New UW grant looks to expand financial literacy programs throughout Wabash Valley

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – United Way of the Wabash Valley on Tuesday announced the first grant opportunity issued from the newly formed Financial Management Impact Council.

The council is part of the United Way’s transition, which started over a year ago, to a collective impact focus on the root causes of generational poverty within their 6-county service area of Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties in Indiana and Clark County in Illinois.

The new council focuses on promoting financial coaching and income management in support of United Way’s bold goal to move 10,000 families out of financial struggles and into stability.

Jennifer Jones, a CPA at Sackrider & Company, Inc., and co-chair of the Financial Management Council explained the new grant opportunity.

“Our council knows that many people in our community are struggling financially,” Jennifer Jones, a CPA at Sackrider & Company, Inc., and co-chair of the Financial Management Council explained. “According to the Federal Reserve, nearly 40% of Americans do not have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency and we only expect that number to rise based on the recent COVID job losses and economic fall-out. We want to work on breaking that cycle of struggle by providing individuals with help on how to handle their finances and invest in themselves. We are looking for organizations to coordinate direct financial literacy training and/or financial mentoring. These programs will be able to directly measure outcomes such as banking reserve (an increase of the average daily balance for emergency savings accounts) and credit scores of individuals to measure their effectiveness.”

The council is soliciting proposals to expand financial literacy training, coaching and/or mentoring in the Wabash Valley. These proposals should be from qualified applicants who can coordinate, manage, and monitor initial training programs and post-training coaching/mentoring assignments.

The initiative must expand all participants’ ability to understand and properly apply financial management skills. United Way is making available up to $100,000 in funding to be provided for an initial one-year contract term.

“These programs will be able to meet individuals where they are to provide vital training and support in how to handle their finances,” said United Way Executive Director, Richard Payonk. “Here locally over 44% of our households are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and are unable to afford their basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care, and transportation. This initiative is a very important step towards our bold goal and in turn creating a stronger community by empowering individuals to become more financially secure.”

Organizations interested in applying for the Financial Skills Development grant opportunity can find the full request and all proposal documents on the United Way website at uwwv.org/funding.

There will be a virtual meeting for those interested in the grant at 5 p.m. Aug. 11. RSVP to Mark Johnson at mjohnson@uwwv.org for a link to the virtual meeting.

Letters of intent, the first step in the application process, are due Aug. 21.

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