Our Impact Our Impact

In this section, you will find briefs, research reports, videos, and infographics that describe our work and the impact it has had on building financial security and opportunity. At Commonwealth we believe that sharing the results of our work inspires others to act.

See below for our featured publications. You can also access All Publications here.


Ramp It Up: Executive Summary

Access to a college education is one of the key drivers of financial security, and financial aid (loans, grants, and scholarships) can make college a viable opportunity for many students. However, understanding how to access such aid requires financi…

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Ramp It Up: Evaluation of a Gamified College Financial Readiness App

The availability of financial aid in the form of loans, grants, and scholarships can make college attendance a viable opportunity for high school students, but understanding how to access such aid requires financial capability and specific knowl…

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Ramp It Up: Gamifying College Financial Readiness

In October 2015, the US Department of Treasury awarded Commonwealth a Financial Empowerment Innovation Fund contract to create an effective gamified mobile app that provides high school students with information about financial choices related to col…

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Product Spotlight: Neighborhood Credit Union’s Prize- Linked Savings Account

For over a decade, Neighborhood Credit Union in Dallas, Texas has offered a unique sweepstakesbased prize-linked savings (PLS) product called Prize Savings. This PLS product provides an example of how individual financial institutions can independent…

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Rise with the Raise: Findings From Early Pilots

Nearly 19MM minimum wage workers across the country will receive annual raises of $61.5 billion by 2022. Commonwealth is partnering with employers to ensure as many of these workers as possible can use these raises to build their financial security. …

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Savings Behaviors Among Youth of Color

In the summer of 2015, Commonwealth and the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) piloted a payroll program that used prizes to facilitate positive financial behaviors among 50,000 youth participating in DYCD's Summer…

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Rise with the Raise: California

Over the last six months, Commonwealth has sought to understand minimum wage workers’ and employers’ attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs about the minimum wage hikes and building financial security. We surveyed low wage workers, held focus …

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Five Years of SaveYourRefund

SaveYourRefund (SYR) completed its fifth successful year in 2017. Learn about how it has grown and the impact it has made on tax filers across the country.

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SaveYourRefund 2017 Summary

At the end of its fifth year, SaveYourRefund continues to motivate saving at tax time. Learn more about its impact in 2017, and meet some of the winners who were motivated to save.

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Prize-Linked Savings in Credit Unions: 2016

In 2016, Prize-Linked Savings (PLS) products expanded rapidly, doubling the number of states with PLS products from 6 to 12. Two new branded products - Lucky Savers (LS) in New York and WINcentive Savings Accounts (WSA) from the Minnesota Credit Unio…

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Financial Entertainment Infographic

Over the last seven years, we've developed our Financial Entertainment suite of games to cover a variety of financial topics, making financial education more fun and exciting. They've been popular among a wide range of people, and have helped…

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Rules of Thumb Webinar

You’ve probably heard that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but why are there are so few simple, effective messages about your finances? Credit unions can build a better relationship with their members by offering these sort…

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WINcentive Savings 2016 Report

This report analyzes the performance of WINcentive Savings accounts throughout 2016, as well as data from a Commonwealth survey administered to WINcentive account holders by their respective credit unions. With the WINcentive survey, Commonwealt…

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Prizes Facilitate Saving by Youth

In the summer of 2015, we worked with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to design and pilot a Payroll Savings Program for around 50,000 youth participating in their summer youth employment program. The goal of the…

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Commonwealth 2016 Accomplishments

In 2016, we developed new ideas, tested innovative solutions, and worked with partners to improve the lives of financially vulnerable Americans at scale.

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Building Financial Security Through Integrated Financial Solutions

People’s financial lives are more deeply interconnected than traditional financial products suggest: income impacts expenses; expenses impact savings; savings impacts borrowing; borrowing impacts expenses; and uncertainty impacts everything.&nb…

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Our Approach: Innovation Pipeline

At Commonwealth, we discover new financial challenges and explore new innovative solutions through research, listening, and talking with people. We take the most promising of these new solutions and design real world pilots to see if they work. We th…

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Increasing Access to U.S. Savings Bonds: Recommendations for Bond Innovation

U.S. Savings Bonds fill a market gap for safe, no-fee, general purpose savings products with low minimum balances and a trusted brand. The Treasury Department can not only preserve bonds as they are currently available—including through the Tax…

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Bite Club Trailer

In Bite Club, users manage a vampire nightclub to learn how to plan for retirement, understand the value of paying off debt, and manage spending patterns. Watch the trailer below, and check out the Financial Entertainment site to learn more and play …

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Ramp it Up Trailer

Ramp It Up is a gamified college readiness mobile app that seeks to empower high school students to make positive financial decisions related to paying for college. Watch the trailer below, and click here to learn more about Ramp it Up. Want to …

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