Over the past year, Prosperity Works has been helping low-income communities through their Energy Efficiency Work. This work funded by the Turner Foundation, and NM Zone Grant funders, and has allowed Prosperity Works to improve the lives and living conditions of low-income families in New Mexico.
While implementing home energy audits and energy efficiency measures in these low-income homes, Prosperity Works was able to conduct a survey about their needs. They found that all of these individuals own their homes, are families averaging two to five people, and 65% of those surveyed are living on $10,000 or less a year, and fully 85% have incomes of $25,000 or less. Most of these families have deferred medical needs, medicine and food to pay their utility bills.
The Prosperity Works Energy Work has been done in two phases, with the hopes of more in the future.
In the first phase, Prosperity Works partnered with PNM to create a model to get into hard to reach communities and households. They utilized PNM ambassadors and the Partnership for Community Action parent leaders staff to facilitate energy efficiency opportunities, with the idea of “community people engaging with community people.” Through this program, we were able to upgrade lighting, power strips, aerators, and weather stripping on windows and doors in 50 homes. Of those 50 homes, 35 also qualified to receive new refrigerators at no cost.
Phase Two of the Energy Work partners with Central New Mexico Housing. This second phase is focused on gas efficiency and safety in homes by upgrading hot water heaters, furnaces, and whole-house insulation. With the two-phase of upgrades, most homeowners anticipate a cost reduction on their utility bills of 50%, and also importantly, an improvement in the health, safety, and comfort of their home.
The next phase of this work will include 300 additional homes. Prosperity Works hopes to receive more funding to grow this model statewide. With many New Mexicans living at or below the poverty line, we must do all we can to ease their financial burden, and open new pathways for opportunities for them and their families.
As we begin a new year – and a new decade – it is important to appreciate the efforts, work, history, and growth of our incredible organization. Prosperity Works was started with one primary goal: to remove barriers and create opportunity for financial equity and inclusion in the state of New Mexico. Throughout our 20 year history, we have worked tirelessly to do just that. Over the years, we have engaged with communities, legislators, business owners, and advocates across the state to champion and advance policies and practices that work to address the systemic factors that block financial stability and contribute to poverty.
We are proud to have worked to create successful programs that continue to make a positive impact in New Mexico, like the New Mexico Individual Development Account program and Prosperity Kids, a matched children’s savings account. We are proud to have worked with partners across the state to reframe poverty and to encourage the shifting of attitudes and behaviors in addressing and working to alleviate poverty. We are proud to have championed access to fair lending for all New Mexicans and to hold lenders accountable for predatory practices - work our team continues to carry out today. And we are immensely proud of how far we’ve come and excited for what the future will bring.
As we move forward, my vision for Prosperity Works is that we can become an accelerator for common cause issues around the state – those policy and programmatic efforts that endeavor to create an equitable economic and social landscape for all New Mexicans – so that we, as a network of partners, advocates, and leaders can really make the positive impact we hope to see for our State and our people. It is with a collaborative and relentless spirit that we will continue our work and I hope that you’ll join us.
2020 Policy Agenda Priorities
Prosperity Works supports
Giving Tuesday, this year held on December 3rd, is our largest annual fundraising event here at Prosperity Works. Traditionally, on that single day each year we set out to raise as many dollars as we can, all of which which goes directly towards our programs and initiatives - and all of which energizes and furthers our mission to power economic opportunity and change for all New Mexicans.
We are extremely proud to announce that with your help we raised $10,980!
In a jam-packed year full of fundraising projects both internally and externally, the total we raised is impressive. But we're even more blown away by the number of individual donors who helped us reach this milestone. We had over 40 donors who with their gift were expressing a heartfelt commitment to our work: "Yes, I believe the best investment I can make is investing directly in hardworking New Mexicans."
We promise to deliver a return on your investment in 2020.
We also couldn't have reached this goal without the grassroots financial support from local businesses who wanted to signal that they believe in the mission of Prosperity Works by providing generous corporate match dollars.
We know that there are many wonderful organizations making a difference in New Mexico every day. Donors who gave to Prosperity Works on #GivingTuesday 2019 were assured their gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by these exclusive partners up to $5,000. In short, this kind of support amplifies our reach and strengthens our mission in a compounding, impactful way.
So we want to send a very special THANK YOU to both these donors and our community partners. You've taken an active role in empowering real change to the economic future of our local communities. Your engagement and commitment inspires us everyday to fight for great financial equity and inclusion for all the people of New Mexico.
Again, thank you from all of us here at Prosperity Works. We couldn't do what we do without your support.
Hello, Prosperity Works family, friends and support!
Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday) is an international day of giving created in 2012 and traditionally held every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Conceived as a response to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the consumerism of the holiday season, Giving Tuesday is a way to give back to your local communities. Whether it's donations of time, money, food, clothing or other essential services, Giving Tuesdayhas become a reminder for us to pause for a moment of dedicated reflection -- and to connect with the causes, non-profits and charitable organizations that are closest to our hearts.
We've seen the exposure - and the recognition - of Giving Tuesday grow exponentially since it began, with participation by over 8,000 non profits and counting.
