History & Impact
In 2007, United Way of America launched the Financial Stability Partnership, a national asset building initiative. The intent is to network asset building strategies and strategic partnerships that enable working families to attain economic stability. Economic stability impacts social indicators; research reveals that families with savings and assets:
- are less likely to divorce
- have lower rates of domestic violence
- have lower rates of child abuse
- experience fewer chronic illnesses
- have better overall health
- attain higher educational levels
United Way of Central Alabama, collaborating with partners across the state, serves as the lead organization for the United Way Financial Stability Partnership™ of Alabama. Federal, state and local funds along with statewide partnerships combine to address key social and economic issues that impact the long-term well-being of Alabama families and communities.
The impact of the United Way Financial Stability Partnership™ of Alabama can be measured by the countless number of people who already have benefited from our programs. From financial education and investments to small business support and tax preparation assistance, the stories of individuals and families who are on their way to financial stability are proof of the powerful potential of the Partnership.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
In 2009, United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program assisted 4,000 individuals with free tax returns brining $4 million in tax refunds to our state. These individuals received their full refund and avoided hefty tax preparation fees and expensive tax advance loans.
Saving and Attaining Assets
Individual Development Accounts
United Way’s Individual Development Account program helps hard working families overcome economic instability and attain stabilizing assets. To date, 543 individuals have enrolled in the program, having their savings matched 2:1 with federal funds and locally raised matching funds. These individuals have purchased $6.9 million in assets – including homes, small businesses and education.
Learning Financial Skills
The Financial Stability Partnership works with more than 100 partner agencies across the state to improve the quality of and access to financial education. In 2008 United Way hosted the first Financial Education Summit where financial educators across the state attended a two-day train- the trainer event. As a result, United Way was instrumental in forming the Central Alabama Financial Education Alliance and holds a statewide financial education summit annually.