The Citi Foundation Helps Young People Go From Paychecks to Prosperity With the Youth Financial Capability Fund

Youth workforce development programs provide opportunities to connect young people with resources that help them gain financial independence. These programs provide paid work experiences, mentoring, training and professional development for young people between ages 16-24 – many of whom are disconnected from education and employment opportunities. While earning a paycheck, young people can develop financial skills; create positive saving habits; and access valuable tools and resources to help them make informed financial choices.    

During July 2017, Prosperity Now partnered with the Citi Foundation to launch the Youth Financial Capability Fund (YFCF) to engage practitioners from five national youth workforce development organizations in an initiative to bolster youth financial capability. Participating organizations in the YFCF included Genesys Works, Juma Ventures, NPower, STRIVE International and Urban Alliance. The YFCF was designed as a train-the-trainer model in which Prosperity Now worked in partnership with national youth workforce organizations to design and implement financial capability services at 2-3 of each organization’s affiliate sites. Affiliate sites across seven states piloted the delivery of these services during 2018 and surveyed their participants before and after receiving services to track outcomes related to savings, financial capability and financial behaviors. Prosperity Now also provided support directly to the affiliate sites, including virtual peer exchanges; virtual trainings; and in-person regional convenings where staff could share insights.  

After receiving financial capability services, YFCF participants reported increased savings, improved savings behaviors, and higher rates of checking and savings account ownership. Two-thirds of participants also broadened their financial capability, and almost half reported more positive financial attitudes. 

This 18-month YFCF engagement allowed Prosperity Now to observe key insights across the following 5 categories that can help youth advocacy groups to develop financial capability programs that meet their needs:

  • Preparing for organizational change 
  • Putting young people at the center 
  • Exploring the role of partnerships 
  • Measuring progress to tell your program story 
  • Managing organizational change and sustaining financial capability work  

Check out our new brief, From Paychecks to Prosperity, for a deeper dive into these key insights and to learn more about the experiences and lessons learned by YFCF partners and Prosperity Now. These lessons are applicable beyond youth workforce development organizations, and can be applied to most organizations seeking to support youth financial capability.  

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