Financial Opportunity Corps Offers Financial Coaching to Residents of 10 Low-Income Communities Nationwide

Points of Light, Bank of America and AmeriCorps VISTA
Launch Innovative Volunteer-Based Financial Coaching Program

ATLANTA, August 22, 2013 — Twenty AmeriCorps VISTA members will be commissioned for service in the Financial Opportunity Corps at a swearing-in ceremony in Atlanta today. The Financial Opportunity Corps is an innovative partnership between Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service, Bank of America and the Corporation for National and Community Service to create volunteer-led financial coaching programs at existing nonprofit organizations in low- to moderate-income communities.

The AmeriCorps VISTA members will join local non-profit organizations in 10 cities around the country, training volunteers to become financial coaches for low- and moderate-income residents of their communities. Financial Opportunity Corps volunteers will help community members develop strategies to reduce debt, improve credit, start saving for emergencies, access benefits and build assets for long-term financial health.

“One of the reasons the Financial Opportunity Corps is so different – and the main reason why we believe it will be so effective – is that it is community-driven and volunteer-led,” said Delores Morton, President of Programs at Points of Light. “Local organizations know the needs of their communities better than anyone, and The Financial Opportunity Corps will provide them with the financial training and volunteer resources to help meet those needs.”

“When individuals have access to customized tools and resources to start down the path to financial stability, the whole community benefits,” said Kerry Sullivan, president, Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “We’re proud to be working with trusted community, and national organizations to bring financial coaching to those who need it most.”

Financial Opportunity Corps builds on the Task Force on Expanding National Service. President Obama established the task force in July, encouraging collaboration between the public and private sectors, including nonprofits, to find ways that national service members can help address the country’s challenges.

“Financial literacy builds resilient citizens and strong communities,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers the AmeriCorps VISTA program. “Through the President’s Task Force, we are finding ways to invest in organizations that ensure economic stability for our most vulnerable citizens. The AmeriCorps VISTA members who serve with the Financial Opportunity Corps will enable more Americans to reach financial success.”

The 10 organizations selected to host Financial Opportunity Corps programs this year are: Accounting Aid Society (Detroit); Asian Americans for Equality (New York); Austin Habitat for Humanity (Austin, Texas); Baltimore CASH Campaign (Baltimore); Catholic Charities Atlanta (Atlanta); Connecticut Association for Human Services (Hartford, Conn.); HandsOn Broward (Lauderhill, Fla.); Innovative Changes (Portland, Ore.); Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service and Clarifi (Philadelphia); and Sacred Heart Community Service (San Jose, Calif.).

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About Points of Light

Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We put people at the center of change. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.

Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility

Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.

About AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps VISTA is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. With passion, commitment, and hard work, AmeriCorps VISTA members create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.