Innovative Changes

"When two elephants fight it's the grass that gets trampled."  This Swahili proverb is appropriate for these times.  The federal government shut down disproportionally harms those most vulnerable, those for whom we hold an ultimate responsibility to provide basic care-including women, infants and children.  I don't have any wisdom for how to stop the elephants from fight, but I would ask that each of us step up to our collective responsibilities; let your legislators know what you think of this situation, give a bit more to your charity of preference, and lend a hand to those in need.  As our Ghanaian friends will tell us, "Do not let what you cannot do tear from your hands what you can do."


We continue to seek ways to serve more people with our responsible loans, so this month we are launching public access to our credit builder loan.  Anyone can apply for a credit builder loan.  Our most successful credit builder loan borrowers are those who are working on a long term goal that will be accelerated by having good credit.  The most common goals are home-ownership or an affordable car loan.  If you know someone that would be a good candidate please let them know - our next orientation is Wednesday November 6th at 5:30 pm.  They can sign up for the free orientation here.


And finally, please join us in thanking the US Treasury Community Development Financial Institution Fund for approving our technical assistance grant to strengthen and streamline our lending program and to The Jackson Foundation for a grant to support our financial education program.  Hand in hand, we will build our fair finance ecosystem to help move people from poverty to prosperity. We hope you will join us!


All the best,


Nancy Yuill

Sally's Story & The Importance of Communication
Sally came to IC$ to pay off debt and clean up her credit report.  All seemed well when she was planning out fitting our loan payments into her budget since she had a steady job. But, a few weeks after Sally took out her Opportunity Loan she was laid off from work.


"I felt like a ton a bricks had hit me, "says Sally. "I called Innovative Changes, feeling so nervous and ashamed.  I explained my situation and we were able to come up with a new plan for repaying my loan."


Borrowing money can be a very intimidating transaction for most of us. One of the more common questions that we receive from borrows is, "What happens if I can't pay my loan back?"  The thought of not being able to follow through with an obligation can to produce a lot of anxiety. 

Referring Partner Webinars & Luncheons
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, November 14th from 10:30 am -11:30am. If you or your coworkers are interested in participating please register  here. You can email emmy@innovativechanges if you would like to join in person!
Also, we are hosting our second partner luncheon on Behavioral Economics right after the referring partner orientation from 11:30am-1pm. This workshop will cover general concepts of behavioral economics, how these fit into a broader context and then how we can use these ideas to foster positive changes in our clients' lives. We will provide lunch. There are only 15 spots for this luncheon, so don't wait to sign up here.
Quick Links
Quick Stats: 
As of 10/11/13
New Partners:
Clackamas Women's Services
Total disbursed:
# Repaid:
559, averaging $456.75 $255,608.10


Financial Empowerment Clinic
We are getting excited about the upcoming Financial Empowerment Clinic on Saturday, October 19th from 10am-3pm at the Bradley Angle Resource Center (5432 N Albina Ave). Come to this great free event to:
  • Meet with a financial planner
  • Review your credit report with a credit coach
  • Attend a workshop on budgeting, savings and credit
  • Learn about resources in your community
  • Ask questions about your finances
  • Bring your whole family, meet others working on their finances and enjoy some local snacks.

Please help us spread the word! Here is the flier. Registration is not required but you can do so here.

Partner Spotlight: "I Have a Dream" Oregon, Tiffiny Hager 
As you walk in to Alder Elementary in the Reynolds School District, you can see college banners from Oregon State to Notre Dame hanging in the hallways. Each classroom has been adopted by a college or university, with the idea that although these kindergarten through fifth graders may not be choosing a school now, they WILL be going to college eventually. Strolling into the main office, in addition to the usual administrative school staff, you will find Tiffiny Hager and her co-workers, mingling with school and SUN program staff, and planning for a rich school year that not only engages Alder students, but Alder parents as well. Tiffiny works for I Have a Dream Oregon, a nonprofit that helps low-income children reach success in school, college and career.  Alder Elementary is the first "Dreamer" school in the nation and we will be hosting our Financial Household Resiliency workshops there through October, so we checked in with Tiffiny learn more about this exciting work.


What is your role at I Have a Dream? 

My role with "I Have a Dream" Oregon is to increase student retention rates by reducing the mobility of our dreamer families.  This is achieved through leveraging community resources to help stabilize housing and increase economic stability.  We also hope to increase parent involvement in Alder and overall attachment to the school and being a Dreamer.Keep reading here for more about Tiffiny and "I have a Dream" Oregon

Upcoming Financial Education
Our October Financial Household Resiliency workshops will go for 4 Tuesdays in a row starting:
- October 15th from 5:30-8pm at Alder Elementary. Child Care and dinner provided. Call  (503) 255-4673 to register.
About Us
We 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.
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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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