massachusetts. The Task Force completed a comprehensive study of access to financial education in Massachusetts, and released a detailed set of actionable recommendations to enhance financial literacy throughout the state.

[1] Report on Financial Literacy in Massachusetts: A Roadmap to Economic Empowerment; http://www.mass.gov/treasury/empowerment/finlit/taskforce/

[2] Report on Financial Literacy in Massachusetts: A Roadmap to Economic Empowerment; http://www.mass.gov/treasury/empowerment/finlit/taskforce/