Financial Pathways of the Piedmont

Improving lives through financial education and coaching

aka Consumer Credit Counseling’ Service of Forsyth   |   Winston-Salem, NC   |  www.financialpaths.org

Mission

Our mission is to provide professional consumer education and comprehensive financial and housing guidance to all members of the community. We believe everyone deserves a chance for financial well-being.

We have our headquarters in Winston-Salem in Forsyth County, North Carolina. We also draw clients from fifteen-plus surrounding counties in the Piedmont Triad region. This area is one of the hardest hit by the recession, the foreclosure crisis, and by the loss of manufacturing sector jobs.

Ruling year info

1973

President/CEO

Mrs. Phyllis Caldwell-George

Main address

7820 North Point Blvd Suite 100

Winston-Salem, NC 27106 USA

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EIN

56-1015074

NTEE code info

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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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Representative Payee Program

Financial Pathways offers services under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Representative Payee program. This program was designed by the government to assist vulnerable recipients of Social Security benefits. These recipients, because of disabilities ranging from insecure living situations, to mental illness and substance abuse, to developmental disabilities, have been deemed by SSA as not able to directly receive and manage funds. SSA requires another person or organization to serve as ‘Payee’ and manage the finances of these individuals.

Population(s) Served

We serve clients with an array of educational opportunities aimed at both overcoming crises and achieving financial aspirations. These include classes and workshops on basic finances as well as specialized credit, mortgage, and homeownership topics.

Population(s) Served

CHO is a collaborative effort of local government and nonprofit agencies, lenders, realtors, insurance providers, and community members, who each make their advice and support available to CHO and its clients.

Population(s) Served

An action plan that addresses problems (such as too much debt) and goals (such as saving to buy a home) can alleviate much of the stress and anxiety around money management.

Population(s) Served

Ready to take the next step to getting relief from your student loans? You’ve come to the right place!

For many people, achieving a college degree means starting their working lives under a mountain of debt. Financial Pathways’ student loan counselors can help individuals struggling with student loans to understand their options — ranging from deferral, forbearance, consolidation, and possibly forgiveness—so they can move forward with their financial lives.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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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.

Our mission is to provide professional consumer education and comprehensive financial and housing guidance to all members of the community.

Our goal is to guide our clients to achieve the long-term financial capability (knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors) needed to lead financially stable lives and build financial assets.

Our goals for our clients' success include:

1. improve credit score.
2. reduce debt load.
3. enhance savings behavior.
4. accessing affordable financial products and services.
5. achieve homeownership.
6. maintain homeownership and avoid foreclosure.

Our expert, certified financial educators and counselors offer confidential, caring assistance, free or for a very low fee.

We help individuals and families resolve debt; learn to budget and use credit wisely; avoid foreclosure and other financial crises; and set and meet financial goals such as saving for education or for homeownership. We serve clients via classes in financial literacy and other specialized topics; one-on-one counseling and coaching; place-based interventions; and outreach to diverse communities through use of a mobile financial capability unit (The Point).

We hold classes in our offices and at various sites in the community. Most one-on-one sessions with certified counselors take place in our offices, with some counseling also offered on site at other non-profits such as Goodwill and Family Services of Forsyth. The Point mobile financial capability unit allows us to set up a temporary satellite at a variety of business and nonprofit sites to offer education, guidance, and referrals.

When a counseling client first reaches out to Financial Pathways by dropping by or phoning, he or she is initially interviewed by an experienced, trained intake coordinator who asks about his/her issue and tries to determine, if possible, whether other problems exist. Typically, one pressing financial issue brings a person in, but it soon becomes apparent that a host of other problems exist.

For example, a recently unemployed worker seeks our help enrolling in a government-funded mortgage assistance program to save her home. She brings her files in, and her counselor discovers that she has excessive credit card and student loan debt, both issues we offer guidance on. At many points during our interactions with clients, we offer them opportunities to talk to a variety of experts as their needs become clearer or as they progress toward a goal.

