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Holiday Greetings!


I am thrilled to be appointed the new Executive Director of Innovative Changes.  Our top notch staff and dedicated board have made me feel very welcome.  I am enjoying learning about our programs and partners and I am delighted by the goodwill the organization enjoys.


Our work to help individuals and families to achieve and maintain household stability speaks to my passion help people of low income improve their economic situation.  I've only been on the job for a few weeks, but already I have seen the impact our work is having every day.  Be it the light of clarity when someone maps out their cash flow or the sense of accomplishment when a borrower pays off her consumer loan, the programs of IC$ build stability, pride and achievement.  I feel truly blessed to work for such a great organization. 


Over the next few months I will be reaching out to our partners and stakeholders to begin building relationships.  I am excited to hear your views on how we are doing and I welcome your ideas on how we can expand our offerings to the members of our communities who lack access to capital and/or financial services.


Meanwhile, you can learn more about me in the interview below, and, continue reading to hear about Sharon, a client who used her IC$ loan strategically to accomplish big goals. Be sure to check out our upcoming financial education opportunities as well!  


We hope this holiday brings you special time with your family and friends and all the blessings of the season.


Sincerely yours,


Nancy Yuill

Sharon's Story clientstory


Sharon V. was introduced to Innovative Changes by Ben Helgren, Financial Skills Coach at Native American Youth Association and Family Center (NAYA).  Her goal was to buy a home, but her past credit history was a barrier to qualifying for an affordable mortgage. She was also paying a high interest rate on another loan. Ben suggested that she use a loan from Innovation Changes to pay off her other costly loan and simultaneously, open up another line of credit.


 Sharon came to the IC$ office committed to use the services in the most advantageous way possible. She was able to save money by paying off her other loan and made regular, on time payments for her IC$ loan. Meanwhile, she enrolled in Homebuyer's Individual Development Account (matched savings) program with NAYA and sought out the information that she needed to accomplish her goal. One year later, all her hard work came to fruition and she was able to buy a home!


 Sharon says, "We moved in June 2011. It really feels great to know that my money is going towards my future and security instead of to a landlord."


 In the fall, six months after paying off her first loan and after settling into her new home, IC$ heard from Sharon again. Her daughter had just graduated from college and needed money to take her board exams and pay for her license to be a certified masseuse.


 "Unfortunately, I had not been working full-time for a few months and didn't have the money," Sharon reflects.  "I was really upset when the Credit Union wouldn't give me a loan and I made a phone call to Innovative Changes.  They worked with me to apply for a new loan, I was approved and the next thing I knew, my daughter was registering for exams! Thank you for the work that you do for us folks that don't have perfect credit!"

Spotlight: Nancy Yuill partnerspotlight

Nancy Yuill is our new Executive Director. We have had the pleasure of getting to know her throughout her first month at Innovative Changes, and wanted to give you the chance to get to know her too!


Nancy spent the past three years managing Peace Corps' programming and training departments in Zambia. Before that, she was the Executive Director of Clackamas Community Land Trust, the founding Director of Trillium Artisans, and the advisor to a women's savings and credit program in Uganda.  She has a Masters in Business Administration from Clarkson University and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from St. Michael's College.  We are excited to have someone with such vast and pertinent international and local experience to add to our staff skill set and bring IC$ into the New Year! Keep reading for our interview with Nancy!


What drew you to IC$?

I've always loved working with women to help them become more economically empowered. I've seen first-hand how impactful it can be for the women, and their families, when someone is given a chance to move ahead and take control of their finances. When I was thinking about what I wanted to do after my time in Zambia I knew my dream job would be working in the area of financial education and family economic empowerment.  I also knew not many organizations focused specifically on those programs.   I began searching for organizations in Portland doing this kind of work and was thrilled to find Innovative Changes. I signed up to receive IC$ newsletters and read them every month. When I saw that IC$ was hiring for a new Executive Director I jumped at the chance. This position very much matches my values and interests.


