July 2014


When I first came to Innovative Changes I was so impressed by the culture of the organization and the theory of change that recognizes that our clients are creative, resourceful and whole. In those early days I looked to Talia to learn how we inculcated our theory of change into our work. Time and again she demonstrated our commitment to having respectful, caring and trustworthy relationships with our clients and partners. Over the years, as we have grown, our culture and approach has become deeply embedded in our work, with much credit to Talia for making it so. Change is never easy, and we will miss her dearly, but Talia is leaving Innovative Changes a better, more impactful organization. It is with great gratitude that we wish her all the best in the next chapter of her life.   


All the best,


Nancy Yuill


United Way Community Strengthening Collaborative


We are thrilled to announce that Innovative Changes has been chosen as one of 30 select organizations to participate in United Way of the Columbia-Willamette's new Community Strengthening Collaborative cohort designed to improve outcomes for low-income children and their families, and ultimately break the cycle of childhood poverty in the four-county (Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah and Washington) region. For the next three years, we will work with some of the top performing anti-poverty organizations across the region in learning communities where we will share experiences, exchange data and information, and build collective knowledge around new and promising practices to improve outcomes for low-income families and their children. Stay tuned for updates as we weave our work to help people build their financial health into the learning communities' efforts. 

A Farewell from Talia 

As you may know this is my last week at Innovative Changes, which seems pretty surreal. I still remember entertaining a client's kids in the kitchen at New Columbia on my first morning as an AmeriCorps at IC$. This single mother needed an emergency loan in order to avert eviction and Sarah, the Executive Director at the time, met with her immediately, despite language barriers, to work out a plan. Many years later, that mother, still involved with IC$ came in about a similar crisis. This time her daughter, a middle schooler, spoke up, "Mom, we can't do this anymore! We are going to start saving because I want to go to college!"


Many clients come back for multiple loans or ongoing coaching, but this struck me as particularly exciting. Whether by proxy or not, this mom's involvement with IC$ got her children thinking about their daily decisions as an investment in their future. After building a relationship with her entire family, this client's daughter was now able to do our job for us. 


Continue reading Talia's farewell here.

Partner Spotlight: Point West Credit Union

Innovative Changes is always reaching out and connecting with local organizations and financial institutions to better serve our clients. This past month we formed a new partnership with Point West Credit Union a which has been serving the Portland area for more than 80 years. We had the pleasure of interviewing the President and CEO, Amy Nelson, which you can read about here. 


What is your role at Point West Credit Union and what drew you to this work?


As President and CEO, I'm the conduit between the Point West team and our volunteer board of directors. As a member-owned cooperative, working closely with our board to ensure we're meeting the needs and interests of the membership is our number one priority. I'm incredibly lucky to be backed by one of the best employee teams in the industry. They're a dedicated and diverse group who believe in our mission of financial wellness. It's their passion for financial education and the not-for-profit, member-owned model of credit unions that makes Point West such a wonderful place to work.


What are some of the most common financial challenges faced by Point West members?


With 9,000 members covering the socio-economic spectrum of Portland, there are varied answers to the issues and concerns each of our members face, especially in the wake of the Great Recession. Whether it's stagnant or declining income, crippling debt or a lack of access to, or understanding traditional financial services, we take a personalized, one-member-at-a-time approach to addressing our members' needs and providing appropriate education as well as associated products and services to serve them best.


 Continue reading about PWCU and Amy Nelson here!

Upcoming Workshops & Orientations

The next Financial Household Resiliency workshops will be:


- Tuesday evenings, July 8th-29th, 5:30-7:30pm 

- Tuesday evernings, September 9th-30th 


Both workshop series will be held at our office in 2010 Lloyd Center Mall. You can register for the classes here.


Our next Credit Builder Orientations will be:


- Friday, July 11th 2014, 1:00-2:00 pm
- Thursday, July 17th 2014, 5:30-6:30 pm

- (en espanol) Friday, July 25th 2014, 1:00-2:00 pm

- Tuesday, July 29th, 5:30-6:30 pm


All take place at our office, 2010 Lloyd Center. Register here.

If you are interested in learning more about our IDA program come to an IDA Orientation! Our next orientations will be held on Wednesday, July 30th and Friday, August 1st at our office. Please visit our website to register for an orientation. This will be the final two orientations for 2014.
Come to our next Financial Fair!  Here is a copy of the flier for our next Financial Fair! It will be held on Saturday August 23rd from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm at the Africa House on NE 102nd Ave. Food, local resources, financial advisers, and activities for kids provided!

Get Matched up with a Financial Coach


Want to get in control of your money but aren't sure where to start? Do you know someone who would like extra accountability when working towards their financial goals? Sign up today to get matched up with a financial coach!

This year we are growing our coaching program to reach more people through trained volunteer financial coaches.

Get connected with a coach today or find out about becoming a coach yourself by contacting katie@innovativechanges.org or visiting our website.

Quick Stats:
As of 7/9/14
Total disbursed: 
# repaid:
Financial Education Clients: 1,581
IDA Savers: 83
IDA Graduates:
About Us
Our inter-related programs of responsible lending, credit building, financial education and savings acceleration build people's financial capabilities and put them on the path to long term financial health.  Join us in our work!

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 contact@innovativechanges.org to set up your monthly giving program.


Thank you for your support!

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