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.


Commonwealth 2017 Accomplishments

In 2017, we developed new ideas, tested innovative solutions, and worked with partners to improve the lives of financially vulnerable Americans at scale. Here are just a few examples of the work we're proud of from 2017.

Minimum Wage Survey Results

In 2017, Commonwealth conducted a national survey of minimum wage workers. Our goal was to better understand the unique perspectives and financial challenges of those workers. This infographic shows some of what we learned.

Addressing the Emergency Savings Challenge

In June 2017, Commonwealth and The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (“the Boston Fed”) hosted a convening, “The Emergency Savings Innovation Challenge,” to invite banks, credit unions and key regulators in the region to discuss the financial insecurity crisis and approaches to …

Walmart MoneyCard Prize Savings: One Year Anniversary Brief

Innovative financial products can help financially vulnerable people save money. Walmart’s MoneyCard Prize Savings program, designed in partnership with Green Dot Bank and Commonwealth, is demonstrating that case. Prize Savings uses the chance to win cash prizes to make saving fun and to engag…

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 financial capability and specific knowledge that can be l…

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 knowledge that can be lacking. Commonwealth designed a …

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 college, and study its effects on students who use it…

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 independently launch and manage innovative savings products t…

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. Employee financial insecurity can often result in …

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 Youth Employment Program (SYEP). In the process, …

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 groups, and met with leaders from employers of low…

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.

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.

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 Union Network - were launched. These new launches and …

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 our partners achieve their goals.…

Rules of Thumb Presentation

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 sorts of simple, actionable messages to guide and simp…

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, Commonwealth aims to understand who holds WINcentive accounts…

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 program was to encourage young workers to save a …

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.

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.  Products that fail to acknowledge these interd…