What is the Financial Opportunity Corps (FOC)?

FOC is an innovative financial coaching program developed by Points of light in partnership with Bank of America and CNCS. The Financial Opportunity Corps mobilizes AmeriCorps VISTA members and community volunteers to deliver financial coaching and asset-building services in economically disadvantaged communities. The program helps clients increase their financial knowledge and develop strategies to reduce debt, improve credit, start saving for emergencies, access benefits, and build assets.

Program Elements: How does the Financial Opportunity Corps Work?

  • Trainers from Central New Mexico Community College teach VISTA members how to train volunteers to become financial coaches.
  • Two trained AmeriCorps VISTA members are placed at nonprofit organizations in 9 communities across the country.
  • Financial Opportunity Corps VISTA members design and implement a financial coaching program that complements the organization’s existing financial education programs (including VITA).
  • Members of the community are empowered to become financial coaches to support their peers in the community.
  • Financial Opportunity Corps VISTA members recruit and train volunteer financial coaches and financial workshop facilitators (including Bank of America volunteers) to help economically disadvantaged families develop strategies to stimulate long-term financial health.

What is Financial Coaching?

Coaching consists of regular one-on-one sessions with clients in order to coach performance improvements to meet goals set by the client; it is fundamentally about supporting and empowering clients to create better habits.

  • Purpose of coaching is to change financial behaviors.
  • Direction of coaching is driven by the client.
  • Focus is on current situation.
  • The coach:
    • Listens, asks powerful questions
    • Helps clients set, refine and achieve their own goals, objectives and strategies.
    • Holds clients accountable.

 Where can I find the Financial Opportunity Corps?

  • Asian Americans for Equality – New York, NY
  • Accounting Aid Society – Detroit , MI
  • Baltimore CASH Campaign – Baltimore, MD
  • CLARIFI – Philadelphia, PA
  • CT Association for Human Services – Hartford, CT
  • HandsOn Broward – Lauderhill, FL
  • Innovative Changes – Portland, OR
  • Sacred Heart Community Service – San Jose, CA
  • United Way of Greater Atlanta – Atlanta, GA

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