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News from Innovative Changes



Innovative Changes was created to reverse the economic exclusion experienced by disenfranchised groups, including communities of color, the poor, people with no or poor credit and people with a negative banking history. We are creating an ecosystem of financial services and products that is characterized by inclusion, fairness, affordability, responsibility, and power sharing. We challenge our clients to not only reverse their perceptions of their relationship to money, but to take back control of their finances. As our clients take charge of their finances, they become powerful change agents for their community.  It is in this spirit of change agents that we are ramping up our financial coaching program with a special emphasis on recruiting clients and community members to serve as coaches. We are thrilled to have Jenna and Katie join our team to take our coaching program to the next level; see below for more about our two great VISTA volunteers!


In more exciting news, just a few months after hitting our 500th loan milestone we surpassed the quarter million dollar mark on loan originations! Our borrowers continue to demonstrate that they are good credit risks and we are thrilled to be their lender.


And finally, please join me in sending out a big thank you to Bank of America and KeyBank for awarding us grants to support our financial education program, and Bank of America is also the sponsor of our VISTAs! It's very rewarding to have our financial institutions support our work. We are all participants in the financial system and it is only as strong as the sum of each of our individual situations. Please contact us if you would like to get involved in our work as a coach, volunteer, partner, donor or ambassador!


All the best, 


Nancy Yuill

Spotlight of the Month: Meet Jenna and Katie partnerspotlight


When you come visit us, you may notice two new faces in our office. These are our new Americorps VISTAs, Katie Dineen and Jenna Knobloch. They are part of the Points of Light Financial Opportunity Corps which is sponsered by Bank of America (see press release here). This corps consists of 10 sites with two VISTAs each around the country. Each of these pairs will be working to grow a financial coaching program at their home site and sharing best practices with each other. We are thrilled to have Jenna and Katie join our program to develop a system for training community volunteers to be coaches and matching them up with coachees! Keep reading to get to know Katie and Jenna better and be sure to say "Hi" next time you stop by!



What drew you to the Financial Opportunity Corps position at Innovative Changes?   


Jenna (JK): I was drawn to spending a year as a VISTA at Innovative Changes because I am both interested in learning about the role finance plays in poverty and eager to make a difference. Because finance is not only a critical element for the economy, which is interesting to learn about, but I was also excited to be involved with empowering people in the area. 



Katie (KD): My interest in financial education and empowerment began when I studied abroad in Vietnam. For six-weeks I interned with an organization studying microlending and empowerment for rural Vietnamese women. After seeing the impact of microlending while in Vietnam, I became interested in learning more about it, as well as about financial education in general.


What were you doing before IC$?


JK: Before starting at IC$, I was a research assistant at the National Policy Consensus Center where I studied financial mechanisms for paying for public goods. I also have experience doing work for nonprofits around Portland and in Cambodia and just graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelors of Science in Economics in December 2012.


KD: I graduated from Seattle University in 2012 with a Bachelors in Public Affairs. Before starting as a VISTA member with IC$, I was an AmeriCorps member in Seattle doing volunteer coordination with the Phinney Neighborhood Association's (PNA) Village program, a program assisting aging residents wanting to stay in their homes.


Keep reading Jenna & Katie's Spotlight here>


Opportunity Loans News: Past Borrowers Can Now Borrow Without a Referral


A new school year is under way, the days are getting a little shorter and the evenings require an extra blanket on the bed.  Times of transition are good times to reflect on where we have been and what we appreciate.  Here at Innovative Changes we are grateful for all of our clients and borrowers that make up our growing organization.  We wanted to show how much we appreciate the relationships with our borrowers by offering a new opportunity.


As you know, our Opportunity Loan is open to individuals who are referred to us by a trained referring partner.  We recently made a change to this policy, and have opened up the Opportunity Loan to our repeat borrowers in good-standing.  If you are a repeat borrower in good standing, you no longer need a referral to be eligible for an Opportunity Loan.


A repeat borrower is any individual who has had an Opportunity Loan in the past.  You are considered a borrower in good standing if you were never more than 30 days late on a loan payment.  Since we have changed this policy, we have seen a handful of repeat borrowers in good standing return to us for new loans.  We are excited to continue to cultivate these relationships and grow with you! 


Please contact us to see if you qualify as a borrower in good-standing. If you are interested in learning more about our Opportunity Loans, please contact Emmy.

Financial Education Galore:fined


We are teaching our Financial Household Resiliency classes in Tualatin, SE Portland and and at the Lloyd Center. Find an FHR near you and join us!


Upcoming Financial Household Resiliency (FHR) Workshops:


Tualatin Library Financial Household Resiliency Series*

Saturday, October 5th 10:30am-12:30pm: Making Ends Meet

Saturday, October 12th 10:30am-12:30pm: Budgeting and Saving

Saturday, October 19th 10:30am-12:30pm:  Hands-On Banking

Saturday, October 26th 10:30am-12:30pm: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit


The Tualatin Library is located at 18878 SW Martinazzi Ave, Tualatin, OR 97062. This series is free and open to the public.


