December 2014


Last month our board and staff engaged in a strategic planning session. I was so inspired by their collective passion for the work we do. As we visualized our future the common themes that were shared included our commitment to the community we serve, transparency in our relations, innovation, impact and a sense of fairness.  Moving the needle on economic justice is no small task. And we can only succeed because we work collaboratively with amazing partners, under the leadership of a great board of directors and through the hands of our fabulous staff and volunteers.  In this season of reflection and giving thanks I have much to be grateful for. Thank you all for joining us in our work. All of us at Innovative Changes wish you a peaceful and joyful Holiday season and a New Year filled with fairness, equity and financial stability.

All the best,


Nancy Yuill

smart goals2Credit Builder Success Story


Jamie came to Innovative Changes with no credit history, no credit score, and no idea how to get started. Like many new immigrants, Jamie's lack of credit history made it hard for her to access credit, which limited her financial choices. Through our Credit Builder Loan program, Jamie went from having no score to having a score of almost 700! Armed with her new credit knowledge, she is well on her way to building a better financial future!


Are you interested in building YOUR credit to qualify for a mortgage or another credit goal? Attend a credit builder loan orientation!

BAH logo Come to the Financial Empowerment Clinic in January!


Join us Saturday January 31st from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at our partner, Bradley Angle's Resource Center at 5432 N. Albina Ave., Portland, OR 97217!

We will have information on preparing your taxes, FAFSA, Education IDAs, protecting yourself against garnishments, and much more! We will have food, child care and raffles! View our flier for the event here.

Board Member Spotlight: Sean Varma

This month we bring you an interview with our wonderful board member, Sean Varma. Sean is a Branch Manager at Key Bank in the Portland metro area. He took a position at Key Bank because of their focus on building relationships with clients and educating them on their products. During his experience as the Branch Manager at Key Bank's Lloyd Center location, a colleague introduced him to Innovative Changes. He got in contact with Nancy and discovered that IC$' mission was in line with his beliefs and his work. We welcomed him to our board about one year ago and he has been an active member of the board ever since.


What is your role at Key Bank and what drew you to this work?

"I was in a different industry and wanted something that offered a more long-term opportunity with potential to grow within the company. Customer interaction was also very important to me", says Sean. He started as a Branch Manager at Key Bank in the Lloyd Center, which appealed to him because of the opportunity to help people get out of debt, save for retirement and their financial future, and provide financial education for their customers. He felt educating customers about Key Bank's different bank accounts and the importance of saving money was a great way to give back. Becoming a banker helped Sean learn that his passion is helping people realize their financial freedom.


What are some of the financial challenges faced by your customers?

"Since the recession a lot has changed with how we view debt and banking", Sean says.  Now many people are looking for financial freedom. Many of his customers are retired and lost money in the recession. "We want to help these people afford to maintain their lifestyles once they have retired. Some of our other clients are just entering the workforce and we help them develop the habit of saving for a rainy day", explains Sean. His job is to find a solution for his customers that come in to his branch with a variety of financial problems.

Continue reading about Sean here!

Coach Spotlight: Samuel!


Samuel is one of the many awesome volunteers in our Financial Coaching program! He went through our training last March and has been meeting with clients since then. 



Why did you want to coach with IC$?

I am retired now and I have extra time to give back to someone in the community and I can offer resources. My son works for CASH Oregon and he told me about volunteering with CASH Oregon and their partner Innovative Changes.


What was your biggest take away from the training?

I thought this was a totally new ballgame. I never had any experience with this kind of work. As far as knowing where to point people to in this line of work I felt challenged and I learned a lot about coaching someone and giving resources.


Continue reading about Samuel here!

Upcoming Workshops & Orientations

The next Financial Household Resiliency workshops will be:


- Tuesday evenings, 5:30-7:30pm, January 6th-27th.

- Tuesday evenings, 5:30-7:30pm, February 3rd-24th.


This 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, December 12th 1-2 pm

- Thursday, December 18th 5:30-6:30 pm

- Thursday, January 8th 5:30-6:30 pm

- Friday, January 16th 1-2 pm

- (SPANISH) Jueves, 22 de enero 5:30-6:30 pm

- Friday, January 30th 1-2 pm


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

Want to volunteer with IC$? Become a Financial Coach!
Volunteer financial coaches work one on one with clients to teach personal financial management skills as well as engage and motivate clients to stay on track toward their goals. Learn more about becoming a coach here or contact Andrea at 

Quick Stats:
As of 12/9/14
Total disbursed: 
# repaid:
Financial Education Clients: 1,803
IDA Savers: 94
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 to set up your monthly giving program.


Thank you for your support!

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