1 Training 2019
2 Lindsay Ferguson Mariele McGlazer America Saves Commonwealth
3 Agenda WHO IS COMMONWEALTH? ▪ ▪ WHO IS AMERICA SAVES? ▪ WHAT IS SaveYourRefund (SYR)? ▪ WHY IS SYR IMPORTANT? ▪ HOW DOES SYR WORK? ▪ WHAT’S NEXT?
4 Mission Commonwealth strengthens the financial opportunity and security of financially vulnerable people by discovering ideas, piloting solutions and driving innovations to scale. We build solutions to make people financially secure.
5 We Build Solutions to Financial Challenges • Identify financial challenges • Build solutions designed for scale • Real world projects prove solutions work. +
6 We build innovative solutions that help people overcome a number of financial challenges. SOLUTIONS CHALLENGES Prizes • Savings • Uncertain Income & Expenses • • Gamification Debt • • Rules of Thumb Tax Time Saving • • Financial Capability
7 Agenda WHO IS COMMONWEALTH? ▪ ▪ WHO IS AMERICA SAVES? ▪ WHAT IS SaveYourRefund (SYR)? ▪ WHY IS SYR IMPORTANT? ▪ HOW DOES SYR WORK? ▪ WHAT’S NEXT?
8 Who we are America Saves motivates and encourages people, particularly those who are financially vulnerable, to save effectively in order to reduce debt and build wealth. Through America Saves’ network of partnering organizations, we use social marketing and behavioral economics to support thousands of organizations in influencing their employees, members, clients, customers, students, congregants, participants, and constituents. Whether trying to save the first $500 of their emergency fund or to contribute for a more comfortable retirement, we provide the support for savers to reach their goals.
9 Engagement America Saves Week Local Campaigns Military Saves Campaigns lead by local Annual opportunity for Dedicated to helping organizations and working organizations to promote saving service members and and for Savers to reassess their groups who promote savings and their families save current savings habits and t he Pledge through financial money, reduce debt, attitudes. stability programming. and build wealth. SaveYourRefund Split to Save America Saves for - Incentivized tax time savings Employer tool to motivate Young Workers promotion to encourage employees to split a portion of Youth employment program focus taxpayers to save a porition of their paycheck into a savings with direct deposit component. their tax refund. account. All Saver receive non FREE! - commercial and unbiased savings tips, tools, resources, and messages based on their savings goal via text and email.
10 Agenda WHO IS COMMONWEALTH? ▪ ▪ WHO IS AMERICA SAVES? ▪ WHAT IS SaveYourRefund (SYR)? ▪ WHY IS SYR IMPORTANT? ▪ HOW DOES SYR WORK? ▪ WHAT’S NEXT?
11 SaveYourRefund - time saving (SYR) is a national promotion to incentivize tax 102 chances to WIN! All you need to do? Save a minimum of $50 from your federal tax refund. Weekly Drawings Grand Prizes 2 winners from the photo 10 entries are drawn each $100 week for contest will win $10,000 each $30,000 in total prizes!
12 Meet the 2018 Grand Prize Winners: Cassandra and Tara
13 Agenda WHO IS COMMONWEALTH? ▪ ▪ WHO IS AMERICA SAVES? ▪ WHAT IS SaveYourRefund (SYR)? ▪ COMMONWEATLH AND AMERICA SAVES PARTNERSHIP ▪ WHY IS SYR IMPORTANT? ▪ HOW DOES SYR WORK? ▪ WHAT’S NEXT?
14 Commonwealth and America Saves SYR 2019 is a partnership between Commonwealth and America Saves ▪ ▪ Commonwealth : Technical support and prize administration ▪ Manage website, verify winners, manage sweepstakes and grand prize contest ▪ America Saves : Partner management, communications, and promotion ▪ Communicate regularly with partners, answer questions, blog posts, and social media ▪ Same structure and program from previous years ▪ America Saves as main point of contact for partners
15 Agenda WHO IS COMMONWEALTH? ▪ ▪ WHO IS AMERICA SAVES? ▪ WHAT IS SaveYourRefund (SYR)? ▪ WHY IS SYR IMPORTANT? ▪ HOW DOES SYR WORK? ▪ WHAT’S NEXT?
