Archive | February, 2017

DUKE Today: Partnering for Homeownership

Seven Duke employees, including Strahm, bought homes last year with help from the Homebuyers Club. Thirty other employees received Homebuyers Club certificates because they completed at least eight hours of homebuyer education classes. The certificates can qualify the employees for additional financial help from the club’s community partners such as Habitat for Humanity, which builds affordable homes for low-income families; Reinvestment Partners, which provides housing counseling; the Community Empowerment Fund, which offers savings opportunities and financial education; and SunTrust Bank. These partners, along with Duke staff, help employees on the path to improving their credit, saving money, and connecting with lenders and realtors.


CEF Highlighted in Common Cents Lab Annual Report

“We are honored to have partnered with CEF in this effort to improve Americans’ financial decision making.”

Dan Ariely, Common Cents Lab  Founder

“Community Empowerment Fund is an innovative and thoughtful partner that is creating real, meaningful improvements in the financial well-being of the most marginalized members of the community.”

— Mariel Beasley, Common Cents Lab Co-Director

Indiana received the very first punch on a CEF Savings Card! This piggy- themed punch card developed with Common Cents Lab, tracks each deposit and captures progress towards her goals!

“With Community Empowerment Fund, we redesigned goal-setting for clients who are homeless or in transitional housing, creating a process to recommend savings goals and monthly contributions based on the client’s housing and income circumstances. Additionally, we used punch cards to track deposits toward their savings goals. Clients who received the punch-cards saved, on average, 49% of their savings goal in 6 months or less.”


WCHL – Non-profit Showcase : CEF & Maggie West

If you were looking forward to our TED Talk at UNC, and are can’t wait to hear more about CEF—Co-founder and Co-director Maggie West was featured this month on WCHL’s non-profit spotlight! If you’ve ever wondered how and why CEF got started and what keeps all of us motivated to ‘show up’ each and every day click above to listen in!

Show notes

CEF From the Start
01:00 – How did CEF start as a student organization?
01:36 – How micro-loans turned into an opportunity to saving!
02:40 – Why some people can’t or don’t have bank accounts
03:15 – Match Savings Accounts = over 700K Saved!
03:55 – From student org into a Non-Profit!

Relationships: Members and Advocates
04:40 – How is CEF’s work really about relationships?
05:20 – How do Members choose their own goals?
06:23 – Are our volunteer Advocates trained to be experts?
06:50 – How we train 200+ volunteer Advocates?
07:20- What do we train Advocate to be able to do what they do?

Nate’s Story about Saving and Housing
09:00 – Maggie shares a story about Nate, a member working with a member to save and find housing in Chapel Hill
10:00 – Nate saves and finds a $325 studio apartment!
11:00 – What happened next after Nate moved in?
11:11 – Why the landlord didn’t immediately screen Nate out?
12:40 – “We don’t rent to homeless people”
13:40 – Why Safe Savings Account works for Nate.

Students Learning ‘A Real Big Lesson’
14:00 – What do students learn by working with members?
14:40 – What do systemic barriers look like on the ground?
15:10 – What are future doctors are learning by being an Advocate?
16:55 – What else gets students prepared for this work?
17:23 – “I don’t know how to do that but I think we can figure that out together”
17:45 – Advocates are connectors!

Getting involved: Now and the Future!
18:30 – What does Maggie see herself doing in the future?
19:08 – What can a someone do to help CEF’s work?
19:20- How does CEF stay so flexible/adaptable?
19:38 – How can you reach CEF and volunteer?

CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

Chapel Hill: 919-200-0233 Durham: 919-797-9233