Archive | External Research on CEF

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.”


“Can People Experiencing Homelessness Acquire Financial Assets?” — Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Can People Experiencing Homelessness Acquire Financial Assets
Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, December 2015, Volume XLII, Number 4

By: Allison De Marco, Molly De Marco, Alexandra Biggers, Maggie West, Jonathan Young, and Rachel Levy. A collaborative publication between Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Community Empowerment Fund, and the UNC School of Social Work. This report is a qualitative study of the results of CEF’s Safe Savings Program compiled through the conduction of extended qualitative interviews with program participants.


"Planning for Program Effectiveness"

By: Eric Breit and Anna Farrar, UNC Masters in City and Regional Planning

The goal of this report is to help CEF better understand how to maximize its limited resources for greatest effectiveness. Specifically, through a statistical-based evaluation of its programs, this study addresses the question: does length of membership in CEF and graduation from its self-empowerment curriculum improve individuals’ outcomes? The hypothesis is, if a member has maintained a relationship with CEF for longer periods of time and has graduated from its programs, then their self-identified goals will be more likely be attained than those who have shorter memberships.  View Here

CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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