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DONATE: Make a difference by donating the funds necessary to provide low-income Americans high-caliber financial counsel, and our future financial leaders an important opportunity to put their financial skills & passions to use for the common good.

We can’t begin to hurry up history and close the income gap WITHOUT YOUR HELP.

The Fund for the City of New York (FCNY) has agreed to temporarily fiscally sponsor the FC, and may take us on as one of their projects if we are able to raise a viable budget! You can make tax-deductible donations to the FC via the link above or e-mail us at for more information and other methods by which to donate to the Financial Corps. THANK YOU. very much.

Your donation today will not only enable us to pilot a model office, but will help to ensure that FCNY takes us on as one of their projects. Without a working budget for the coming fiscal year, FCNY cannot continue to help us and sponsor the FC fiscally. But with your donation, they can! Thank you.

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Financial Corps Awarded Its First Grant

Countless thanks to everyone who voted for the Financial Corps’ in LiquidNet’s Local Impact Challenge – because of your care & effort, the FC now has $10,000 to build off of.  In the end, over 500 of you voted for the FC — we came in 5th place among 28 other worthy, phenomenal organizations.

Immense thanks to Lily Cho who nominated the FC for this contest, and to the Fund for the City of New York (FCNY) for agreeing to fiscally sponsor us so that we could actually receive the check (without FCNY, we would have had to forfeit this first grant).

FC's First Grant Check

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Happy Hour Fundraiser Weds Nov. 18th, 7-10pm @ M1-5 Bar in Tribeca

M1-5 Bar in Tribeca is graciously extending its happy hour till 10pm for the Financial Corps’ Fall Fundraising Kick off party!

Come enjoy 1/2 priced drinks, network, learn more about the Financial Corps, and help us to get well on our way to surpassing our 2009 $100K fundraising goal.

Suggested donation is $35, more if you can, less if you can’t.

RSVP & pledge here.

Even if you can’t contribute, just by showing up and having a drink you help us: the bar is donating a percentage of its proceeds to the FC! But we need your contribution if you can.

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Inaugural Business Plan Competition

Testing our model of charging our best & brightest with innovating the solutions to poverty.

August 13th, 2009 The FC held its first business plan competition at the Mertz Gillmore Foundation.

Judged by a panel of 6 judges, representing The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, CitiGroup and Presbyterian Hospital, among others, FC Corps presented innovations that they researched and designed in just 6 weeks time.

Corps participated in a 60-second pitch contest; then in a 10-minute power-point presentation contest followed by a 5-minute question-and-answer session conducted by our judges.

SHARPATHLETICS is a non-profit project committed to helping each scholar athlete reach his full potential, as a football player and as a student. We achieve this by providing the highest quality concentration management, from skill-specific performance training to college preparatory tutoring, as well as providing the resources and services necessary to enhance personal growth. Our focus is to selectively recruit and further develop the sharpest students who are also the best athletes from the (Bay Area/New York City) talent pool. Our strategic approach prepares the student athlete for next level competition and academics. Our athletes work harder and work smarter than their competition because we channel their energy towards only the most optimum learning and training techniques. Our motivational speaking services also offer guidance for moral complexities that arise on the field, in the classroom, and in the social world. Ultimately our goal is to mold the student, the player, and the person. Most importantly, being selectively admitted to the Sharp Athletics Project will further increase chances to play college football at a top prestigious university. (PRODUCT OF JOSHUA WILLIAMS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY)

VASSAR MICROFINANCE ((VMF)) is a nonprofit microcredit lending organization. VMF will provide inception financing and business planning consulting to low-income Poughkeepsie entrepreneurs who may not qualify for commercial loans. VMF entrepreneurs will start businesses that add value to the Poughkeepsie community and create wealth for themselves and others. VMF is different from other financing sources—VMF is a social enterprise seeking to create opportunity for low-income Poughkeepsie residents (PRODUCT OF JOE SCHIAVO, VASSAR COLLEGE).