And the results are truly inspiring. In the last few years alone, giving on Giving Tuesday has doubled (from $116 million in 2015 to $264 million in 2017)! What began as a grass roots seed has now blossomed into a large-scale fundraising movement, with matching dollars coming in from partner corporations and philanthropic foundations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Facebook, the Case Foundation and Google.
Here at Prosperity Works, Giving Tuesday is our largest fundraising event of the year. It's a vital revenue component in our ongoing work of advocating for financial equity and inclusion for all New Mexicans.
Equally important, Giving Tuesday has proven to be an invaluable way for us to connect (& reconnect!) with our Prosperity Works' friends, donors, prospects and influencers, as we continue the work and progress we've made with our matched dollar savings accounts like IDAs and CSAs, our Prosperity Kids program, as well as our ongoing fight against predatory lending in our state.
You'll be hearing about Giving Tuesday from us quite a bit over the next few days, as we lead up to this very important day next Tuesday, December 3rd. And while we hope Prosperity Works remains front and center on your list for Giving Tuesday 2019, we also recognize that any and all giving on this important day makes a world of difference.
After all, we're all in this together. And to quote former Senator Paul Wellstone, "We all do better when all do better."
Join us on Giving Tuesday this year!
The Department of Agriculture recently proposed making changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) that would take critical food benefits away from 3.1 million Americans, mainly working families with children, seniors, and individuals with disabilities, and will cut off school lunches for half a million children. If this proposal goes into effect working families who live near the poverty line will lose SNAP benefits when a small increase in earnings pushes their income past the current cutoff. The change would also stop states from automatically enrolling children whose families receive SNAP for free school meals.
Read our letter to Secretary Perdue at USDA and if you'd like to add a public comment to this proposal you may do so here.
The Prosperity Works Board of Directors announces that Michael Barrio will take over as President & CEO when Ona Porter retires this fall. Barrio, a Las Cruces native, has been serving as the Director of Advocacy at the nonprofit organization since 2017. Board and staff alike are excited about the commitment to economic equity, public and private sector experience and extensive network of New Mexico relationships that Michael brings to the role.
“Michael's passion for the mission, his vision, and strategic approach to advance an opportunity agenda is
precisely what we need at this stage,” says Ona Porter, who will assume a Founder Emeritus role on the Board of Directors.
Please see the complete press release below.
Fighting insidious predatory lending in New Mexico requires a double-headed strategy: holding small-dollar lenders accountable to common-sense regulation AND expanding more fair-lending solutions to reach the people who need them most. The Albuquerque Journal published a story about how more and more New Mexico employers are offering fairly-priced credit-building loans as an employee benefit. We're proud to help employers offer this solution to stabilize their workforce and keep them out of the clutches of the loan sharks. If you know an employer or HR Professional who is interested in learning more about TrueConnect, please give us a call.
"Nearly 16,000 employees across New Mexico – predominantly in the public sector – have access to TrueConnect loans, according to Prosperity Works, a nonprofit anti-poverty organization in Albuquerque that has helped the company expand in New Mexico. Participating employers also include the city of Las Cruces, Central New Mexico Community College and Comcast New Mexico.
The loans are “one of the ways we can begin to address the fact that individuals and families need access to small-dollar lending and that they shouldn’t be punished for that by paying triple-digit APRs and being stuck in a cycle of debt that’s almost impossible to get out of,” said Michael Barrio, advocacy director for Prosperity Works."
Please visit the ABQ Journal to read the full story.
Nancy Martira, Communications Manager
Ona Porter, Founder & CEO of Prosperity Works, announces her retirement from the Albuquerque-based organization in late 2019. Porter founded the statewide nonprofit organization in 2000.
“Understanding that poverty is a policy failure rather than the set of character flaws that are commonly assigned to the poor, Prosperity Works has proven that opportunity and social justice are what is needed for people to thrive. Addressing systemic barriers that prevent people from living a life of dignity while providing access to economic inclusion have been hallmarks of our work, and will continue to be so,” Ona said in her retirement announcement. “I am very proud of what we have accomplished with our partners across the state during my tenure.”
The Prosperity Works Board of Directors is handling the search for the new CEO who will lead Prosperity Works into its third decade of service. The Board has engaged an external executive search consultant to ensure that the search will be appropriately comprehensive and inclusive.
Download the Full Press Release Here
When you dine out at Chello Grill on Tuesday, May 21st and show this flyer on your phone, 50% of your total sale will be donated to Prosperity Works. Bring your friends, bring your family, or bring your coworkers and help us make this a successful one-day fundraiser. Please read the fine print above. Thank you for the many ways you support Prosperity Works!
Nancy Martira, Communications Manager
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is accepting public comment on a proposal to roll-back existing consumer protections on small-dollar loans. We know this industry is notoriously predatory and now the CFPB wants to make it easier to trap Americans in high-cost debt that they can't afford to pay back. We will be submitting our comment before the May 15th deadline. Please read our letter below. If you would like to have your name or organization added to our letter, please send us a message. You may submit your own comment on this proposal here.