CFED Newsletter: January 2012
Spreading the Message of Financial Security and Opportunity
In 2011, CFED expanded our communications and outreach efforts to spread the message of financial security and opportunity to a wider audience, including the re-design of The Inclusive Economy and the launch of this monthly organizational newsletter. Along with developing simple, attractive and affordable outreach products, we have also put in place systems to gather robust data that can help us identify ways to make our brand and our field more effective in bringing the message of economic inclusion to scale.
To ring in the New Year, we’re excited to share with you just some of the exciting metrics that we’ll be using to direct our Communications work in 2012. Here is a handful of fun facts about our website:
- Folks want to save! The most popular feature on our website is the IDA Directory, with almost 77,000 visits in 2011.
- Many want what they save to come from CFED. In 2011, 6,500+ website visitors looked at career opportunities at CFED.
- Perhaps they’re saving for their phone bill, since increasingly, more and more traffic to cfed.org is coming from mobile devices. Most popular: Apple’s iPhone, of course.
We’re not just tracking metrics for our website, though. Our social media networks grew stronger throughout the year:
- Facebook isn’t just for 20-somethings. Among our 900 Facebook fans, only 7% are 18-24 years old. The most well-represented age group is 25-34, followed by the 35-44 group.
- Like McDonald’s, we’ve served millions. On Twitter, with the help of our 1,100 followers, we’ve reached 1.6 million people.
- Who ever said the stock market was boring? When Andrea visited it to ring the opening bell, our blog welcomed 500 visitors, the second-highest traffic volume since the March 16 launch, when nearly 900 visitors read The Inclusive Economy.
By following these and literally hundreds of other metrics, we believe that we can create even more helpful and targeted messages and products that help our networks advocate for a fairer assets agenda in their communities and in their state and federal legislatures. We hope that if you have ideas on how to maximize the impact of these messages, you’ll share them with us.
2011 in Review: Celebrating the Past, Welcoming the Future
For most of you, 2011 was a whirlwind year. For us, that might be an understatement. The past 12 months witnessed one of the toughest fundraising and policymaking climates many of us have experienced in our lifetimes, and we enter an election year with baited breath, wondering how different things will be when we welcome 2013. One thing is certain: we will continue to learn from the challenges facing our field and use them to help Americans secure their financial futures.
In many ways, 2011 was a banner year for CFED. Here are just a few of the highlights:
- The Assets & Opportunity Network was formally established in 2011, and just this week we announced the permanent members of the Network Steering Committee.
- June was an important month for our Asset Building for Children (ABC) work as we, along with KIPP Charter Schools, UNCF, Citi and the Citi Foundation, publicly launched the Partnership for College Completion.
- I’M HOME hosted their annual Retreat in October in Knoxville, bringing together industry leaders and nonprofit professionals to discuss the important value manufactured homes bring to the financial futures of low- and moderate-income families.
- November kept us quite busy. Not only did we collaborate to re-launch the Bank On website, we also developed a brand new unbanked population research tool. Also in November, we worked with Four Bands to release a Research Report that examines investment opportunities in Native small businesses in South Dakota.
Ultimately, none of this would have been possible without the support of literally thousands of partners like you across the globe, each of whom offers something unique to our process of expanding economic opportunity. Most certainly, we look forward to working with you further in the New Year!
Ideas Into Action: The 2012 Assets Learning Conference
CFED invites you to the 2012 Assets Learning Conference, Ideas into Action to be held on September 19-21, 2012 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC.
The Assets Learning Conference is a nationally-recognized biennial event that brings together over 1,000 professionals from leading nonprofits, foundations, financial institutions, corporations, academia and government to learn about and advance asset building in the United States. The conference is the only event of its kind in the United States that addresses the full range of asset-building opportunities across the lifetime from youth ¬financial education to retirement savings. The 2012 Assets Learning Conference will build on over a decade of experience in providing attendees with the opportunity to learn innovative strategies and best practices that take ideas into action for individuals, families, communities and the nation as a whole.
Our goal is to advance innovative yet proven products, services, systems and policies that will help to make financial opportunity a reality for millions of Americans. Check CFED’s website, cfed.org, frequently for updates, including information on how to register.
CFED Honors Schweke’s Three Decades of Excellence
It was a bittersweet moment when Senior Fellow Bill Schweke announced that he would retire at the end of 2011. To be sure, we’re excited for Bill to start the next chapter of his life. But not having Bill’s generosity, ingenuity and integrity on a daily basis, as CFED has enjoyed almost since its founding, is, to say the least, challenging.
Of course, perhaps even more challenging would be finding a way to appropriately honor Bill’s accomplishments and contributions over the course of his career. One party simply wasn’t enough, so we had three! To the right is a photo from one of the celebrations in North Carolina. We hope you'll join us in congratulating Bill by sending an email.
To say the least, we miss you already, Bill!
- Join CFED and NeighborWorks America on January 17 from 1-2 p.m. EST for a webinar titled, “Innovations in Paying Down Debt: Lessons from Borrow Less Tomorrow.” The webinar will explore the BoLT program, a behavioral approach to helping lower-income families pay down expensive debt.
- On January 31, CFED will launch the 2012 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard. Visit cfed.org on January 31 to access this valuable resource.