Given our mission, we believe we must we set and meet a very high standard for our own financial management.

During our 2014 Council on Accreditation (COA) reaccreditation process, the reviewer praised the agency's excellent fiscal management and internal control procedures; in his closing debrief he stated that it was a real pleasure to see an agency genuinely value the pursuit of quality that underlies accreditation. In an earlier evaluation (2012), other external reviewers wrote that the agency “could teach classes about financial management to other nonprofits."

Financial Pathways has been accredited by the Council On Accreditation (COA) continuously since 1998. COA third-party accreditation is designed to ensure that organizations demonstrate organizational excellence in all areas of operations, including governance, fiscal management, service delivery, human resource management, and ethical practices. A total of more than 300 COA standards address a range of organizational elements that serve as both quantitative and qualitative indicators of organizational policies, practices and operations.

We also take project evaluation seriously and maintain an up-to-date Performance and Quality Improvement (PQI) plan. We work hard to stay informed about the trends in our field and look for opportunities to innovate. In the last several

Financial Pathways is the only HUD-approved housing counseling agency in the Winston-Salem / Forsyth area. HUD requires a bi-annual audit that we have passed each time since our approval in 1980. We are certified to the highest standards of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling; are an approved user of the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling; and a member of the Better Business Bureau.

We set a high bar for training and certification of staff. All our financial educators and counselors are cross-trained/certified in areas appropriate to their jobs by national and state certifying organizations including:

• Association of Housing Counselors
• HUD/HECM
• National Council of La Raza
• National Homeownership Network Learning Alliance
• National Foundation for Credit Counseling
• NC Housing Finance Agency
• NeighborWorks America Options Counseling
• NC Seniors Health Insurance Information Certification Program (SHIIP)

Collectively, these standards and external accreditation and certification processes demonstrate the high quality of services we strive to provide.

The above section on progress lists some significant achievements.

Other accomplishments include:

Maintaining operational reserves of at least three months, and currently (May 2016) for five months.

Balancing our budget annually.

Meeting program targets set for all United Way, corporate, and foundation grants.

Serving as a leader of the Winston-Salem Forsyth Asset Building Coaltion and as a thought leader locally in financial stability programming.

Homeownership achievements since 2002 include these measures:

1572: clients became home-owners
$2.35 million: added to Forsyth County tax base
$181 million: clients' gains in personal wealth.


Overall program achievements in 2015 include these measures:

4770: Individual clients of record
15,260: Total household members benefitted from services

2190: Financial and housing education participants
2850: Housing program clients
9130: Household members benefitted from housing services
1600: People sought help from Center for Homeownership

770: clients assisted in avoiding foreclosure
1: Known client foreclosure in 2015

470: Clients received one or more one-on-one counseling sessions for debt, credit, and budgeting
1500: Household members who benefitted

$1,064,224: Total excess debt paid down by debt management plan clients

60%: credit counseling clients improved credit score in 6 months
50%: of these clients gained 20 points or more

New areas of achievement for the future include:

Training and certifying all counseling staff in financial coaching, which is rapidly being acknowledged in our field as the best path to achieve sustained financial stability among program clients.

Better understanding the need for services in our area and for financial stability and adapting as needed to meet that need.

Improving our ability to tell our story and raise awareness among all local communities of the services we offer.

Financials

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

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Financial Pathways of the Piedmont

Board of directors
as of 5/5/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mrs. Kathy Cissna

Retired, Reynolds American

Term: 2020 - 2022


Board co-chair

Mr. Mike Fisher

Diversified Trust Company

Term: 2020 - 2022

Martha Logemann

Logemann & Co.

Shawn Robinson

Truist

Evan Raleigh

City of Winston-Salem

Gray King

Medcost

Michelle Koster

Allegacy Federal Credit Union

Rik Kielbasa

Truliant Federal Credit Union

Ronda Mays

WSFCS

Angela Lefelar

Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC

Aimee Smith

Craige Jenkins, Liipfert & Walker LLP

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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No