Alder Elementary Financial Household Resiliency Series*

Tuesday, October 15th 5:30-8:00 pm: Making Ends Meet
Tuesday, October 22th 5:30-8:00 pm: Budgeting and Saving

Tuesday, October 29th 5:30-8:00 pm:  Hands-On Banking

Tuesday, November 5th 5:30-8:00 pm: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit


These classes will be held at Alder Elementary School, 17200 SE Alder St. Childcare and pizza provided! To register, contact the Alder SUN school coordinator at (503) 255-4673. 


October Financial Household Resiliency Series*

Tuesday,October 22nd, 5:30-7:30 pm: Making Ends Meet

Tuesday, October 29th, 5:30-7:30 pm: Budgeting and Saving

Tuesday, November 5th, 5:30-7:30 pm:  Hands-On Banking

Tuesday, November 12th, 5:30-7:30 pm: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit


November Friday Morning Financial Household Resiliency Series*

Friday,November 1st, 10:00am-12:00pm: Making Ends Meet

Friday, November 8th, 10:00am-12:00pm:Budgeting and Saving

Friday, November 15th, 10:00am-12:00pm: Hands-On Banking

Friday, November 22th, 10:00am-12:00pm: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit


*These classes will be held at our Lloyd Center office on the 3rd floor of the Lloyd Center Mall (between Nordstroms and the food court), 2010 Lloyd Center.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.  Register here or call or email Misha at (503)-249-5205/

Want to Plan for Your Financial Future? Come to our next Financial Empowerment Clinic: Saturday, Oct. 19th
Saturday, October 19th from 10am-3pm
Where: Bradley Angle Resource Center, 5432 N Albina Ave, Portland, OR 97217
What: Meet with a financial planner for free, attend workshops on debt, retirement and savings, meet one on one with a credit expert to pull and review your credit report, learn about resources in your community, eat some food and bring your kids and the whole family!   
What else should I know?: You can come and go throughout the day as you please. Meetings with financial planners and credit checks will be done on a first come first serve basis, and we will be signing people up for appointments throughout the day. There will also be Spanish translators available.
Great things to talk to a financial planner about include: 
- How do i start planning for retirement?
- What are good strategies for paying down debt?
- How much of a home or car can I actually afford?
- What are good strategies to make sure I am saving for not just myself, but my children's future?
- and more!
What is the workshop schedule?
Glad you asked! Here it is:


Debt or Savings: How do I choose?


The ABCs of Retirement


Budgeting for Your Dreams


Getting Ready for the  Holidays (with Kids!)


Meet with an expert to pull your credit report or make a financial plan.

I'm in! Do I need to register?
Registration is not necessary, but appreciated. You can do so here.
Upcoming IDA Orientations


backpackIf you are interested in the IDA program, or know someone who may be interested,come to our next orientation which will be:

  • - Thursday, September 12th from 5:30-6:30pm at our office in Suite 2010 of the Lloyd Center.

This will be our last IDA orientation until Dec/Jan. Register for an orientation here or call Misha at (503)-249-5205. If you are unable to make it to this one, Misha can put you on the waiting list to be notified of our next orientations.


The IC$ IDA program offers a 3:1 match for those saving to attend an institution of higher education. Savers must put at least $25 into an account every month, complete financial education requirements and plan to go back to school or already be attending school. Savers can save for themselves or a loved one.  For more information about the IDA program visit our website .

Referring Partner Orientation

Would you like to become a partner of Innovative Changes? Interested in referring clients for our loans, financial education and individual coaching sessions? Want to learn more about our programs? Attend our Referring Partner Orientation webinar. 

The webinar orientation will take place on Thursday, October 3rd from 10:30 am -11:30am. If you or your coworkers are interested in participating please register here.


This orientation is required for anyone who would like to refer clients for Innovative Changes (IC$) loans and a great way to get to know more about IC$. During the webinar we will go through IC$ programs and services, walk you through the process of referring a client and discuss what happens after you make a referral. 
You Can Help!

You care about helping people achieve and maintain household stability. Now you can join our efforts at Innovative Changes as we expand our reach to serve more clients. Your generous donation will be put to good use!


Whatever amount you can afford, you can set it up for monthly automatic payments to ease your cash flow. If you have bill pay service with your bank you can set up Innovative Changes to receive regular monthly payments. If you prefer, we can process a monthly ACH transaction on your behalf. Contact us at to set up your monthly giving program.

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In This Issue
Spotlight: Meet our New VISTAs
Opportunity Loan News
Financial Education Galore
Financial Empowerment Clinic
Upcoming IDA Orientations
Referrring Partner Orientation
You Can Help!
Quick Stats
As of 9/10/13



549, averaging $456.20 for a total of $250,590.20

Revolved amount:  $195,754.69

Repaid loans: 304

Financial education clients:



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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.