Working closely with our Bank On National Advisory Board and other key stakeholders, the CFE Fund has released these Bank On National Account Standards. These standards provide local programs with a benchmark for account partnerships with financial institutions, and include both core and recommended features. The Standards were inspired by the 2012 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Model Safe Accounts Template.
The CFE Fund supports local Bank On coalitions through best practices found in our Bank On Coalition Playbook. Chapters cover a range of topics, including Guiding Principles for the Bank On Movement; the Bank On National Account Standards (2017-2018); a template Statement of Principles for partnerships between local Bank On coalitions and financial institutions ; information on the Bank On National Account validation process; local Strategies for Navigating Financial Institution Partnerships and Account Certification; a Bank On Coalition Logic Model; a checklist for Launching or Relaunching a coalition, a handout for financial institutions on the benefits of Bank On National Account Standard Certification, and details on the new Bank On Listserv.
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Bank On Capacity Grant
The CFE Fund’s Bank On Capacity Grant aims to assist leadership of local Bank On coalitions in expanding banking access. The CFE Fund invites proposals from existing local Bank On coalitions; applicants should be coalition leaders, from either city or local government agencies, or nonprofit community organizations working in concert with local government. These capacity building grants support local coalitions in the adoption of the Bank On National Account Standards and for the ongoing operations of local Bank On efforts. The CFE Fund makes Capacity Grants of up to $25,000 on a rolling basis; in their proposal, applicants should commit to a staff member spending at least 50% (0.5 FTE) of their time leading the Bank On coalition. The CFE Fund is accepting applications on a rolling basis.
The CFE Fund’s Bank On Startup Grant supports new or newly re-launched Bank On Coalitions in laying the foundation and developing the necessary infrastructure for coalition success. These capacity building grants will support local coalitions in the adoption of the Bank On National Account Standards and in launching or relaunching local Bank On initiatives. The CFE Fund is currently accepting applications for this funding opportunity, and will make grants of up to $5,000 on a rolling basis.
The CFE Fund supports a number of innovative local and multi-city efforts to improve banking access. Combined with our robust learning community, lessons learned from these investments provide key insights for the field. The Innovation Fund Grant supports the development of replicable, large-scale programs that connect underserved populations to certified accounts to enable households to preserve their earnings and build assets. The CFE Fund will make grants of up to $50,000 on a rolling basis to implement programs or pilot projects that test new, innovative methods of reaching underserved markets, particularly through local government service channels – apply now. See past Innovation Fund grants here.
Banking Connect Pilot Initiatives
Building off the successes of the national Bank On and Summer Jobs Connect initiatives, the CFE Fund is testing different ways to integrate banking access into existing municipal and community programs; for example, the CFE Fund is supporting local partnerships that link high school age youth and their families to the financial mainstream through safe and affordable bank accounts, as well as innovative programmatic approaches to helping unbanked people open safe and affordable accounts when they start a new job.
Pilot partners identify ways to integrate banking access into existing youth and workforce development programs, and have established local connections with financial institutions to offer bank accounts certified as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards or the Youth Account Priorities. The goal of these pilots is to learn more about how existing programs can leverage payment touchpoints to support account opening for program participants.
Bank On Fellowship
The CFE Fund’s Bank On Fellowship Program provides match funding of up to $45,000 per year for two years to Bank On coalitions to support a full-time staff position (a “Fellow”) to lead their coalition’s activities. As part of this multi-city cohort of local leaders, the CFE Fund provides intensive technical assistance support, training, and resources both individually and to the group.