NSB Foundation: Looking Back and Moving Forward
Over the past three years, the Northfield Savings Bank Foundation (NSBF) invested $450,000 to help improve financial literacy in the state by partnering with two local non-profits focused on bettering the financial lives of Vermonters: Capstone Community Action (Capstone) and the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO).
Impact at Capstone
At Capstone, the three years of funding from NSBF helped the organization significantly increase its financial capability services within Washington, Orange and Lamoille Counties. These services went to 684 individuals – mostly low and moderate income - in the form of group financial education and one-to-one coaching, helping people with topics like debt reduction, budgeting and improving credit scores. The grant also enabled Capstone to form partnerships with several local businesses to offer financial education and coaching to employees; local high schools to teach financial topics to students; and other public and non-profit organizations to offer services to their clients.
“Because of NSBF’s support, there were many success stories including several instances of low-income families saving, repairing and building their credit that enabled them to subsequently purchase homes. These were families who had never thought they could attain their dreams of homeownership,” said Mary Niebling, the Director of Community Economic Development at Capstone.
Impact at CVOEO
Through three years of funding from NSBF, the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity held 2,110 client meetings, held 454 classes and ran 752 credit scores. More than half of clients went to CVOEO because they had medical, credit card or student loan debt that was overdue. As a result of financial coaching and classes held at CVOEO, 82 percent of clients reported that they felt more financially secure. Participants reduced their debt, reduced their bills, settled with a collector, fixed credit report errors, established credit and stopped using predatory lending, among other positive financial moves.
“The grant enabled us to help clients to learn, earn, save and own,” said Kate Larose, CVOEO’s Director of Financial Futures Program.
While NSBF’s partnerships with Capstone and CVOEO recently concluded with the end of their funding terms, the Foundation looks forward to continuing its positive work in Vermont through newly established and soon-to-be-announced partnerships.
The Northfield Savings Bank Foundation was established in 2000 through Northfield Savings Bank as part of NSB’s long-standing commitment to donate 10 percent of its yearly earnings to the local community. The Foundation partners with Vermont non-profits for a set amount of time to invest in efforts related to issues like financial literacy, poverty relief, food, housing, homelessness and more. When considering an area of need or partnership, NSBF is deliberate, focused and thorough in its assessment to ensure significant results can be achieved given the amount of time and money to be invested.