July 2015


On behalf of our board of directors and staff I want to send out a huge thank you to everyone who supported our fundraiser last month, Building Hope.  Please see below for more details!


A recent issues brief on household savings behavior by the US Financial Diaries highlights important nuances about the use of savings by households with low income.  Rather than look at the savings balance at a point in time, the Diaries project tracked planned use, what they call the "Savings Horizon".  They found that families of low income have substantial savings behavior, with short term use, to help with volatility in the household's finances.


The authors note, "Short-term savings behavior is quite distinct from not saving at all. Short-term savings are potentially a very useful building block for longer-term savings. Even more important, they provide a needed cushion against the income and spending volatility that households experience. On average, households face several months per year when their income is 25% below average and several months when expenses spike. Income and expense volatility may frequently require households to spend down what they have been able to build up."


These results concur with our messages about savings.  Emergency savings serve a vital role in helping people cope with unexpected events, and protect longer term savings goals.  It's important for each person to set their own short term savings goal, and not get hung up on the current meme of needing three months income set aside for a rainy day fund.    Save what you can, use it when you need it, and replenish it as you go along.  

All the best,


Nancy Yuill

What a success!fund

Our organizational fundraiser "Building Hope" was hugely successful and we owe that success to our amazing sponsors, our friends and families, our community members and partner, and of course our clients. With over 100 people there to celebrate with us, Innovative Changes could really feel the support! In total Innovative Changes raised $20,000 in donations! 

We want to extend a special thank you to 
our honored speaker, Bob Stoll of the 
CFPB. His speech and history and 
progress of the CFPB reminds us that although it is at times an uphill battle, social justice through financial education and access is a worthy goal and is possible. 

As Stoll noted at the close of his speech, 
the "CFPB works with non profits such as Innovative Changes who are the ground, helping consumers.  Innovative Changes very important in Portland community. There is still much to be done, and CFPB cannot do it all, so we are pleased to have IC here doing its important work."

We also want to extend a special thanks to our clients who were featured on our story boards and video. Having the courage to tell the stories of your struggles and successes helps us make sure we are always improving our services to best serve you, and allows us to show the greater community why the work we are doing together is important. You can find a link to our video here, and a link to the photos from the event here!

We hope that everyone who was able to make it had a lovely time, and that those who weren't able to attend will come and celebrate next year! 


IDA Initiative passes Oregon legislature


by Stephanie Sampedro


This week the omnibus bill containing the IDA tax credit was passed through Congress renewing the IDA, extending the IDA tax credit sunset until 2022, and expanding the asset classes to include five new asset goals. 

Yearly funding for the IDA has increased as well to $10.7 million so that IDA providers across the state can provide more Oregonians with the opportunity to build assets.


Some of the new asset classes include: purchasing or repairing a vehicle, savings toward retirement, credit building through "paired accounts", and credit repair to enable savings. Additionally, for those saving towards their postsecondary education, they will now be able to roll over unused IDA funds to a 529 account or retirement savings account at the end of their savings period. All of these new changes will not go into effect until September 2015 at the earliest. Innovative Changes is very excited for this great news and will keep you updated on the rolling out of these new policies.


IC$ sends a big thank you to our community of partners, savers, board and staff that donated time and energy to visiting Salem, contacting legislators and spreading the word on the importance of IDAs for Oregon. Your support is the reason for the IDA Initiative's big win!


Partner Spotlight: Begoņa Rodriguez Liern


What do you do in your organization or work?


I work for Early Learning Washington County (ELWC), a program co-lead by Washington County Human Services and United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, whose mission is focused on breaking the cycle of childhood poverty in our region. ELWC is one of the 16 hubs, or regional-based groups, appointed by the State of Oregon's Early Learning Council designed to improve the educational outcomes for our state's youngest children. ELWC works to align service providers who play a role in a child's early learning development; everyone from early childhood educators, K-12 school districts, health, social and human service organizations, nonprofits, and the private sector. We are working to eliminate disparities in communities of color and advance equity so every child arrives at school prepared to learn and is given an equal opportunity to succeed.


ELWC targets families of 54,723 children age six and under who live in Washington County, including 29,980 at-risk children.


The nature of my work is actually quite diverse. In a single day I can go from connecting, engaging, and supporting community leaders and partners or identifying new and more efficient investments, to updating action plans, seeking new funding streams, writing contracts, planning new classes, coordinating Early Literacy efforts or identifying new partners of communities at risk.


What brought you to that position?


Continue reading about Bega here! 


Client Spotlight: Sonia Hinojosa


"At 35 years old, I began to seek out financial resources to face my fears about finances. As a young single mom I was "behind" so-to-speak about financial maturity. I didn't know how to build my credit after bankruptcy so for many years I lived cash only and paycheck to paycheck. 

My credit score was about 500 and this affected so many areas of my life, including having a reliable car and a place of our own for myself and my daughter. Everything about being 'stuck' further affected my confidence."


Sonia began to attend financial education classes at Innovative Changes because she was interested in building her credit, and becoming more financially stable. She was able to use the practices she learned in these classes to take out a responsible, affordable Opportunity Loan with IC$, which helped her to pay old debt with higher percentage rates, to respond to a personal emergency, and to build her credit.


Continue reading about Sonia here!

Upcoming Workshops & Orientations
The next Financial Household Resiliency workshops will be:


- Tuesday evenings, 5:30-7:30pm


July 7th: Making Ends Meet

July 14th: Budgeting and Savings

July 21st: Hands on Banking

July 28th: Building, Repairing, and Protecting Credit 



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 July 10th, 1-2pm

-ESPANOL miercoles 15 de julio 5:30-6:30pm

-Friday July 24th, 1-2pm

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



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

Quick Stats:
As of 6/8/2015
Total disbursed:
Financial Education Clients: 3,258
IDA Savers: 115
IDA Graduates:
IDA Wait List:
IDA Interest: 
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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