THE SOCIAL ENTERPRISE PROJECT: Empowering New Yorkers, one loan at a time. The Social Enterprise Project (SEP) is a for-profit microcredit and financial empowerment organization dedicated to promoting the careers for low and moderate income New Yorkers. SEP will serve as a coalition of institutes of higher education and thereby fostering social entrepreneurship among future public service leaders. SEP’s Financial Empowerment coaches will be current college students stationed at their specific institute of higher education in New York City with a set time frame and location. SEP will train the coaches in order to do “light” financial coaching (i.e. reduce outstanding debts, raise credit score, and improve savings). (PRODUCT OF CAMILLE AVENA, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY)

THE FINANCIAL IMPACT EVALUATION SYSTEM: In a client-counselor relationship a lot of information is transferred from the counselor to the client. This information comprises of a wide range of financial decisions ranging from how and when to budget to how to implement a savings plan, and why one is necessary. It is on this transfer of information that we must focus. Is the client actually absorbing this information, or is it simply going in one ear and out the other? What makes the true outcome of counseling unpredictable is the fact that once the client leaves, there is nothing to guarantee that the client will remember what has been taught. And even if the client has learned the necessary information to start practicing wise financial decisions the client may not have the incentive to retain that information. That is why I propose that the Financial Corps should create and proctor an Impact Evaluation Test towards the end of a client-counselor relationship. To make sure that the client makes the effort to remember all that he/she has learned, a reward incentive will be given to those who score higher than an 80% on the test. (PRODUCT OF FORBES HUANG, NYU)

COMMUNITY ADVISORS is a leadership and advising service program for the members of the community. This program not only directly empowers the Community Advisors by providing them with certification, a new skill set and work experience but also helps strengthen the link between different not for profit organizations and the community as a whole. all the while, increase client outreach and client retention. (PRODUCT OF DEEKSHA GULATI, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA)

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Profound Gratitude …

We would like to thank all of those who attended and donated to our inaugural benefit.

We are sincerely thankful for  the participation and support of our first CHARTER DONORS:


      Benefactor ($50-$99):

Waqar Ali

Helen Cristofalo

Olivier Ceberio

Donna D’Alessandro

Matt de la Fuente

Greg Eckstrum

Stan Fediuk

Sue-Anne Maduro

Kristin Mattiske

Tuknekah Noble

Jeffrey D. Roth

Julia Schmidt

Ruby Thomas

Janene Violetta         

Leader ($100 – $499):                    

                   John Coyne

Ebbie Parsons III

Jonathan Tran

Vicki Tsunis

Testsuo & Gerri Yoshida

Innovator ($500-999):                            

Guardian ($1,000-$1,499):                            

Champion ($1,500-$1,999):                   

Angel ($2000+):

Mr. Jonathan Valenti




East Village Cheese 

Mayumi Ishino

Pindar Vineyards 

Wine Cellar Sorbets

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Highlights from The Financial Corps Fundraiser

We would like to thank Bruce Kennedy for the photography.
FC Inaugural TeamCorps and Donors MinglingThe weather cleared in time for us to use the terrace...Advosory Team sipping Pindar before the crowds arrive...Corps' family and friends coming out depsite the rain to support our cause.Corps taking a moment to enjoy the eveningMingling after Mayumi's performance (Mayumi is in white, in the background)The end of a great night...Thank you to everyone who came!

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Wine, Cheese, Sorbet & Art: Inaugural Fundraising Benefit Set

Those who donate prior to the end of our fiscal year (August 31, 2009) will be featured on our website, certain promotional materials and fiscal reports as Charter Donors:

Donor Type         Individual            Corporate

Benefactor:              $50-$99                    $500- $999

Leader:                     $100-$499               $1,000-$4,999

Innovator:              $500-$999               $5,000-$9,999

Guardian:             $1,000-$1,499           $10,000-$14,999

Champion:           $1,500-$1,999           $15,000-$19,999

Angel:                       $2,000+                       $20,000+

Those who help us meet our goal by donating prior to 10:00am June 30th, 2009 will be invited to attend our inaugural benefit as honored guests and enjoy an evening of:

Wine tasting – courtesy of Pindar Vineyards

Sorbet tasting – courtesy of Wine Cellar Sorbets

Cheese Tasting – courtesy of East Village Cheese

And a live performance by visual artist Mayumi Ishino

Event Space graciously donated by 320Studios

Please e-mail us at for event details (date & time), to make a donation and to reserve your place.

