Full-Time Bank On Fellow Will Lead Coalition of Government Leaders, Community Organizations, and Financial Institutions in New Mexico to Bank the Unbanked
November 17, 2023 – Millions of Americans across the country are outside of the stabilizing financial mainstream, without a safe banking account to manage their money and build towards a stronger financial future. Across the country, Bank On coalitions work to connect residents to safe, affordable accounts – and Prosperity Works just received a new grant to launch Bank On New Mexico and supercharge these efforts. Prosperity Works and national nonprofit the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) announced Delma Madrigal as Bank On New Mexico’s Fellow for a two-year term to advance banking access efforts at scale, including through identifying opportunities to connect access to safe accounts to programs and payments. Bank On New Mexico is one of six Bank On coalitions across the country whose work will be supported by this cohort of the Bank On Fellows initiative. The goal of the national Bank On movement is to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable financial products and services.
Now in its fourth Wells Fargo Foundation-supported cohort, the national Bank On Fellowship Program provides funding to six Bank On coalitions to support a full-time staff position for two years — a “Fellow” — to lead coalition activities. Launched in 2017 with generous support from the Wells Fargo Foundation, it is the first national initiative focused on building experienced banking access leaders across the country, equipping them with the training, tools, and resources to make significant advancements in local banking access efforts while at the same time generating best practices for other coalitions. Dedicated local leadership is critical to moving beyond general education and literacy efforts and instead into identifying systemic integration points – from unemployment insurance to tax refunds to other program and payment streams – to connect unbanked people to safe, affordable accounts at scale.
“A key requirement for economic prosperity is access to a safe and affordable transactional financial account,” said Ann Lyn Hall, Chief Executive Officer of Prosperity Works. “Prosperity Works has supported thousands of New Mexicans to access financial accounts to build assets. We are very excited to expand our asset building work through the development of the Bank On New Mexico Coalition.”
The CFE Fund leads the national Bank On movement, supporting local coalitions working to connect individuals and families to the financial mainstream through partnerships between local governments, financial institutions, and community organizations. The Bank On National Account Standards define characteristics of a safe, affordable, and fully functional consumer account; accounts certified as meeting Bank On Standards are available at over 400 banks and credit unions across the country in over 46,000 branches, comprising 60% of the U.S. deposit market share.
“Banking access is foundational to financial stability,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “A safe, affordable, mainstream account is critical to helping people manage their money and improve their financial health. Bank On coalitions across the country connect people to safe accounts at scale, and a dedicated coalition leader will only supercharge this work. We are proud to partner with the Wells Fargo Foundation to support Bank On New Mexico and their new full-time Fellow, Delma Madrigal, in helping New Mexicans connect to safe financial products.”
Bank On New Mexico is a new Bank On coalition whose goal is to decrease the number of unbanked and underbanked people across the state of New Mexico. The coalition is being led by Prosperity Works a non-profit that has focused on economic prosperity statewide for the last 20 years. The Bank On New Mexico fellow, Delma Madrigal, comes to Prosperity Works after successfully launching the Bank On Burque Coalition for the City of Albuquerque. Her experience also includes projects for supporting individuals with navigating “cliff effects” and exploring resources to pursue financial and educational goals. She is passionate about utilizing and adapting project management methods and tools within non-traditional spaces and non-profit work.
“Continuing the momentum built in launching Bank On Burque is exciting,” said Delma Madrigal, Economic Equity Director of Prosperity Works. “Expanding access to economic opportunities for all New Mexicans is what Prosperity Works is well known for and is the perfect organization to now provide the leadership and support for bringing the Bank On movement to other parts of New Mexico.”
“We’re excited to support the continuation of our partnership with CFE Fund and welcome our fourth cohort of Bank On Fellows to lead banking inclusion efforts in markets with high concentrations of unbanked households,” said Bonnie Wallace, head of Financial Health Philanthropy at Wells Fargo.
About the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund)
The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting-edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders to identify, develop, fund, implement, and research pilots and programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. The CFE Fund is currently working in over 100 cities and counties representing 75 million people, and has disbursed over $64 million to city governments and their partners to support these efforts. For more information, please visit www.cfefund.org or follow us on Twitter at @CFEFund.
About Prosperity Works
Prosperity Works is a nonprofit that supports limited-income New Mexicans build and protect assets they need to be successful. Whether that’s investing in education, providing low-interest lending options, assistance for buying a home, providing fair lending information, or even lowering energy bills. Prosperity Works collaborates with other nonprofits, businesses, government agencies, and financial institutions to make these life-changing strategies a reality. For more information, please visit www.prosperityworks.net or follow us on Twitter at @ProsperityWork
In 2021, New Mexico passed community solar legislation which authorized projects to be built here. They are large, 30-acre solar farms that provide electricity to many households and businesses without barriers that can be faced with rooftop solar such as cost, home ownership or roof health. Community solar is available to renters and homeowners, no matter the condition of their roofs, and to people without capital to make an investment in other forms of solar. Community solar is cleaner and cheaper to produce.
Access to community solar helps limited-income New Mexicans lower their energy bills so that they can use these financial resources on other critical needs. Community solar projects pass the electricity-generating savings to their customers. Households with limited incomes will be able to save up to 30% on their monthly electric bill and market rate customers 10%. This savings is critical to lower the energy burden in households. Energy burden is the percentage that a household spends on their utility bills compared to their annual income. In middle-income homes, the energy burden is about 2%. In low-income homes in New Mexico, the energy burden goes as high as 30%.
Over the last two years, Prosperity Works has completed several community solar initiatives to ensure the deepest impact for low-income households in New Mexico. We wrote a best practice guide for the State of New Mexico so that the over 45 projects that will be built in the state will benefit our most vulnerable households.
Currently, we are partnering with several community solar projects to help households sign up for community solar. We want to share information about community solar with more New Mexicans. If you have a group that we should reach out to, please let us know.
If you would like us to provide you with more information about community solar, let us know by filling out this interest form.
Thank you to all our supporters who continue to sustain our work!
Prosperity Works Staff