Results tagged as "citi foundation"

  • Empowering informed financial choices.

    By Brandee McHale, Director of Programs, Citi Foundation June 04, 2010 02:06 PM

    A recent major study by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation showed most Americans lack the knowledge and skills they need to make the right financial decisions for themselves and their families. These findings from the National Financial Capability Study are a cause of great concern at Citi because they showed, among other things, that most Americans aren't adequately saving for emergencies, college or retirement, and just 46 percent correctly answered two basic questions about interest rates and inflation. The study also found that more than one in five respondents use high-cost alternative borrowing methods such as a payday loans and pawn shops.

    As millions of Americans struggle to recover from the economic crisis, financial educators and financial services providers like Citi are searching for new ways to improve the financial skills of consumers. The traditional approach has been classroom-based, emphasizing accumulation of knowledge in a group setting. But there's a consensus building about shifting the focus to building financial capability and giving consumers the knowledge to help them make better-informed financial decisions.

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  • Partnering for community development.

    By Citi June 01, 2010 12:19 PM

    Citi's corporate citizenship is founded on alliances that are long-lasting, comprehensive and constructive. For example, Citi has worked closely with ACCION Texas for more than ten years, as it has grown to have the largest small-business microloan portfolio in the U.S. Our alliance has included: a landmark deal in 2008, in which Citi's Commercial Bank and Citi Microfinance provided a financing structure that enabled ACCION to expand; development of industry-standard technology; ongoing financial support from the Citi Foundation; and ideas and strategic thinking by the Citi Community Development team in Texas.

    Citi also partners with the YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas to help that agency deliver essential financial education. With grant funding from the Citi Foundation and leadership and volunteer support provided by Citi Community Development, the YWCA is able to help many low-income women get access to tax credits and social benefits that can help ensure their well-being and that of their families.

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  • Securing a future.

    By Citi May 26, 2010 04:10 PM

    Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has done tremendous work developing the concept of the Financial Opportunity Center, a neighborhood-based program to help low-income families learn more about how they can achieve financial stability and grow their incomes. People can walk into one of the Centers and get help finding living-wage jobs, accessing public benefits and managing income and expenses. There is also financial coaching to help clients develop a roadmap for their future.



    LISC's Financial Opportunity Center is the kind of effort we've made it our business to support. "Our whole mission around economic empowerment is really to help people build a stronger future for themselves," says Daria Sheehan, senior program officer of Citi Foundation. That's why the Citi Foundation is proud to contribute $1 million through 2010 to expand the project to areas of Houston, San Diego and Newark, and benefit an ongoing program in Chicago.

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  • The foundation of citizenship.

    By Pam Flaherty, President and CEO, Citi Foundation May 18, 2010 05:37 PM

    At Citi we have not only an opportunity, but feel a sense of obligation to make a positive contribution to the communities we serve. Our work towards meeting that goal was recently outlined in our 2009 Global Citizenship Report, which featured the activities of the Citi Foundation, an organization I have the privilege of leading.

    The Foundation, which is committed to the economic empowerment of individuals and families (particularly those in need), provides grants for programs that complement Citi's citizenship efforts in five key areas: microfinance and microenterprise, small and growing businesses, financial capability and asset building, college and careers and neighborhood revitalization in the United States.

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  • Rebuilding Haiti one step at a time.

    By Gladys M. Coupet, Citi Country Officer-Haiti May 07, 2010 05:47 PM

    The devastating earthquake that struck my home country of Haiti earlier this year took hundreds of thousands of lives, including five of our Citi colleagues, and continues to impact millions. And while we don't know how long it will take to recover, Citi is taking a major step in the right direction by providing $1 million in charitable contributions to local microfinance institutions -- grants that will help create jobs and contribute to long-term economic development.

    The funds will be distributed to three organizations: Fonkoze, FINCA Haiti and SOGESOL -- all experienced microfinancing institutions with impressive records of success here. These groups will extend credit as well as grants to entrepreneurs and small business owners who provide needed services and are the future of the Haitian economy.

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  • 2009 Global Citizenship Report.

    By Citi April 27, 2010 09:58 AM

    Today Citi released our 2009 Global Citizenship Report, which details our efforts to combat climate change, promote healthy communities, improve financial capability, manage the environmental and social risks of investments and support customers in times of need.

    Click here to read CEO Vikram Pandit's opening letter, and here to visit the Report's website.

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  • Helping get student FAFSA applications done.

    By Citi March 18, 2010 10:14 AM

    Many college-bound students and their families are up against deadlines for applying for financial aid next year. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application is famously cumbersome. Indeed, just to get more young people on the path to college, Washington made it a priority to simplify the form.

    There is help to be found in many communities, too. Citi Foundation recently partnered with the Center for Economic Progress to expand its Financial Aid U program assisting low-income and first-generation students with the complex application requirements. In addition to a $600,000 grant, 50 Citi volunteers are putting their financial expertise to work to help complete forms. Last tax season, the Center for Economic Progress completed 730 FAFSA forms that helped secure $4 million in financial aid.

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  • Supporting green innovation in the Big Apple.

    By Citi March 02, 2010 12:02 PM

    Today there's a big need - but also a big opportunity - to support advances in clean technology, and to spur green job creation. Citi and the Citi Foundation have been committed to green initiatives for years, especially at the global level. But we're just as excited to support a new mentorship program right in our backyard that's working to get tomorrow's best ideas off the ground today.

    SJF Advisory Services, a nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses in the "cleantech" industry, has matched promising cleantech entrepreneurs in the New York area with experienced industry leaders and veteran entrepreneurs. The aim is that with guidance and feedback from their mentors, peer-to-peer discussions, educational sessions on hot topics, feedback from SJF Ventures' investment team and access to its network - these entrepreneurs will be well equipped to develop and grow their businesses in order to achieve greater impact.

    We wish SJF's first round of program participants much success. To learn more details about the program, check out our press release here.

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