What has your first couple weeks been like?

Wonderful! I'm learning a lot. The staff and board have been very welcoming and it feels great to be here. Every day I am excited to learn something new, observe the great work we are currently doing, and to think about where we're heading in the future.  I love reaching out to old friends in the non profit, public and private sector and reconnecting with them in my new role.


What do you see using from your past work at IC$?

We're in an exciting growth mode right now so I am looking forward to using my experience building and growing organizations to our efforts here. I've always enjoyed working with numbers, and in my early career I spent some years working for a bank holding company.  That helped me develop a solid understanding of financial products.  My time in Uganda provided me with great experience working on microfinance programs for people of very low income.  Now I get to apply that knowledge and experience to our work here providing loan and savings products that fit our clients' needs.  Also, I love to train, and I am eager to apply what I have learned from Peace Corps to enhance the quality of our curriculum and training delivery.

Financial Education Galore!  fined

It seems to have become the norm that we are teaching our Financial Household Resiliency Classes at least once a month now! By the end of this week, we'll have finished teaching the series twice for residents of New Columbia. We are excited to have some new volunteers on board who will help us to continue meeting the demand for our classes and clients wanting financial coaching. We also have a slew of exciting monthly seminars coming up! Keep reading for the dets...


Upcoming Seminars:

Tax Time 101: Be Prepared!


Tuesday, January 10th, 2012, 5:30-6:30pm, Lloyd Center Mall, 3rd Floor, Suite 2011

Please join Maggie Starr of CASH Oregon, Rebecca Flanegan, tax attorney and tax site manager and Talia Kahn-Kravis of IC$ for an hour packed full of information to get you ready to do taxes and ensure you are making informed choices when you are filing for and receiving your refund. Topics will include: An overview of taxes and the mechanics of filing your taxes, available tax credits, what documents you will need when filing, where to do your taxes for free or low cost and how to stay in control of your paycheck, refund and expenses throughout the year! 


Teaching Your Kids About Money


Tuesday, February 7th 2012, 6pm-7pm,  Lloyd Center Mall, Suite 2011

One of the best gifts you can give your children is teaching them the skills to manage money. Passing on good money management habits is a concrete way that you can set your children up for a successful future; even if you are living on a tight budget.  In this workshop we'll discuss key ways to get your finances in order so you can serve as a model for your children. We will also cover activities and tips for teaching your kids about money and ways to save for all the extra expenses that come with having a kid (back to school, birthdays, college, etc.). It's never too early to start learning and never too late to start teaching! Now's the time to start your kids on a path to success!


This seminars are $5. Fee waivers are available for those who qualify.


*These seminars are part of our ongoing monthly seminar series covering special topics of interest to our clients. For more information about our seminar visit our website here.


To Register: call or email Talia at (503)-249-5205/


Upcoming Financial Household Resiliency Workshops:


We will hold our winter round of FHR workshops every Tuesday from February 1st to February 22nd, 5:30-7:30pm.


Tuesday, February 1st, 5:30-730pm: Making Ends Meet

Tuesday, February 8th, 5:30-730pm:  Budgeting and Saving

Tuesday, February 15th, 5:30-730pm: Hands-On Banking  

Tuesday, February 22nd, 5:30-730pm: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit

Our classes and seminar will be held at our Lloyd Center office:  

3rd Floor of the Lloyd Center Mall (near Nordstroms), 2011 Lloyd Center.


To Register: call or email Talia at (503)-249-5205/


The classes and the seminar are open to everyone. The classes can be taken individually or as a series. They are $5 each and $15 for all four classes. Fee waivers are available for those who qualify.  
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.

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
Myranda's Story
Spotlight: Nancy Yuill
Financial Education Galore!
You Can Help!
Quick Stats
New Partners
Quick Stats
As of 12/8/2011



305, averaging $456.21 for a total of $139,450.48

Revolved amount:  
$91, 573.42

Repaid loans: 114

Financial education clients:



Northwest Housing Alternatives


 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.