Campaign for Working Families

Building assets and financial stability with tax refunds and access to benefits (VITA)

aka CWFI   |   Philadelphia, PA   |  www.cwfphilly.org

Mission

The Campaign for Working Families, Inc. (CWFI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to empowering working families and individuals achieve economic stability by providing free tax preparation, resource building and asset development.

Ruling year info

2016

CEO/President

Mary Arthur

Main address

1415 N Broad Street, Suite 221-A

Philadelphia, PA 19122 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-5617041

NTEE code info

Economic Development (S30)

Financial Counseling, Money Management (P51)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Almost one-quarter of those in the Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey region live in poverty. Poverty is linked to negative conditions and outcomes such as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, inadequate child care, lack of access to healthcare, unsafe neighborhoods, lower academic attainment, limited employment options and trauma. Compounding the issue is the current COVID-19 pandemic. Access to economic security programs are more critical today then ever to help low-income working families who are struggling to get by. The Earned Income Tax Credit program has proven to be one of the most successful programs nationally for promoting financial empowerment. National census data shows that economic security programs lifted nearly 37 million people above the poverty line in 2018. CWF helps families to better utilize these benefits to bolster their incomes and increase economic stability for their families.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Free Tax Preperation (VITA)

We provide free tax preparation for low income families and individuals in the Philadelphia, Montgomery County, and South Jersey areas through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Programs to ensure that individuals and families in need receive earned income tax credits, child tax credits, other tax credits, and public benefits and financial counseling to help them save money, achieve economic stability and build assets for their futures.

Population(s) Served

The Collaborative to Advance Stability connects community-based groups in North Philadelphia and across the city in increasing community outreach and engagement efforts. Campaign for Working Families (CWF), the region’s largest free tax prep provider, is leading the collaborative effort to increase access to critical services including benefits enrollment, financial counseling, and legal services.

Through The Promise- Family Stability Challenge, the Collaborative to Advance Stability is building processes for referrals, increase outreach in hard-to-serve communities, and develop a tracking system to understand what’s working to increase access to tax credits and benefits.

Population(s) Served
Low-income people
Working poor
Immigrants
Detainees
Ex-offenders
Low-income people
Working poor
Immigrants
Detainees
Ex-offenders

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of savings accounts used by clients

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Social and economic status

Related Program

Free Tax Preperation (VITA)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

71 new savings accounts opened with direct deposit for tax refund for a total of $104,181 in total deposits.

Number of tax returns completed by volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Social and economic status

Related Program

Free Tax Preperation (VITA)

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Free tax returns completed for 48,943 individuals which resulted in $12.8 million claimed in EITC specifically and $45.5 million in total refunds.

Dollars saved in tax preparation fees

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Social and economic status

Related Program

Free Tax Preperation (VITA)

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

$8.8 million saved in tax preparation fees (an average of $273 per person).

Number of financial literacy courses conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Social and economic status

Related Program

Free Tax Preperation (VITA)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

801 individuals received credit counseling while filing tax return by financial literacy/counseling services provider.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Established in 2003, the Campaign for Working Families (CWF) was created to help working families and individuals achieve economic empowerment by providing free tax preparation, resource building and asset development. CWF serves as a resource center for their clients and facilitates increased financial stability and asset accumulation for families by connecting them to valuable tax credits, quality financial services, savings options, wealth building resources and public benefits.

CWF is an IRS certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provider and operates community based tax sites in Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, offering e-file, direct deposit, public benefits applications, as well as access to pre-paid debit cards and savings products to help clients save money. CWF' services allow families to maximize federal and state tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC).

The Campaign for Working Families, Inc. is committed to economically empowering working families and individuals by providing free tax preparation, determining eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and collaborating with community partners to provide awareness and access to public benefits, financial education, resource building and asset development. Every working individual is empowered to achieve financial well-being paved by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers so that they can plan for a stable, secure future, and can participate fully in civic and community life.

The tax operation is the cornerstone of the Campaign for Working Families (CWF). Our extensive outreach to underserved communities enables us to reach large numbers of households that would not be receiving these benefits to assist them in saving significant amounts of money while providing access to additional resources that can supplement their household incomes and help them build assets. It is our goal to divert consumers from the predatory practices of paid preparers. This work includes designing the marketing strategies for approaching customers in the waiting room, which incorporate principles of behavioral economics in their design. Systems to make savings a default, rather than an extra option have been created for tax sites. The prepaid debit card works well for those excluded from bank accounts, especially people paying high fees for check cashing and money transfer services.

Our target population are working families, individuals and small business owners (within VITA scope) residing in the Empowerment Zones with family incomes less than $80,000, single individuals with incomes under $50,000, and small business with income less than $150,000. Special emphasis is placed on outreach to those who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (households supporting children and earning under $57,000/year or single individuals earning less than $20,000/year) and Child Tax Credits.