16 SYR is an opportunity to encourage over 110 million American households to save The Outcome The Challenge The Opportunity Over 40% of people Form 8888 lets ▪ of $300 Billon ▪ ▪ don’t have even people federal tax refund save part of their refund are awarded/year $400 in emergency savings ▪ ▪ Consumers have Refund represent up 20% of income for ▪ Many people have and get FUN to already LMI households mentally INCENTIVES to save! their refund spent Volunteers have an ▪ ▪ Many need to use before they get it way to start a easy some of these funds to meet basic needs savings conversation
17 Incentives make saving FUN and encourage people who otherwise wouldn’t have considered saving their refund How important was the prospect of winning a prize when making the decision to save this tax season? 18% 18% Not important Not very important Very important Extremely important 23% 41% 59% said the incentives were “very important” or “extremely important” in leading them to save !
18 SaveYourRefund : six years of impact $13 million entrants have saved 15,000 Since 2013, over We’ve given away $205,000 in cash prizes. did not plan to save 34% of their refund on average 30% Entrants saved
19 Agenda WHO IS COMMONWEALTH? ▪ ▪ WHO IS AMERICA SAVES? ▪ WHAT IS SaveYourRefund (SYR)? ▪ WHY IS SYR IMPORTANT? ▪ HOW DOES SYR WORK? ▪ WHAT’S NEXT?
20 Agenda WHO IS D2D FUND? ▪ ▪ WHAT IS SaveYourRefund (SYR)? ▪ WHY IS SYR IMPORTANT? ▪ HOW DOES SYR WORK? ▪ HOW DO YOU ENTER? ▪ WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU WIN? ▪ HOW DO WE GET INVOLVED? ▪ HOW DO WE ENSURE SYR IS A SUCCESS? ▪ WHAT’S NEXT?
21 Most everyone who receives a federal tax refund is eligible for SYR QUALIFICATIONS ❑ 18 years of age or older 18% ❑ Eligible for a federal tax refund ❑ Uses Form 8888 to split refund ❑ Saves at least $50 in to one of the following: 23% Savings Accounts Savings Bonds Prepaid Cards IRAs, HSAs, and and CDs and Treasury Direct 529s
22 The weekly drawing is easy to enter HOW TO ENTER https://saveyourrefund.com/enter/ Just visit to enter! ▪ Winners are chosen through random selection Entrants stay in the pool from the day they enter until the date of the last drawing ▪ Entrants can win both a weekly drawing and the grand prize ▪ ▪ Drawings occur on Fridays throughout tax season
23 Web entry takes less than 2 minutes 1 2 3 4 Contact Info Saving Info Survey Info Confirmation!
24 The entry requires little information Fields on the Weekly entry form: First and last name Phone number AND/OR email Zip code State Tax preparation site/method Total amount of refund Amount deposited in each account Type of each account used Amount used to purchase bonds ( if applicable )
25 The grand prizes are awarded through a photo contest $10,000 will be awarded to TWO Grand Prize winners ▪ ▪ To win the grand prize, you MUST enter the weekly drawings HOW TO ENTER Upload your photo to the website: 1 www.SaveYourRefund.com/grandprize Fill out the required, brief caption 2
26 The grand prize winner is selected on several criteria PHOTO CONTEST WILL FOCUS ON SAVING Photo and brief (250 word) caption must be submitted and will be ▪ - evaluated based on: ▪ Caption’s relation to the theme ▪ Photo’s connection to the caption and theme ▪ Photo’s composition
27 Agenda WHO IS COMMONWEALTH? ▪ ▪ WHO IS AMERICA SAVES? ▪ WHAT IS SaveYourRefund (SYR)? ▪ WHY IS SYR IMPORTANT? ▪ HOW DOES SYR WORK? ▪ HOW DO YOU ENTER? ▪ WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU WIN? ▪ HOW DO WE ENSURE SYR IS A SUCCESS? ▪ WHAT’S NEXT?
28 Weekly drawing winners have their Form 8888 verified must 2 3 1 Weekly winners “Potential Winners” must (or their tax site) Checks will be will be contacted submit Form sent via mail to by 8888 for all winners verification Commonwealth mail or phone) - (e (and be qualified to win)
29 Agenda WHO IS COMMONWEALTH? ▪ ▪ WHO IS AMERICA SAVES? ▪ WHAT IS SaveYourRefund (SYR)? ▪ WHY IS SYR IMPORTANT? ▪ HOW DOES SYR WORK? ▪ HOW DO YOU ENTER? ▪ WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU WIN? ▪ HOW CAN YOU MAKE SYR IS A SUCCESS? ▪ WHAT’S NEXT?
