Santander Bank and the Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) have announced that the Boston-based bank is providing a $200,000 grant in support of OFE’s financial education and economic development work for City residents. The OFE will use the grant to expand its free financial education offerings and to help develop Boston Saves, the City’s new children’s savings account program.
The grant will build on the work of the Boston Tax Help Coalition, the largest program of the OFE, which provides free tax preparation help to nearly 13,000 residents annually. In 2017, the Boston Tax Help Coalition helped garner $26.3 million in refunds for low- and moderate-income taxpayers at 37 tax preparation sites citywide. At 12 of these sites, the OFE also provides Financial Check-Ups – a light-touch strategy in which taxpayers meet one-on- one with a financial guide to review their credit report and learn implementable steps for building their credit.
The Santander grant helped the OFE expand its financial education efforts at key tax sites by:
- Increasing the number of sites where Financial Check-Ups are offered from 8 to 13
- Tailoring Financial Check-Ups for entrepreneurs and sole proprietors
- Supplying taxpayers with strategies for saving and building their emergency funds
In addition, the $200,000 grant will strengthen the city’s new “Boston Saves” children’s savings account program, which launched as a pilot this fall and is administered by the OFE and Boston Public Schools. By providing families with an incentivized savings program and savings accounts for their children, Boston Saves aims to help families build their financial capabilities, save for their children’s post-secondary education and training, and begin planning for future success. The Santander grant will help the OFE to support this program by:
- Developing a corps of parent leaders to encourage program participation
- Providing Financial Check-Ups for Boston Saves families in the new school year
In 2016, Santander awarded over $8.5 million in charitable grants.