<– Back to the 2022 Exchange Challenge

2022 Exchange Challenge Application Criteria

The Exchange grant program will be open to all types of nonprofit-fintech 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 nonprofit financial counseling organization partners with a fintech tool to help individuals determine eligibility and apply for public benefits. 
  • Nonprofit referral: A fintech integrates or refers customers to relevant nonprofit services.
    • Example: A fintech serving individuals who receive public benefits 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 nonprofit workforce development provider partners with a fintech company to integrate benefits screening into its client management systems.
  • Insights and design: A fintech engages a nonprofit to get design input into new products and features.
    • Example: A fintech that helps workers make the most out of their employer-sponsored savings plans engages a nonprofit to design and test product improvements or new products that better meet the needs of the nonprofit’s users.

Key Criteria

  • Impact potential: How specifically does the partnership address financial health? Is it designed in ways that have a high likelihood of success? Do the partners have a plan for engaging users and practitioners to get their feedback and maximize impact?
  • Originality/innovation: Does the partnership represent a new approach to nonprofit-fintech partnerships and/or address the financial health challenges of those navigating public or private benefits systems in new and innovative ways?
  • Partner strength: What are the general strengths and capabilities of each partner? Are they capable of fulfilling their roles in the partnership? How committed are they to working together during the grant period and beyond?
  • Potential for growth: Is there a clear pathway to expansion, replication, or evolution of the project, should it prove successful?
  • Focus on the financial health of low- to moderate-income (LMI) and underserved communities: Does the partnership focus on improving the financial health of LMI and underserved individuals and/or communities? 

Grant Eligibility

  • Project must be focused on addressing the financial health challenges of individuals navigating public or private benefits systems.
  • Applications must have both partners identified and fully committed to working together during the grant period from October 2022 through September 2023.
  • Organizations may submit applications with different partners (e.g., two applications with two different partners).
  • Nonprofit Community Development Financial Institutions are eligible for grants.
  • Nonprofit organizations registered as 501(c)(4) organizations will not be eligible.

Grant Use Restrictions

We recognize that COVID-19 has made the work of consumer-serving nonprofits more challenging, so we prioritize flexibility in our grant program. Funds can be used to support both fintech and nonprofit activities with the following terms:

  • Majority of the $90,000 grant should go to the nonprofit partner (minimum of $46,000).
  • Limited use for travel.
  • Any systems enhancements must be project-specific.

 We welcome you to join the Financial Solutions Lab Exchange

The Financial Solutions Lab Exchange’s Approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A key mandate of the Financial Solutions Lab Exchange is to seek and support nonprofit-fintech partnerships addressing the financial health needs of LMI individuals and historically underserved communities in the U.S. The Exchange aims to support fintech founders and nonprofit leaders from underrepresented communities, and those building solutions with women and people of color in mind, particularly Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities.

The Exchange also wants to work with grantees committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion principles at all levels of their organization. We believe organizations guided by these principles are best equipped to support vulnerable and underserved populations with innovative and responsive solutions.

The Financial Solutions Lab and its partners define diversity, equity, and inclusion as follows:

Diversity

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

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

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.

Join the Exchange

Interested in becoming a participant in the Exchange? Fill out the request form below and we’ll follow up shortly. Inclusion in the Exchange comes at no cost or obligation.

Questions about the Exchange? Send us an email >>

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive updates on the Financial Solutions Lab, companies, and more.