Financial Stability First (FS1) Discussion Brief

May 6, 2016

The National Human Services Assembly is pleased to share a discussion brief on Financial Stability First (FS1), an initiative generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

The National Assembly conducted a pilot project in three human service agencies—one Catholic Charities and two Goodwill, Inc. sites—to determine whether financial navigators in the workplace could be deployed to assist low-wage employees. The goal was to create a foundation of financial stability through outreach, education, and access to a range of financial products and services. Project outcomes confirmed the value of intentional organizational efforts to work with low-wage employees to navigate this landscape and become aware of the resources that can increase their financial stability.

Research shows that financial stability is a key component of well-being, and nonprofit employers are uniquely positioned to provide the resources and guidance their employees need to reach their full potential, just as they already do for other members of the community.


Outcomes show that the FS1 model is a catalyst in building employees’ confidence and skills to manage their finances, along with deepening organizational understanding of the needs and precarious financial positions of their low-wage employees. In particular, the findings indicated:

  • Employees were inspired to make immediate changes to save more money; access tools to check, build or improve credit scores; sign up for free or low-cost checking accounts; start using direct deposit; and save more money for retirement.
  • Participation in this pilot increased management support for financial wellness activities during the work day; sparked creativity to boost support and encouragement for employees; and deepened employer/employee relationships with the potential for increased productivity, reduced staff turnover, and more effective operations.

Check Out the Full Discussion Brief

The brief includes an overview of the project model and outcomes, highlights of the resulting benefits, identified challenges and strategies for overcoming them, and key recommendations for replication and scalability. Read the full brief to learn more about the value of intentional organizational efforts to help low-wage employees navigate the financial landscape in order to build and maintain a foundation of financial stability.