Nehemiah Gateway Community Development Corporation. Non Profit organization headquartered in Wilmington. Organize and manage the EITC Campaign throughout Delaware.
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Program Age: 8th Year Operations
Territory: Statewide Delaware, 22 locations
Market Size: 780,000 total population in Delaware
Returns Under $40,000: 206.413
Returns Over $40,000: 163.473
Total Tax Returns: 369.886
DE EITC Campaign:
Tax Returns by Campaign: 14,377 (6% market share)
Small Business Returns: 629
Federal Refunds: $17,405,529
State Refunds: $1,854,869
Savings Accounts Opened: 247
Certificate of Deposit Opened: 241
Savings Bonds: 105
Credit Report and Education: 2523
Split Refund: 352
Amount Saved on Tax Prep Fees: $2,875,400
Minorities Served: 68%
Minorities in State: 30%
AGI of Customers: $15,771
Campaign Champion: Governor Jack Markell
Campaign Sponsor: Nehemiah Gateway CDC
Direct deposit is faster than a check from IRS
Get your refund within 7 to 12 days!
No check cashing fees
No bounced checks, overdrawn accounts, or bank fees
No minimum balance requirements first 3 months
Free money transfers from bank account to card (international or local)
No need to carry large amounts of cash,
Purchase protection and fraud monitoring included
Get your refund on a card and not in a check
Use a card instead of cash to buy things
Accepts payroll deposits
Use your card for store purchases
Use your card to pay bills
Use your card for ATM cash withdrawals
You can deposit checks and cash at any “Green Dot” location (Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS, Radio Shack)
25 Big Ruby Tuesday style menus at each tax site:
List and describe all financial products and services available at tax site. Each customer receives a mini menu to take home.
We developed a savings manual for tax preparers and we sent an email to our tax preparer volunteers to stress the importance of their role in encouraging customers with big refunds to save.
We use a list serve with Financial Coordinators to exchange ideas and communicate throughout the season.
We identify the strongest Cash Coordinators and ask them to increase their volunteer service by going to various sites on different days of the week to train other Cash Coordinators.
A high interest account that is locked for a designated time period. Because the money stays in the bank without transactions, the bank offers a higher interest rate. This is not a transactional account.
CDs are labeled with purposes to inspire customers to save for specific goals, such as Vacation CD, Back to School CD, Christmas CD, etc. Our research suggests that Christmas Clubs are a very appealing type of savings program for our customers.
When the savings period is up, the CD can be renewed, withdrawn, or just roll over and continue. As interest is earned it is added to the principal in the account so that new interest is earned on increasing higher amounts.
The bank partners for the Delaware EITC Campaign during the 2009 tax season are WSFS and and Artisans Bank. The Campaign has also worked with GMAC Bank and PNC Bank in the past.
IDAs (Individual Development Accounts): AFI product, matching 1 ½ : 1 for home ownership, post-secondary education, & small business development. Customers can invest as much as $500 during tax season.
Maximum savings: $1,500. Accounts are opened as savings and then transferred into IDAs when clients complete the formal intake process.
Savings Bonds: EE Bonds, similar to CDs, matures at face value with interest averaging between 4 & 5% after one year. Starting investment of $50. Popular as a gift item.
Customers will be educated about IDAs and offered the opportunity to open a
pre-IDA by directly depositing a portion of their refund. Cash Coordinators will conduct preliminary screening to determine program eligibility.
Deposits will go into a CD or savings account at the partner bank and will be held there
pending final qualification and notification by the program administrator.
Activating the IDA:
Clients will be referred to an IDA program associate for intake, eligibility, and financial
On-site Account Opening:
Account numbers are pre-assigned in batches of 25 and entered into a Spreadsheet. As accounts are opened, the Cash Coordinator will fill in the clients name, last four digits of the social, amount of deposit, date, and tax site. Spreadsheet will be held on a secured server which will be accessed only by Tax Site Managers and the bank with specific usernames and passwords.
Clients will be given all referral and program info in writing.
Keep it Simple and Use Visualization to get your message across. Use the YES messages and avoid the NO messages.
YES:Looks like you’re getting a great refund! Would you be interested in saving some of it so you’ll have money for something you need later on this year? Christmas shopping, vacation, back to school, or a savings account for your kids?
Help customers visualize financial needs that they will have beyond the bills that are waiting to be paid now. This type of question motivates people to consider saving.
NO:Would you like to open a CD?
Most people don’t know what a CD is and may have misperceptions about it. This type of question might shut down the thought process.
YES:By putting some of your refund into savings, its still your money. It can earn interest while it sits there and when you’re ready for it, you can take it out.
Remind them that the money belongs to them and it doesn’t have to be spent all at once.
NO: If you put it in a CD, you can get it out in six months.
It feels like they are giving away some of their money and won’t be able to get at it.
YES: You can put most of it in your regular bank account to use now, and some of it in another account to use later on. It’s all about having money when you need it. You won’t miss it if you don’t see it.
Remind them that once it goes into their checking account, it will evaporate. By putting some in a CD, they protect their own money so they will have it for future financial needs.
NO: You can open an account and save some of your refund.
They might feel like you are trying to take away their refund and will resist this. They need to visualize the two accounts and be reminded that the money is theirs to use for their own expenses.
Benefits of Direct Deposit:
Would you like to have your refund directly deposited into your bank account?
Did you know that if you do direct deposit, you will have your refund within 2 weeks or less?
Benefits of more than one bank account
Did you know that this year the IRS is offering taxpayers an opportunity to directly deposit their refund into as many as 3 accounts so that you can put some in your checking and some in a savings account or CD?
Quick and Easy
To make it easy to put a little bit of your refund into a separate savings account, we can open a CD right now for that purpose. It only takes a few minutes and we can call the bank and open it right now.
What is a CD? How does it work?
Do you know what a CD is? A CD is a higher interest savings account where your money earns interest until it matures in six months. It is designed to earn higher interest so its best to leave it in there and or you risk losing the interest. At the end of 5 months you get a notice telling you that it will mature in 30 days and you will have a window to either cash out, add more, or do nothing, in which case it will roll over and start another 6 month term.
We have a partnership with two banks who are offering CDs and savings accounts for our customers who would like to save some of their refund. That is GMAC Bank, an internet bank, and WSFS Bank. The interest rate is higher on the GMAC Bank CD because it is an internet bank and doesn’t have the overhead that WSFS has. However, with WSFS, you can go into any branch and get other services also.
Examples of Customers who took advantage of the offer
We’ve had several customers who set one up for each of two children and then they put the rest in their own checking account to pay bills. One mother did it for her teenagers who are working. She decided to help them get started on a savings plan of their own by opening a CD for each of them so that they could add to it when it matures in six months. She took care of the important stuff…. She opened the accounts in her name and their name and she funded them with her refund. One young man who is single and in his twenties, opened a CD with half of his refund, so that he would have money for a vacation this summer.