Our Services

safe savings

Financial coaching

Advocates - Relationship-Based Support


Volunteer Advocates work alongside our members to assist them in reaching their goals by building uniquely powerful and transformative relationships.

CEF pairs volunteers with all of our Members as long-term Advocates. Advocates work alongside our members to assist them towards:

  • Reaching individual goals
  • Obtaining or increasing income
  • Moving into independent housing
  • Saving for significant assets
  • Connecting to community
  • Securing financial stability

Overwhelmingly, Members cite the relationships formed with volunteers as even more critical to their success than savings and financial services. This relationship-based approach builds trust before building assets and is the key ingredient to CEF’s work with marginalized communities.

Safe Savings Accounts - Financial Freedom


CEF’s Safe Savings Accounts make saving easy. Through one-on-one support and a 10% match incentive, Members can save for their goals and to have a financial cushion. CEF has a variety of savings programs designed to help individuals at different stages of achieving financial independence:

  • Safe Savings Account: Members who achieve their savings goal and work 1-on-1 with Advocates receive a 10% match on top of their savings
  • Laptop Savings: By saving $100 with CEF, members can purchase affordable, refurbished laptop computers through our partner nonprofit, the Kramden Institute
  • Renter’s Savings IDA:  Members who have secured housing can apply to participate in this program. Members save with the program over the course of two years, and all funds saved towards an emergency fund are matched at 50% (up to $1,000 in matching funds)

Financial Coaching - The Skills to Succeed

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CEF’s free coaching programs cover everything from personal finance to job readiness to health. Coaching connects Members to the strategies and resources that support housing and financial security. Members can participate in coaching 1-on-1 with Advocates or in a group setting (only at our Chapel Hill location).

CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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