Nonprofit-Fintech Exchange Grant Application Criteria
The Nonprofit-Fintech Exchange grant program will be open to all types of partnerships, including those identified in the 2019 report: Cross-Sector Solutions: A Guide to Nonprofit-Fintech Partnerships. Examples include:
- Fintech Distribution: A nonprofit integrates a fintech tool into its existing program to increase engagement and impact. Example: A workforce development organization offering a fintech savings tool designed for LMI workers.
- Nonprofit Referral: A fintech integrates or refers customers to relevant nonprofit services. Example: A fintech serving LMI students partners with a nonprofit to offer financial coaching and career development resources.
- Systems Enhancements: A nonprofit implements fintech systems or tools to enhance back-end systems or operational processes. Example: A fintech partners with a nonprofit to develop a system for delivering cash grants and other resources to communities facing job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Insights and Design: A fintech engages a nonprofit to get design input into new products and features. Example: A college savings fintech partners with a nonprofit to design and test a new product for LMI youth.
Applicants who meet the grant application criteria and advance to the next round will be contacted for additional information about their application.
Applications must have all partners identified and fully committed in order to be considered and should be willing to pilot or prototype new solutions, product design, or program enhancements that aim to improve financial health for low-income and underserved students and workers.
Key criteria include:
- Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic/economic crisis: To help those most vulnerable, the Nonprofit-Fintech Exchange will be prioritizing partnerships and solutions that are helping workers and students navigate the current situation. That said, applications on all types of partnerships and solutions are welcomed and will also be considered.
- Impact potential: How specifically does the partnership stand to address financial health? Is it designed in ways that lend to strong chances for success?
- Originality/Innovation: Does the partnership represent a new approach to nonprofit-fintech partnerships and/or addressing student and worker financial health?
- Partner strength: What are the general strengths, capabilities of both partners and are they capable of fulfilling their roles in the partnership? How committed are they to working together during the grant period and beyond?
- Focus on LMI and underserved communities: Does the partnership focus on LMI and underserved students and workers? How does the partnership leverage the unique capabilities and strengths of nonprofits to do so?
Grant Use Restrictions
Funds can be used to support both fintech and nonprofit activities with the following terms:
- Majority of funding should go to the nonprofit partner
- Limited use for travel
- Any systems enhancements must be project-specific
The Financial Solution Lab’s Approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
A key objective of the Financial Solutions Lab is to identify products and solutions that embrace, embody, and demonstrate diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the organization. This comes from a belief that organizations guided by these principles are the best equipped to deliver innovative and responsive products and services to low-to-moderate income populations in the United States.
The Financial Solutions Lab and its partners define Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity as follows:
Diversity is recognizing, acknowledging, appreciating, and bringing together individuals and groups with unique perspectives and differing backgrounds.
The Financial Solutions Lab is intentionally focused on innovative ideas that support populations facing acute and persistent financial health challenges, including (but not limited to) people of color, women, aging individuals, and individuals with disabilities.
Equity means that all individuals, regardless of age, race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, marital status, socioeconomic status, protected veteran status, or disability have equitable access to economic opportunity. In practice, this does not mean identical interventions. Rather, equity is about providing groups of people with customized supportive services that will enable them to thrive. Through these services, we aim to counteract unequal access to economic opportunity caused by historical and present day discriminatory systems and practices.
Inclusion is the conscious practice of creating an environment of involvement, and mutual respect–where we support and welcome a broad spectrum of ideas, backgrounds, identities and perspectives. Inclusion puts the concept of diversity into action and fosters a culture where individuals are given a voice and can bring their whole selves to every situation.