ICFF October 2012 Newsletter

ICFF announces Indy Parks partnership

Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness has announced a new strategy for helping residents become financially fit, including a new partnership with the Indy Parks department to help bring Free Tax Preparation, Bank On Indy and Financial Education out into the community.

The plan is to use the park system’s 19 Family Centers to make outreach efforts more accessible to residents, with a goal of increasing the number of people served.

Jen Pittman, Deputy Director of Indy Parks, says her department is excited about the new opportunity.

“Indy Parks is delighted to partner with ICFF to bring financial fitness into our Family Centers with programming for park visitors, and through professional development for our staff. The peace of mind that comes with financial stability will allow park patrons to relax and enjoy our recreation and community events even more,” she said.

“And we want our staff to serve as front-line ambassadors for promoting this important new addition to our program roster.”

As part of this new partnership, ICFF/Bank On Indy is asking Financial Partners to each “adopt” a family center where they can expand their banking outreach services.

For more information, please email  RuthAnn.Walker@indy.gov.

VITA gearing up for tax season

The ICFF team has been meeting with local community organizations, educational institutions, corporations and other interested parties to recruit volunteers for the coming tax filing season, said Kate McKnight, Chairperson of the ICFF-VITA Program. They are also looking to publicize a new option for Marion County residents to prepare their own taxes for free using web-based software.

In 2013, Central Indiana residents with a combined household income under $57,000 will be able to log onto the MyFreeTaxes.com website and electronically file a federal and state return – at no charge! Many of our partners will be placing a link to the MyFreeTaxes.com website on their websites for easy access by clients and employees.

But it gets even better! Local volunteers will also provide telephone and online support for MyFreeTaxes.com users.

This new collaboration will provide a new volunteer opportunity as well as allow more local residents to learn how to prepare their own tax returns using state-of-the-art, user-friendly software. Watch for more detailed information in next month’s newsletter!

Financial Partners look ahead to 2013

ICFF Financial Partners gathered in the Mayor’s Conference Room on the 25th floor of the Indianapolis City-County Building on Sept. 25 for the latest quarterly Update Meeting. They learned about the new direction and goals of ICFF and helped suggest ideas for upcoming events and outreach programs.

Quarterly meetings for next year are scheduled for Jan. 5, 2013; May 21, 2013; and Sept. 17, 2013.

Financial Planning Day set for Oct. 27

Financial Planning Day is just around the bend! It will be held Oct. 27 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Purdue Extension Building, 1202 E. 38th St.

This free public event is one of the biggest annual outreach opportunities to help Indianapolis residents become more financially aware, secure and in charge. There will be classroom workshops with professional financial planners, plus one-on-one consultations!

For more information, call toll free (877) 861-7826, or visit  www.FinancialPlanningDays.org.

Indy Chamber helps ICFF

The Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce is helping Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness get the word out! Information on ICFF was included in the chamber’s recent Monday Morning Memo, seen by more than 8,000 area business leaders. They also are preparing a story to run in their upcoming Business Ownership Initiative newsletter, which reaches more than 5,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Product information updates

The ICFF team is updating the Bank On Indy product information for each Financial Partner. Partners are asked to review their financial institution’s information at

http://www.bankonindy.org/faqs/. Please follow the same format used on the website.
If you do not see your institution’s product sheet, or have any updates or changes to your information, please email RuthAnn.Walker@indy.gov.

Federal info on unbanked

Carol Gassen at Salin Bank passed along these helpful links to information from the federal government on unbanked populations and how to better serve them. Thanks Carol!

FDIC National Survey

Federal Reserve Bulletin

Mark your calendar!

ICFF quarterly meetings for next year are scheduled for Jan. 5, 2013; May 21, 2013; and Sept. 17, 2013.

ICFF July 2012 Newsletter

Get Your Money On!

The first class in the “Get Your Money On!” program was held June 27 at Windsor Park. The free series — a partnership of PNC Bank, Indy Parks and Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness — offers residents lessons on how to better handle their money and feel financially secure.

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped kick off the series and educated people to play smarter with their money!

And we’re just getting rolling!