During the 2019 tax season, CWF prepared over 32,594 federal and 23,227 State tax returns and that generated refunds exceeding $45.5 million. CWF directly managed 35 VITA sites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 18 sites in Philadelphia (including 3 year-round super sites); 2 sites in Montgomery County and 1 site in Delaware County. During the past tax season, we worked with community partners and churches to strengthen our Mobile Tax Team, a program that enables us to provide services deeper in underserved communities. CWF also managed 14 sites in New Jersey, including 2 sites in Atlantic County, 4 sites in Burlington County, 3 sites in Camden County, 4 sites in Cape May County, and 1 site in Cumberland County.

CWF recruits and trains 700-800 volunteers each year to assist staff to serve 48,943 individuals that received $12.8 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) as well as other economic benefits including Child Tax Credits. In addition, the following capabilities make it possible to reach individuals that cannot travel to a tax site to obtain the same benefits as follows:

Mobile Tax Operation- Campaign for Working Families Mobile Team brings tax preparation, asset development and financial education to businesses, unions, churches and other organizations in the Greater Philadelphia region. Our team sets up one day or multi-day sessions for a host site’s clients, staff and employees at the host site’s location.

Assisted Self Tax-Preparation-Tools such as, TAXFREEDOM assists individuals with self-tax preparation. Individuals with computer skills can learn to complete their own tax return with the assistance of a CWF IRS-certified representative. This is an empowering step toward moving individuals away from for profit tax preparers and toward self-sufficiency. Virtual Tax Prep Free online tax preparation utilizes our secure web portal at GetYourRefund.org and will allow filers to upload their tax information, speak to our IRS certified tax preparers, and get help filing your taxes online for FREE.

Financial Literacy & Education Services- Every CWF client has access to a suite of additional services designed to increase their financial well-being. CWF has built an automatic public benefits screening into its tax filing process. All clients who opt-in to this service during intake, are assessed and included in a bi-weekly report that is reviewed for eligibility in up to 21 different public benefits. Those found likely eligible are then contacted and invited to schedule an application appointment with a Resource Specialist. Clients who want to be screened for public benefits right away can use Benefits Launch (vita.benefitslaunch.org), a custom-built web application that screens for public benefit eligibility and then refers clients to their choice of phone, in-person or self-directed assistance.

Financial Services and Savings Products- CWF continuously strives to build wealth in our constituents’ households. All customers at our tax sites have the opportunity to learn about, and apply for financial services and savings products such as savings bonds and credit counseling as they get their taxes prepared. These products include:
Savings Account with no-fee debit card
Free credit counseling sessions
Matched savings program (IDA and CSA)
Monthly financial wellness community workshops that includes budgeting, saving for education/home and
income tax basics.
Advocacy and organizing to connect larger policy goals to the individuals and families that they impact.

Since CWF started providing free tax preparation in 2003, the year-over-year continued progress for CWF has empowered more individuals each year to obtain economic stability and better plan for their futures. Since 2003, CWF has enabled almost $500,000,000 in client refunds and saved almost $70 million in tax preparation fees for those in need of assistance. The most recent tax season that has been completed produced the following results for those filing their 2019 taxes in 2020:

Total individuals served- 48,943 and received $12.8 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC)
Average adjusted gross income for those served $22,994 (44% of them earned under $15,000 per year.)
846 IRS-trained volunteers completed and filed 32,594 federal and 23,227 state tax returns.

The need also increases each year as the impact of the pandemic has pushed more individuals and families into poverty. There are another 38,000 eligible residents that are still not receiving CWF services and EITC and other benefits that we will strive to reach each year.

During the 2019 tax season, CWF prepared over 32,594 federal and 23,227 State tax returns and that generated refunds exceeding $45.5 million. CWF directly managed 35 VITA sites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 18 sites in Philadelphia (including 3 year-round super sites); 2 sites in Montgomery County and 1 site in Delaware County. During the past tax season, we worked with community partners and churches to strengthen our Mobile Tax Team, a program that enables us to provide services deeper in underserved communities. CWF also managed 14 sites in New Jersey, including 2 sites in Atlantic County, 4 sites in Burlington County, 3 sites in Camden County, 4 sites in Cape May County, and 1 site in Cumberland County.



How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve low and moderate income individuals and families in Greater Philadelphia and southern New Jersey that call or come into our tax preparation sites for completing the tax returns or child tax credits or other benefits access.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Campaign for Working Families
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Campaign for Working Families

Board of directors
as of 11/1/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Richard Stipa

TruMark Financial Credit Union


Board co-chair

Michael Boyd

OceanFirst Bank

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/01/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/01/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.