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News from Innovative Changes
MARCH 2011



March is going by quickly and as winter tentatively turns into spring we are opening a satellite office at the Lloyd Center. This move not only provides us a more central location easily accessible by public transit, it also puts us a stone's throw away from our partner of the month,  CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) Oregon.


As we grow, we are also implementing some modifications to our loan eligibility criteria and our financial capability program. By strengthening our lending process we are doing a better job of helping our participants like Aimeera, who are using our loans strategically to help improve her quality of life. Through our partnership with Hacienda CDC we will also soon be offering our Financial Household Stability workshops in English and in Spanish (stay tuned for class postings), helping to address a critical gap in services to one of Oregon's fastest growing populations.


We remain excited to bring you updates on our successes, our learnings, and our services!


Sarah Chenven
Program Director

Aimeera's Story


Aimeera found her way to Innovative Changes through our partner, Bradley Angle, having graduated from their financial planning program: Making Cents. Coming to IC$, Aimeera was interested in building her credit and getting a bank account. Previously in Chex Systems due to a number of overdraft fees, Aimeera was ready to get her finances back on track. Aimeera initially took out a small loan with IC$. Soon after, IC$ was able to refer Aimeera to Sterling Savings Bank for an affordable bank account, despite her prior banking history.


"It's hard to find a way to rebuild credit and get a bank account. Innovative Changes was a great opportunity to become more educated on the importance of credit. They were thorough in explaining everything to me so that I could make informed decisions," remarks Aimeera.


Partner Highlight: CASH Oregon

We happen to be moving suite-side to CASH Oregon

at the heart of their busy season: free tax prep time. CASH Oregon, a nonprofit organization committed to improving the financial health of working individuals and families, is on track to complete over 16,000 tax returns among their 53 sites in the tri-county area this tax season. With the guidance of over 360 certified and committed volunteers, this will translate into the equivalent of over $19 million in federal refunds put back in the pockets of low-income families this year!

Taking a break from his taxing day, we sat down with Rob Justus, Executive Director of CASH Oregon since summer 2010. Since CASH Oregon is a small organization (of four staff), Rob says he does it all-from fundraising, working with the board, setting a tone for the organization, looking for new partnerships, to cleaning toilets. Attracted by  Innovative Changes' similar mission, Rob proposed a co-location that both organizations see as the beginnings of a more thoughtful and longer-term partnership opportunity.

Continue reading >
Financial Education Galore!  SLs

Our monthly seminars are in full swing and we can hardly believe it, but it's time again for another round of our Financial Household Stability classes! This April, we'll be condensing the four part series into two days. Participants can still take the workshops individually or as a series. Our spring financial education schedule is as follows:


Financial Household Stability Workshops: 


Day 1: Saturday, April 16  

Part 1: Making Ends Meet, 10am-12pm

Part 2: Budgeting and Saving, 12:30pm-2:30pm                  Day 2: Saturday, April 23 

Part 3: Hands-On Banking, 10am-12pm   

Part 4: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit, 12:30pm-2:30pm


Class flyer is available here.


Saving, Investing and Risk Management Seminar:


April 6th, 4:30-6pm

This month we'll be joined by Chris Kiichle, a financial advisor at Pacific Capital Resource Inc. Investing can be intimidating, but rewarding. Chris will give us insight on how to leverage savings in a sound and informed way. Participants will leave equiped with tools to plan ahead for a successful financial future.


*This seminar is part of our ongoing monthly seminar series covering special topics of interest to our clients. If you would like to suggest or teach a future seminar or find out more information about our education programs, contact Talia (information below).  


Our classes and seminar will be held at our new location:  

3rd Floor of the Lloyd Center Mall (near Nordstroms), 2201 Lloyd Center, Portland


To Register: call or email Talia at (503)-943-5620/


The classes and the seminar are $5 each and $15 for all four classes. Fee waivers are available for those who qualify. Seminars are open to all.   

April 2 -9 is Money Smart Week!

money smart dollar

Oregon is participating in its first ever Money Smart Week this coming April. Events will take place across the state and cover topics from learning how to apply for a mortgage to teaching young people about credit. Get informed, get in the spirit, attend, host, support a Money Smart Week event! More information available here.
You Can Help!

Innovative Changes is able to keep its rates low because of the donations it receives from those who care about Oregonians. Please help us continue to meet our clients' needs by making a generous donation today.
  • $25 allows an individual to attend our 4-part Household Stability financial education class on cash flow planning, budgeting, saving, banking, and credit.
  • $100 keeps a family warm this winter by covering their heating bill.
  • $150 covers 6 months of intensive individual financial coaching for 1 family.
  • $500 helps a family make car repairs to commute to work.
  • $1,000 keeps a family facing eviction housed.
Your gift will make a difference. Thank you from all of us at Innovative Changes for your generosity this holiday season.

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In This Issue
Aimeera's Story
Partner Highlight: CASH Oregon
Financial Education Galore!
Money Smart Week
You Can Help!
Quick Stats
Quick Stats
As of 3/8/2011



174, averaging $470.40 for a total of $81,850

Revolved amount  

Repaid loans

Financial education clients

 Read the full list of our partners >  
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Our Mission
Innovative Changes exists to help low-income individuals and families, and those who otherwise lack adequate access to capital and/or financial services, manage short-term financial needs in order to achieve and maintain household stability.