30 Use the promotional materials available on SaveYourRefund.com & AmericaSavesWeek.org Wondering how to enter # SaveYourRefund for your chance at $10,000 or the weekly $100? Easy - peasy! www.saveyourrefund.com We Want to Know: Tell us your savings story, and don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a $10,000 Grand Prize! https://www.saveyourrefund.com/ grandprize
31 Engage clients in the weekly drawings and grand prize contest OPPORTUNITIES TO ENGAGE CLIENTS Mailings/emails before and during tax season ▪ ▪ Flyers or computer terminals in lobbies Walk around and sign people up ▪ ▪ At intake ▪ With tax preparer ▪ During quality review Savers can enter at home or at the tax site.
32 Engage staff and volunteers with vision, training and incentives OPPORTUNITIES TO ENGAGE STAFF Training Contests
33 START A SAVINGS CONVERSATION flyer; have you had a chance to I see you have a SaveYourRefund ? what do you think? – look at it We have a promotion this year offering a chance to win a prize for saving at least $50; have you heard about it – what questions do ? you have? Do you recall how you used last year’s tax refund? What are your ? plans this year? Did you know you can gift savings to a child or grandchild with ? savings bonds? Check out the Taxpayer Opportunity Network’s VITA Volunteer Toolkit for more resources to help volunteers get the savings conversation started!
34 SaveYourRefund Overview of 2018 Contact Info: Steve O’Neill, VITA Director Participated in CFPB’s Tax • United Way of Lancaster Time Savings Cohort in 2018 County • Want to “do more than just free taxes” [email protected] 824 - 8107 • Pilot year – - 717 3 out of 17 sites participated • Incentive provided by SaveYourRefund was key
35 Tax Time Savings Pilot - • 3 sites • 2 pre - season classes for volunteers • Pre - season postcard & E - blast • Clipboard “billboards” • Savings commitment form • Greeters, Tax Preparers, SC’s • Savings Coach at each site • Google Doc to track
36 Incentives Must split refund and save $50 • • All savers got piggy bank (each site sponsored by a local bank) • Entered to win local weekly $25 grocery gift card • Entered in SaveYourRefund prize drawing • Entered to win a local grand prize of an iPad
37 SYR Weekly $100 Winner
38 Local Grand - Prize Winner (iPad)
39 Successes 136 (3%) of clients saved at least $50 • • $177,342 saved total • Did not burden volunteers • Banks were interested, gave us something to sell • Banks underwriting and providing freebies
40 Barriers in 2018 • Last minute plans • Lack of savings accounts (40% of our clients) • Tax season is hectic at first + lost our “oomph” halfway
41 Savings in 2019 • Expanding to 10 sites • Incentivize volunteers to keep momentum going • Site competitions • Bank account opening on site
42 Resources in the Tool Kit to promote SaveYourRefund TOOL KIT ▪ Training webinar ▪ Volunteer and Staff tip sheets ▪ Marketing material ▪ Sample social media posts
43 Commit to save at tax time! • form at SaveYourRefund.com & AmericaSaves.com Precommitment • SaveYourRefund will provide partners language and content to share Help spread the word! with past taxpayers and clients ✓ Make sure you’re signed up! • Savers that precommit will receive multiple reminder and tax - time savings - focused messages before and during tax season. SaveYourRefund will share report after tax season • • Name • Email • State • Zip • Savings goal • How much will you save?
44 Saving Champions and Rookies of the Year Application within end - of - season survey • • How SYR was incorporated into tax - time saving initiative, how it was promoted, etc. • Selected by Commonwealth and America Saves team • 17 winners in 2018 • Awarded a badge and certificate from SaveYourRefund • Recognized nationally through blogs and social media
45 Agenda WHO IS COMMONWEALTH? ▪ ▪ WHO IS AMERICA SAVES? ▪ WHAT IS SaveYourRefund (SYR)? ▪ WHY IS SYR IMPORTANT? ▪ HOW DOES SYR WORK? ▪ WHAT’S NEXT?
46 How can you get involved? WHAT YOU CAN DO Get on board! Become an official Partner of SaveYourRefund: www.saveyourrefund.com/partners Visit our website! for updates and marketing materials www.saveyourrefund.com Keep an eye on Stay connected! @ buildcommwealth and email [email protected] AmericaSaves @ Follow and with any questions
47 What others say “Our strategy this year was to “We talked to our clients in the implement a focus on Savings at waiting room about SYR and every step of the VITA process.” how folks could participate.” “Clients walked by a “Every client receives a mailing with the tax refund wall of savings outside worksheet featuring SaveYourRefund .” the waiting room.” “We had a Savings Specialist on site “We put SYR signage up and made handouts once a week that met with taxpayers available at the sign - in table and interview prior to meeting with the preparer.” tables.”