We know your work is critical to promoting financial inclusion and economic opportunity in communities around the nation. Let us help you achieve your goals.

We believe in community capital.

The resources and efforts of nonprofits, community development financial institutions, credit unions, banks, and foundations provide the capital communities need to solve problems and we’re committed to helping organizations maximize their impact.

We do rigorous, mixed-methods research.

We have extensive experience conducting research and evaluation with financial institutions and other organizations focused on affordable housing, financial inclusion and empowerment, financial coaching and counseling, asset building, and more. As a university-based center, we take great pride in conducting rigorous, mixed-methods research and evaluation. To date, our efforts have produced more than 300 publications and presentations since 2000, two books based on our Community Advantage Program Study, and several testimonies before Congress.

We have a lot to offer.

Our knowledgeable team can help you build capacity in the following areas:

  • Program design & evidence-based practice: we can help articulate your program’s theory of change and ensure that it is well-grounded in evidence from both the community and from research;
  • Evaluation: we can help you figure out how to collect and use the data you have to improve services; and
  • Financial health and sustainability: we can assess your organization’s financial health and identify strategies to increase sustainability without compromising your mission.
  • Products and services to reach under-served consumers and markets: we can conduct research and evaluation to assess the demand for and benefits of financial products and services designed to reach under-served consumers and communities.

We are unique.

  • We have been described as “nimble,” “flexible,” and “hands on;”
  • We have one foot in academia and one foot in the real world;
  • We understand the challenges you are facing to achieve impact;
  • We understand what funders expect; and
  • We believe in participatory research and evaluation.

For more information, contact Mat Despard, Executive Director, at (919) 843-3976 or despard@email.unc.edu