Our Approach
Given the challenge posed by the current U.S. economy, we work at both the grassroots and systemic levels. We leverage research and insights from behavioral economics* to create interventions that engineer beneficial money management behaviors in individuals.  We use a similar approach to instigate institutional and systemic behavior change to overcome the barriers that negatively impact low-income communities.  We line up incentives with goals and then track, report, and refine.

By taking this approach, we help people develop their financial survival skills and use civic engagement as an asset-building strategy. We are also changing the marketplace by demonstrating that fair, safe, and effective financial products and services are a sustainable best practice.

Poverty is not a character flaw, rather a policy choice.
*Behavioral economics combines the disciplines of psychology, sociology, and economics to understand how financial choices are made and how financial decisions can be improved to produce better results.
Ty Bender

Community Financial Resources has been one of the most beneficial financial moves that I have made in my life.  I enrolled in  the Focus Card to receive my financial aid disbursements via direct deposit avoiding the high fees attached to cashing checks, and I use the savings account reducing the emotional burden knowing that my money is safe and secure. I am so grateful for Community Financial Resources!


Prepaid Cards issued

$7 million

Banking and cashing fees avoided 


Total deposits to the Focus Card

in 2020


Total deposits to savings in 2020

668 &
73 Points

People with no prior credit score established a score of 668. People improving their credit increased their score by 73 points. 

2 million

Lives impacted


Decrease in personal financial stress.

Vince Garrett

Using the Focus Card (and app) has been simple, user friendly, and very convenient. I was ablate set-up direct deposit for my pay, pay most of my bills online and make purchases with it. I love the Card... it's my go to for everything!

Image by Sincerely Media
Over $1.8M in COVID-19 relief funds deposited. 
To more than 4,000 Families.
Image by Dylan Ferreira
Anonymous relief fund recipiant

“I received the funds on the focus card today! I want to thank the partners for helping
my family during this very hard financial season. I was able to pay my PG&E bill, which
was past due! I also have relief with paying my car note this month! Today has been a
blessing for me.”

Surgical Mask

In the spring of 2020, over 5,000 low-income households received over $9 million in economic stimulus and tax refunds via direct deposit through CFR’s Focus Card.