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Wells Fargo Grants Aim to Improve Financial Health for Struggling Families

October 23, 2019 GMT


With millions of Americans wrestling with financial insecurity, the Wells Fargo Foundation today announced $5.4 million in grants to nine organizations that help struggling households manage their finances, reduce debt, improve credit and gain access to other life-changing economic opportunities.

The nonprofits will develop and scale new approaches to improving financial health through collaboration with healthcare agencies, homeless shelters and others across the public and private sectors. Emphasis is on integrating financial coaching, and asset-building strategies into the delivery of existing social services that meet the complex needs of underserved communities.

“A disproportionate number of low-income households, and other vulnerable populations are living in the shadows and struggling to build savings,” said Brandee McHale, president of the Wells Fargo Foundation. “Given the magnitude of this problem, and the growing wealth divide, we can help more people reach their full potential by embedding financial counseling and other support into places where people already are — whether it’s at the doctor’s office, a library or in a shelter.”

The $5.4 million in grants are part of Wells Fargo’s philanthropic strategy, which focuses on solving three societal challenges: housing affordability, financial health and small business growth. The grants fall into three main categories: financial training, income tax assistance, and savings and credit building.

Financial training

Wells Fargo awarded $3 million in grants to five nonprofits taking new approaches to building the financial skills of underserved consumers, including increased access to financial coaching, and products and services that support their financial health:

Income tax assistance

The federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides free tax preparation services to working families with low-to-moderate incomes, helping them access tax credits and refunds that they depend on for household necessities, debt repayment or savings. The Wells Fargo Foundation awarded two nonprofits a total of $1 million in grants to increase the capacity of VITA programs and reach more taxpayers in need:

Savings and credit building

Approximately 25 percent of U.S. households are considered unbanked or underbanked (FDIC, 2017 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households), which means they don’t have a bank account or have to rely on financial products and services that often have high fees. The Wells Fargo Foundation awarded grants to three nonprofits helping traditionally underserved communities access low-cost financial products that build credit, savings and emergency funds:

About Wells Fargo

Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,500 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com). With approximately 261,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. With its corporate philanthropy, Wells Fargo aims to pave a path to stability and financial success for underserved communities by focusing on housing affordability, small business growth, and financial health, among other local community needs. In 2018, Wells Fargo donated $444 million to nearly 11,000 nonprofits. For 10 consecutive years, Wells Fargo has held the honor of No. 1 in workplace giving by United Way Worldwide. Wells Fargo team members also actively support communities by donating more than 2 million hours of volunteer time in the last year. News, insights and more information on the company’s overall corporate responsibility are available at Wells Fargo Stories and www.wellsfargo.com/impact.

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Melissa Murray


John Campbell




SOURCE: Wells Fargo & Company

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PUB: 10/23/2019 10:12 AM/DISC: 10/23/2019 10:12 AM