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There’s an enormous range of services, tools, and other resources ready for you to incorporate into your financial wellness program. Here’s a sampling of some of the more common and effective components, how they help your people, and where you can source them.

Financial counseling and coaching services

Financial counseling and coaching services offer individual meetings with a trained counselor or coach to discuss financial issues. Meetings may take place in person, online, or over the phone, and can occur one time or as a series. Financial counseling services are more appropriate for individuals in financial crisis, as counselors are trained to offer specific advice on how to resolve urgent issues. Financial coaching services are more appropriate for employees who want to set goals and implement actions to gradually improve their current financial situation.

Financial counseling and coaching can help individuals start budgeting, saving, and paying down debt. They are especially attractive to young, lower-income workers who recognize individual financial counseling and coaching as a valuable workplace benefit.

When selecting a financial counseling or coaching service, consider whether employees are likely experiencing financial crises that need immediate resolution, or are financially stable but looking to improve their situation.

Resources: Clearpoint is an education-focused agency and part of the largest nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency in the U.S. GreenPath Financial Services is one of the largest and most respected nonprofit financial wellness and credit counseling organizations in the nation.

Debt management services

Debt management services help employees manage repayment of outstanding loans and lines of credit. Debt management service providers typically target their services to a specific type of debt. Common types of debt addressed by debt management services include student loans, mortgages, and unsecured credit (e.g., credit cards). The most prevalent debt management service is debt counseling, but payment programs and consolidation under lower-interest loans are also available.

Debt counseling can help people pay down debt balances and avoid negative consequences like foreclosure. When employees qualify, payment programs and lower-interest loans decrease the amount of money that goes to paying debt each month.

Be aware that the debt management services industry is wrought with predatory actors, making it difficult for an individual to identify legitimate services. When vetting debt management services for the workplace, be sure to check for signs of a scam using guidance from the Federal Trade Commission. Also, consider finding providers through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, whose members also provide credit counseling and are required to be accredited through the Council on Accreditation.

Savings products and services

Savings products and services can be designed to help meet short- or long-term goals. Today, many employers help employees save for retirement, education, or other financial goals via group plans.

These services facilitate savings by helping employees easily create savings or investment accounts, take advantage of pre-tax savings incentives, navigate a range of savings and investment products, and integrate accounts so that money can be conveniently saved and managed.

The workplace is an ideal setting for an employee to save because it is where income is generated and where established mechanisms (e.g., direct deposit) exist that allow employees to save and invest in a direct and automated way.

Savings and investment services are most effective, particularly for lower-income workers, when they can be easily used and understood, and when they are timely and relevant to an employee’s financial needs. For lower-income employees, consider products and services that are customized to an employee’s specific needs or are paired with other services like financial education, online financial tools, or short-term loan products. For example, for employees with young children, a 529 plan for college savings can be paired with education regarding how to optimize the 529 program.

Bank services

Almost every bank, and many credit unions, now offer automatic savings through programs that round up transactions to the nearest dollar, automatically transfer money into savings accounts, or divvy up paychecks into various savings or retirement accounts.

For those who already have a bank account, this may be a seamless transition to automatic saving. Unlike other options, however, this approach requires you to have a checking and savings account with the bank offering the service, and you must opt in to the service.

Automated savings apps

Automatic savings apps are an easy, reliable and foolproof method to save more money. They automate daily savings via transfers, rounding up transactions, dividing paychecks into various accounts, etc.

Resources: Qapital is a free, FDIC-insured automatic saving app that allows you to save based on goals: You decide what triggers a deposit (for instance, rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar), and Qapital will do the work of getting that money into a savings account. DoubleNet Pay, distributed exclusively through large retirement providers, helps automate basic best financial practices such as funding short-term savings goals, tracking and paying bills, and paying down debt with each paycheck. EvoShare is a cash-back app that helps you save for your goals (retirement, reducing your student debt, etc.) while you shop. (Need more automated savings options? Find a longer list here.)

529 college savings plans

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education costs. 529s, known as “qualified tuition plans,” are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions. You can check for options in your state here.

Short-term loans and accrued wage advances

Short-term loans and accrued wage advances help employees navigate financial challenges by making credit or cash available through the workplace. Short-term loan providers give employees access to credit that can be conveniently repaid in regular installments over a longer period and at a much lower cost than other short-term credit products, such as payday and auto-title loans. Employers validate and automate repayment through regular payroll deductions. Some loan services also use loans to facilitate savings by giving employees the option to have payroll deductions automatically transferred into a savings account after a short-term loan is paid in full. Other providers offer pay advances (often in the form of prepaid debit cards) that allow employees to access earned but unpaid wages to moderate income volatility.

