The FEC Movement

Financial Empowerment Centers offer professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service to enable residents to address their financial challenges and needs and plan for their futures. In partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and others, the CFE Fund is promoting FEC model replication through supporting cohorts of local government leaders to develop, launch, and implement financial counseling as a free public service through FEC Academy, along with strategic research projects to enhance the success of financial counseling.

FEC Partner

FEC Partner Tiers

Planning Partners

Localities working toward launching a public financial counseling program using the FEC model, including through attending the FEC Academy.

  • Adams, Brown, Pike and Schuyler Counties, IL
  • Allegheny County, PA
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Fort Worth, TX
  • Macomb County, MI
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Mt. Vernon, NY
  • Nassau and Suffolk Counties, NY
  • Orange County, FL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Pitkin County, CO
  • Plainfield, NJ
  • Rockford, IL
  • South Bend, IN
  • Washington, DC
  • Waukesha, WI

Implementation Partners

Partners that have secured funding and are completing their first two years of FEC operations.

Expert Partners

The FEC Model

The Financial Empowerment Center model has operated for thirteen years, and across more than two dozen operational FECs has worked with more than 150,000 clients, helping them reduce debt by more than $225 million, and increasing savings by $45 million. Professionally trained FEC counselors help consumers with low to moderate incomes manage their finances, pay down debt, increase savings, establish and build credit, and access safe and affordable mainstream banking products.

The core tenets of the FEC model are:

  • Financial counseling is provided at no cost, with services delivered one-on-one to empower clients to address complex financial challenges.
  • Counselors are professionally trained according to rigorous FEC Counselor Training Standards.
  • Counseling is data-driven; the central FEC database collects over 200 client data points, and impact is measured against specific behavior change outcomes.
  • Because financial instability impacts the need for, and success of, other social services, strategic referral and integration partnerships with other services such as housing and foreclosure prevention, workforce development, prisoner reentry, and benefits access are critical.
  • Financial counseling serves a critical public need, and local government oversight provides for credibility, accountability, scale, and program sustainability.

The FEC Counselor Training Process 

Each FEC Planning Partner is required to train their financial counselors in accordance with the requirements and competencies detailed in the CFE Fund’s FEC Counselor Training Standards. The FEC Counselor Training Standards delineate the breadth and depth of the financial content areas, counseling and coaching skills, practice and experiential learning, and socio-economic and cultural context setting necessary to serve the diverse needs and backgrounds of FEC clients.

FEC Public Funders

Join the FEC Public Movement

The CFE Fund’s FEC Public partners are supporting the scaling and growth of this impactful, innovative public service.