Improving Public and Private Benefits Access and Navigation
2022 Exchange Challenge

Improving Public and Private Benefits Access and Navigation

This year, the Exchange Challenge is focused on the financial health of people who use public or private benefits. While government actors and employers are critical to improving these systems, the nonprofit and fintech sectors can also play a role in better serving the individuals, families, and communities navigating benefits systems.

The selection process is underway and we are no longer accepting applications. Grantees will be announced later this year – learn more about the Challenge below and check back for updates.

Supporting Partnerships To Improve Public and Private Benefits Access and Navigation

For the 2022 Exchange Challenge, grants will be awarded to support nonprofit-fintech partnership solutions that address the financial health challenges faced by individuals and families navigating public and private benefits systems and the challenges these systems pose, including: 

  • Determining eligibility for public benefits (e.g., the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)) or private benefits (e.g., workplace health and retirement plans)
  • Applying for and receiving public or private benefits
  • Preventing or managing the impact of benefits overpayments and benefits cliffs
  • Supporting benefits applicants and recipients as a nonprofit provider of financial counseling or other social services
  • Other benefits-related challenges that nonprofit-fintech partnerships are helping individuals solve

While policymakers and employers have a high level of control over the offerings and features of the benefits space, we know that the nonprofit and fintech sectors can play a role in better serving those navigating benefits systems. We’re excited to spark solutions through our 2022 Exchange Challenge grants.

Supporting Partnerships To Improve Public and Private Benefits Access and Navigation
How Nonprofit-Fintech Partnerships Can Help

How Nonprofit-Fintech Partnerships Can Help

The government response to the economic disruption caused by COVID-19 demonstrated how benefits systems can serve as a crucial safety net for individuals, households, and communities. Financial Health Pulse data found that people who applied for and received unemployment benefits or debt relief were more likely to be able to pay their bills on time compared with individuals who applied for benefits or relief but did not receive it. 

Connecting individuals to public benefits is critically important as eviction moratoria have ended and the future of other forms of relief, such as federal student loan repayment suspension, is uncertain. Access gaps and the complexity of benefits systems prevent many Americans from taking advantage of programs that could safeguard their finhealth.

At the same time, benefits provided through the workplace, such as retirement and emergency savings programs and financial coaching, have become more relevant in today’s tight labor market and amid an uptick in unionization efforts. In fact, workplace and public benefits systems can complement each other to advance financial health.  

Learn more about what we’re looking for in applicants.

Read the Application Criteria

Who will the Exchange Engage With?

We are seeking emerging or existing partnerships between fintechs and nonprofits that are interested in piloting or prototyping solutions, product designs, or program enhancements. Solutions should improve financial health outcomes for individuals navigating the complex private and/or public benefits systems. Across the U.S., nonprofits assist individuals with benefits screening and eligibility; fintech solutions can help individuals monitor their benefits and help practitioners match clients with the right benefits for them. Together, with your respective skill sets, application partners can help people across the country who need streamlined access to these benefits to safeguard their quality of life.  

Who will the Exchange Engage With?

We welcomed applications from emerging or existing nonprofit-fintech partnerships working on:

  • Fintech distribution: A nonprofit integrates a fintech tool into its existing program to increase engagement and impact.
  • Nonprofit referral: A fintech integrates or refers customers to relevant nonprofit services.
  • Systems enhancements: A nonprofit implements fintech systems or tools to enhance back-end systems or operational processes.
  • Insights and design: A fintech engages a nonprofit to get design input into new products and features.

What Will Grantees Receive?

What Will Grantees Receive?

  • $90,000 per innovative nonprofit-fintech partnership (up to three grants will be awarded)
  • A forum to engage and learn with other nonprofits and fintechs in your cohort
  • Technical guidance on project execution

2022 Exchange Challenge Timeline

  • April 20, 2022: Applications are open
  • July 15, 2022: Applications are due
  • July – September 2022: Selection period
  • October 2022 – September 2023: Grant program period

2022 Exchange Challenge Timeline

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