Loans and advances provided by or through employers can be particularly beneficial to lower-income employees by offering access to credit that they can easily afford and repay. Without these loans, many employees turn to payday loans or credit cards that are difficult to repay, or they overdraw their bank account and incur a high fee. These B-corp and nonprofit services help employees avoid a morass of fees and penalties that further tax their wages.

Employers can consider loans and advances with lower interest rates and clear, fair terms because borrowers are less likely to default on these loans. Employer-sponsored loan services have the lowest default rates, but there are also low-cost third-party services employers can use to avoid liability. Consider also loan services that are paired with financial education, tools, or advisement to offer timely, targeted assistance that meets employees’ individual needs.

Resources: EVEN, designed to disrupt the predatory payday loan industry, offers low-income workers interest-free credit to help make ends meet in between paychecks; it also offers automatic budgeting, help for emergency expenses, and even a “pause” button for turning off repayment charges in the case of hardship. PayActiv, a certified B-Corp, gives employees advanced access to up to 50% of already-earned wages, eliminating the need to use costly short-term loans. TrueConnect is an employee benefit program providing access to safe, affordable loans from a community development financial institute at no cost or risk to employers; repayment comes from small, automated payroll deductions and helps build credit, despite the fact that credit scores are not considered in the application process.

Online financial management tools

Online financial management tools help employees manage and automate their finances: estimating how much to save, determining how much to take out in loans, tracking daily expenses, and more. The market is rapidly expanding with varying and innovative products, but common services include account management tools (like those that automatically allocate paychecks to different account), financial education that features goal tracking or games, interactive savings products, or a combination of those and other services. Some online tools can be integrated with other financial services or employee benefit programs.

Online financial management tools can be the most convenient kinds of resources for employees, often allowing 24/7 access to services, and easy scalability for large workforces. Look for tools that have simple and intuitive interfaces which are easily accessed via computer, tablet, or smartphone, and are secure. Employees prefer tools with content and transactions that are immediately applicable.

Resources: MINT is a free, full-featured app that brings together everything from balances and bills to credit scores and more. It’s puts users’ entire financial life in one place, making it easy to understand. On the other end of the spectrum, Fudget is a stripped-down app for tracking income and expenses, offering quick, easy, to-the-point budgeting help.

Financial education classes and seminars

Financial education classes and seminars typically involve a financial professional or volunteer coming to the workplace to deliver courses or workshops about key financial topics. They are traditionally offered in-person, but online versions are also available.

Classes and seminars are most useful when they include peer-to-peer and experiential learning, and when they’re targeting specific groups with information that’s directly relevant to them. Whether that’s a refresher course covering financial terms, or training in household financial strategies, discussing individual challenges with coworkers facing similar issues will promote deeper learning.

Before selecting a financial education class or seminar, explore financial questions that are top-of-mind among employees. Because education alone does not necessarily lead to changes in behavior, try to offer, whenever possible, related financial wellness services alongside financial education to give participants an immediate opportunity to turn knowledge into action.

Resources: Many online education sources offer financial literacy classes at little or no cost.  Alison’s free Financial Literacy course covers the fundamentals for those at the beginning of their financial management journey. Also for beginners, Udemy’s free Personal Finance 101 includes 3 hours of interactive content, featuring short, engaging animated videos on everything from taxes to credit cards. Coursera offers a 9-week interactive Personal and Family Financial Planning course covering topics like investing, managing risk, and building your own personal finance plan – and you can audit it for free.


On financial wellness
2018 Employee Financial Wellness Survey (PricewaterhouseCooper)

On benefits
2017 Nonprofit Employee Benefits Report (PPI Benefit Solutions)
2017 Employee Benefits Study (Society of Human Resources

On nonprofit compensation
Nonprofit Compensation Report (GuideStar)
Nonprofit Survey Salary Report (Association TRENDS)

On employee engagement
The nonprofit workforce speaks (Work for Good)
Engaging Nonprofit Employees (Quantum Workplace)
2017 Employee Engagement Trends (Quantum Workplace)

The content on provides general information and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information; do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here; and take no liability for your use of this information.

© Georgia Center for Nonprofits 2019

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