The Prosperity Platform, which started in 2018 at Goodwill Central Coast, is a program designed to help people achieve success, whatever success means to them. This is done through setting goals that will increase income, savings, and assets, as well as career advancement counseling; all of which is designed to help individuals work towards economic self‐sufficiency.
There are no eligibility requirements to benefit from these services. All community members have access to the services provided through the Prosperity Platform.
Services are provided through four modalities: Membership, One-Time Financial Counseling, Workshops, and utilization of the Active Referral Network (ARN).
- Membership entails working within a long‐term plan with a Prosperity Planner for two to five years. Members develop their own plan including actions steps to reach short‐term and long‐term goals with the support of the Planner. Members receive one‐on‐one financial coaching including budgeting, debt management, credit building, and access to financial services and products. Members also receive career counseling to advance careers and enroll in training programs. All Members have access to services within the Active Referral Network to successfully enroll and complete programs that increase financial capability.
- One-Time Financial Counseling is for individuals who need support on only one or two occasions, whether it be creating a budget, or learning how to improve their credit, but are not in need of long-term services.
- Workshops are provided on a quarterly basis a variety in topics including: Setting Goals, Basic Banking, Savings Products, Budgeting/FICO Score, Credit/Credit Cards, Lending Products, Checking/Savings Accounts, Homeownership, Mortgage Loans/Interest Rates, and Navigating Financial Aid Products.
- Active Referral Network (ARN) is a network of providers in each county the collaborates to support individual community members. It serves as a forum of active, warm hand-off referrals to support an individual’s journey towards economic self-sufficiency. Members of the ARN include other community-based organizations, banks, credit unions, housing services, and local businesses.
The Prosperity Platform measures individual Member’s progress on the Economic Mobility Continuum (EMC). The EMC measures progress across different life domains that track the ability of individuals to improve their position in the labor market and improve their financial capability. The life domains for the labor market include: employment, education, training, and job retention. The life domains for financial capability include: income, money management, access to financial services, housing, and credit. Each life domain has benchmarks indicating levels of progress in ascending order: in‐crisis, vulnerable, stable, safe and thriving. Individuals move up a benchmark as they reach their own goals and improve their status in the relevant life domain. Individuals are assessed upon program entry and are re‐assessed every three to four months. Thus, the program can track changes in employment, income, financial services, credit, housing, and savings over time. For 2020, 100% of Members have moved up in at least one domain.
The chart below is an example of how success is measured by plotting the domains in the EMC, specifically within the domain of ‘Access to Financial Services’ for both counties. The column on the left is reflecting the assessment completed at entry, whereas the column on the left is after six months – one year of Membership.
The data below reflects enrollments by county for 2020: