Finance and Assets

Introducing the Consumer Insights Collaborative

June 25, 2018  • Financial Security Program

The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program (Aspen FSP) is building out a set of consumer insights research partnerships to better understand the financial challenges and opportunities faced by low- and moderate-income families in America. The flagship project in the portfolio is the Consumer Insights Collaborative, a group of nine leading nonprofits across the country that have come together under Aspen FSP in pursuit of two goals: 1. To influence a broader audience’s understanding of the consumers they serve in terms of their financial aspirations, preferences, challenges, and behaviors and 2. To build a community of practice to learn from each other and other experts about how to make effective use of their data assets. Read more about the Consumer Insights Initiative.

The nonprofits composing the Consumer Insights Collaborative include Commonwealth, EARN, the Financial Clinic, the Family Independence Initiative, LIFT, Mission Asset Fund, MyPath, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, and Neighborhood Trust. The work of the Collaborative is made possible by MetLife Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

“These organizations have amassed a strong set of data assets and experience that can help other stakeholders – including nonprofit partners and financial service providers – understand how to better serve low- and moderate-income consumers,” said Evelyn Stark, who leads the Financial Inclusion portfolio at MetLife Foundation.

Aspen FSP will work with the Collaborative over the coming year to explore data, conduct rigorous analyses, and develop an initial set of insights about the people they serve. Aspen FSP will promote these findings to wider practitioner, policy, and philanthropic audiences – while using insights to inform further learning within the group.

“This consumer insights work will provide a greater understanding of the financial needs of low- and moderate-income families, especially within communities of color,” said Marissa Guananja, program officer with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “It’s critical for nonprofits, philanthropy, community-based organizations, government, and the members of this collaborative to more deeply understand the barriers to success for children and families.”

A second project within the Aspen FSP consumer insights portfolio is a partnership with NEST Insight to identify, understand, and find new ways to address financial security challenges that exist for workers in both the US and the UK. This effort and the Collaborative will underpin Aspen FSP’s broader work to develop a community of organizations that want to put their data assets on low- and moderate-income consumers to use for the public good. Read our framing paper on this collaboration.