Model & Strategy

Compass Working Capital provides incentive-based financial coaching and savings programs that empower working, low-income families to build assets, achieve their financial goals and become financially secure. More broadly, Compass seeks to build a leading nonprofit financial services organization that promotes financial security and economic mobility for working poor families by influencing field-related practice and policy.

Compass is the first nonprofit organization in the U.S. to launch an asset building model for the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, an employment and savings program for families who live in federally subsidized housing – a market with the potential to reach approximately 1.6 million eligible households nationwide. The Compass FSS model identifies and invests in working, low-income families who seek to build a strong financial future. The program couples financial coaching and education with a powerful earnings and savings incentive to help participants increase their income, build assets, establish a strong credit history, access high quality financial products and reduce their reliance on public assistance.

At a Glance
Founded: 2005
Systemic Poverty
Location of work: Domestic, Northeast
Compass Working Capital
89 South Street
Suite 804
Boston, MA 02111
Where families Aspire. Plan. Invest.
Sherry Riva of Compass Working Capital
Meet Sherry Riva

Sherry Riva is the Founder and Executive Director of Compass Working Capital (“Compass”). Sherry founded Compass after more than a decade working with various direct service organizations that served low-income women and families, including several years running a transitional shelter for women in Seattle, WA. During this time, Sherry observed first-hand the cycle of poverty that traps many working poor families. She launched Compass, an organization rooted in the anti-poverty and asset development field, to empower working poor families to build savings and assets as a pathway out of poverty.

Sherry is part of the 2015 class of GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group) Social Impact Fellows joining 12 world-leading innovators and nonprofit leaders. Sherry was also a 2013 recipient of Citi’s Community Development Innovation and Impact Fund. In 2013, Compass was selected to the Social Impact 100, the first-ever, broad index of U.S. nonprofits with proven results and strong potential to scale.

IMPACT

81% of families enrolled in Compass flagship programs for 2 years have increased their savings; 60% have increased their annual income.

Compass participants have built over $2M in savings in the last 10 years.

  • know anyone in the Philadelphia area who would make a great financial coach? our partner, @WeClarifi, is hiring for… https://t.co/epSD5emhqL
  • RT @GreenLightPHL: Congratulations to Kim Rogers, founding Program Director of @CompassWorkCap PHL, for a great feature on @NextCityOrg! We…
  • RT @AFCPE: "The coaching relationship is not about you, it is always about the client, leave your bias/judgment at the door" https://t.co/f…
  • RT @_GetKonnected: “I think it’s important to have mentors throughout your life and mentors in different capacities.” — GK Mentor @BettyFra…
  • A strong primer on a narrative that really concerns us about housing assistance, too. https://t.co/NobL6MOf27
  • RT @BettyFrancisco: Are you looking for a mission driven organization that believes in people and their ability to achieve their goals and…
  • Are you an experienced HR professional looking for a meaningful part-time role, or do you know someone who fits tha… https://t.co/yVRuTaHLQ3
  • Great to see our client Gardite featured here, one of many remarkable clients graduating from our FSS program in Ca… https://t.co/253g9Idd98
  • Compass' GC @BettyFrancisco was one of four panelists in event yesterday on nonprofit board diversity. Thanks to… https://t.co/61oomL82tW
  • "...financial coaching shows promise. Early studies find that coaching helps people increase their savings and impr… https://t.co/19MjtH7Xl7
  • RT @Housing360: Amid the @HUDgov's recent emphasis on policies that increase employment among assisted renters, understanding housing-based…
  • Single women own just 32 cents for every $1 owned by white men; black and Latina women own less than a penny. Check… https://t.co/tMYo9BZqzG
  • RT @dianeyentel: Congress Passes, President Signs Law to Improve and Expand the Family Self-Sufficiency Program https://t.co/hLHLkSW8Zq
  • RT @MetroHousingBos: Ben Carson's huge cut to housing aid won't increase self-sufficiency. Read this opinion piece from @dianeyentel in @dc…
  • Congrats to Compass' own Shonda Davis (first photo) and all the other graduates! https://t.co/qEqZmJQ6Og
  • Compass and @CenterOnBudget both call on Congress to increase funding for the Family Self-Sufficiency program to $1… https://t.co/NAh3YjCBlF
  • “This country does have a national housing policy...And that is that we provide our greatest subsidies to relativel… https://t.co/xP2dBNTBDI