Bank On Sacramento
Sacramento Community Based Organization Opening Doors Partners with Bank on Sacramento to Provide Financial Education Workshops
Opening Doors is a Bank on Sacramento community based organization (CBO) partner. They have conducted a financial education workshop every month as part of their partnership. Opening Doors partnered with Bank on Sacramento because they knew there was a need for information on the importance of being part of the financial mainstream by the community members they serve. Opening Doors felt this need was particularly strong for recent immigrants, particularly for those from Spanish-speaking countries that have financial systems that are significantly different from the US financial system. Oftentimes, their experience has taught them to distrust financial institutions. Additionally, they believe they will face language barriers when they walk into a bank or credit union.
The Bank on Sacramento financial education workshops facilitated by Opening Doors have been well-accepted and extremely beneficial to unbanked members of the community. Since June 2010, Opening Doors has presented ten financial education seminars to more than 114 unbanked participants. Each three-hour financial education workshop was conducted in Spanish by a volunteer trainer from Wells Fargo Bank, also a Bank on Sacramento partner, and focused on basic banking topics, including the difference between a bank and credit union, how to use a checking and savings account, as well as budgeting and other money management topics.
Providing the participants with the opportunity to establish a relationship with a Spanish-speaking representative of a local financial institution is a very important part of the workshop. This interaction builds trust and enables participants to feel comfortable about asking questions and navigating the unfamiliar and often complex financial system.
At the end of each workshop, Opening Doors found that most attendees expressed their desire to learn more and were eager for additional training on more complex financial transactions including using and managing credit, saving for college, preparing for homeownership and/or to start a business. It became clear to Opening Doors that a more intensive and sustained program including a range of money management subjects was needed. This led Opening Doors to create MoneyWork$, a six-month financial makeover program, which was launched in January. Twenty-two participants of the Bank on Sacramento financial education seminars went on to enroll in the MoneyWork$ program and many others are on a list to participate in future MoneyWork$ cohorts.
MoneyWork$ is conducted in both English and Spanish and includes information about the US financial services system, banking, budgeting, credit, reducing debt, and increasing savings. MoneyWork$ was designed to help participants reach their financial goals. The program includes individual financial coaching and peer support groups along with informational seminars provided by professionals from community financial institutions and nonprofit organizations.
Opening Doors is seeking additional partnerships with banks and credit unions that have branches in the community to help Bank on Sacramento financial education workshop participants gain access to financial institution representatives allowing them to have a wider range of options when it comes to banking and financial services.
To contact Opening Doors about partnering to provide financial education workshops, please contact David Blicker, Executive Director, at 916-492-2591 x206 or Roxana Calderon, Program Director, at 916-492-2008.
About Opening Doors
Opening Doors began in 1993 as a small refugee resettlement agency called the Sacramento Refugee Ministry, which was sponsored by the Interfaith Service Bureau. Opening Doors assisted refugees that were arriving in the Sacramento area from the former Soviet Union, Southeast Asia and elsewhere to begin new lives here. Opening Doors started the Microenterprise Assistance program to help immigrants start businesses in order to become self-sufficient. In 2003, after a great deal of growth, Opening Doors incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. In 2004 Opening Doors became a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). They grew their business microloan program and began offering tools and training for those attempting to assert more control over their personal finances.
Learn more about Opening Doors by visiting their Web site.
About Bank on Sacramento
Bank on Sacramento is a regional coalition and member of the statewide Bank on California initiative started in 2008 to help Californians open a bank account and avoid the high cost of checking cashing services and start saving for the future. California is lauded as the first state in the nation to launch the initiative seeking to draw the “unbanked” into the financial mainstream.