A recent NYTimes article highlighted how today’s economic crisis is furthering the economic divide for poor and working classes:

“…the Economic Policy Institute offers data showing that blue-collar unemployment is increasing three times as fast as white-collar unemployment. The last two recessions — in the early ’90s and in 2001 — produced mass white-collar layoffs, and while the current one has seen plenty of downsized real-estate agents and financial analysts, the brunt is being borne by the blue-collar working class, which has been sliding downward since deindustrialization began in the ’80s.

The recession of the ’80s transformed the working class into the working poor, as manufacturing jobs fled to the third world, forcing American workers into the low-paying service and retail sector. The current recession is knocking the working poor down another notch — from low-wage employment and inadequate housing toward erratic employment and no housing at all. Comfortable people have long imagined that American poverty is far more luxurious than the third world variety, but the difference is rapidly narrowing.”

Help us get reach our goal, and in doing so, help us build today the infrastructure of an organization that can begin to dismantle the barriers to economic equality.

Our need, and the needs of those we serve is urgent, and real.

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Introducing our first team of Corps

Our first six corps just completed their first week of intensive training.  Each day they had to master the literature on an entire subject (respectively: Poverty, globally & domestically; Data collection & analysis/business planning/innovation; Counseling skills; Financial planning; Foreclosure), and within 24 hours submit a one-page “White Paper” on the subject.

Next week they will begin a 5-day case-based counseling “boot-camp.” June 22 they will begin at their placements.

While the particulars of each placement might vary slightly, each corps will spend this summer not only analyzing the FC model and innovating ways to improve it, but more importantly they will be providing financial consultation to NYC residents in economic distress.

While we only had 6 placements, and we began to recruit late into the summer internship recruiting cycle, we received almost 30 applications for summer FC Corps (internship) positions.  21 of these made it to the phone-screen/behavioral interview, 12 of these made it the in-person, case-based interview. In the end, only 7 were given offers.

We proudly introduce our first six FC Corps:

Camille Avena, from Fordham University

Deeksha Gulati, from the University of Pennsylvania

Forbes Huang, from NYU

Joe Schiavo, from Vassar College

Joshua Williams, from Columbia University

Kentaro Yoshida, from Boston University

Please see our “About” page for each corps’ bio and head-shot.

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Micro-Pilot to Begin this Monday June 8th

Lack of funding, of office space or any paid staff will not stop us from implementing our micro-pilot this coming week (This is not to say we do not welcome funding.  We do.  Quite eagerly!).

This past month we screened and interviewed over 20 applicants for summer internships.  We were humbled by the stellar nature of our applicants, who hail from Boston University, Columbia, Fordham, NYU, University of Pennsylvania, and Vassar. 

It was very difficult to make our selections, but this afternoon we extended offers to 6 of these phenomenal young men and women. We would love to offer them all a position, but as of this writing, we have yet to secure enough positions with partner non profits for all our qualified applicants.

We have established partnerships with three NYC-based non-profits who will host our summer corps: The Financial Clinic, NYC Neighborhood Housing Services, and The West Bronx Housing and Neighborhood Resource Center.

This Monday will commence an intensive two-week training course to prepare our summer interns to successfully financialy counsel and advise clients, and to enable them to empower their clients to build long-term, realistic & sustainable debt-elimination and wealth-building plans.

Corps will be trialing our training, placement, service, data-collection, knowledge-transfer & innovation models this summer, and providing us feedback and constructive criticism on our model via weekly team meetings where all corps and executive staff come together to exchange ideas, best practices and lessons learned. The results of this 10-week micro-pilot will inform our full-year, Model-Office pilot, which we will implement in NYC this fall.

Our summer interns will be presenting the executive summaries for an innovation that could close the income gap Friday, August 21st.

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