New workshop series, each lasting three weeks, are scheduled for this fall. All classes begin at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at Windsor Park:

* Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and Oct. 10
* Oct. 30, Nov. 6 and Nov. 13
* Nov. 27, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11

Register at the Windsor Park front desk or call the Park office at (317) 327-7162.

ICFF Takes its Message to Duvall

ICFF has been working with inmates at the Duvall Residential Center, a primary facility for nonviolent male offenders serving with the Marion County Community Corrections work release program.

Ben Long of BMO Harris Bank, which has been active in the ICFF outreach at Duvall, reports steady attendance at the classes and has received a number of applications for new bank accounts.

“The participants have been responsive and are engaged with the lessons,” Long said. “All in all, it has been a very interesting experience for me and I believe we are making a positive impact on the people here.”


ICFF forms new partnership with Domiciliary

Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness is pleased to announce a new partnership with The Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation and Treatment Program (DRRTP), a 50-bed therapeutic residential facility for homeless military veterans located at the Richard L. Roudebush Indianapolis VA Medical Center. The program provides therapy and skills training to assist veterans with living independently.

Melissa Vance-Blackwell, a clinical social worker and admissions coordinator at the Domiciliary, heard about the work ICFF was doing in the community and requested financial literacy classes for their residents. Once the educational sessions are completed, Vance-Blackwell plans to coordinate with Bank On Indy on getting these proud veterans banked!


Updates for Profiles and Fee Structures

Many banks and other financial institutions are in the process of changing their product profiles and account fee structures related to the Bank On Indy program to meet new government regulations and disclosure requirements. ICFF Financial Partners, please review the documents on the Bank On Indy website relating to your institution here. If your BOI offering is not up to date, please email your revised forms here.


Save the Date for Bank on Indy Partner Meetings

Bank on Indy has scheduled tentative dates for quarterly meetings with Financial Partners for the remainder of 2012 and 2013. Meetings will take place in the Mayor’s Conference Room on the 25th floor of the City-County Building.

Please save the following dates and times:

* Sept. 18, 2012, 1-2 p.m.

* Jan. 15, 2013, 1-2 p.m.

* May 21, 2013, 1-2 p.m.

* Sept. 17, 2013, 1-2 p.m.

A call-in option will be available for partners unable to make the trip. Please call (877) 553-9039; pass code is 596 4349.

ICFF May Newsletter

Free Tax Prep breaks records for 2012!

Final tallies are in, and point to another record-breaking year for Indy’s Free Tax Prep program!

Year-to-date numbers indicate a total of more than 5,700 federal income tax returns were filed via the program as of April 21, a huge increase over the previous year. Those returns netted nearly $8 million in federal income tax refunds to Indianapolis residents, also a new record.

Indy’s Free Tax Prep saved people an average of $200 in fees per return. That’s about $1 million extra in the pockets of Indianapolis residents!

Thanks to all 239 volunteers who gave generously of their time and expertise to bring free tax preparation help to the people!

Bank on Indy keeps expanding its reach!

Once again, Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness is taking their act on the road! ICFF/Bank on Indy are currently collaborating with Glick, Sexton and Flaherty & Collins apartment community managers to begin scheduling BOI nights.

All three pillars of service will be presented by our financial partners and community service representatives during the ICFF/BOI Open House nights. There will be an open Q&A along with refreshments and door prizes, and opportunities for one-on-one conversations with bank reps and financial/credit counselors.

It’s all part of ICFF’s philosophy of bringing financial services directly to Indianapolis residents.

Look for an announcement with a date and time soon.

ICFF announces new partners and classes

Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness has partnered with the Duvall Resident Work Release Center to offer residents our three pillar program. On May 9, Ben Long of BMO Harris Bank began the first of a series of three Bank on Indy-Financial Education workshops.

The first class of attendees meets on the second and third Wednesdays of the month from 1:30-3 p.m. The second class meets on the second Thursday of the month from 4-5:30 p.m.

Make sure to check the ICFF Doodle calendar for a complete schedule of classes!

May is heating up fast with BOI events

With 10 events scheduled this month, May is looking to be one of the busiest times ever for Bank on Indy.

Our partnership with Indy Parks Department is also taking off!

Make sure to check our calendar for upcoming vents.

Join Indy Saves

Sign up for Indy Saves today, and receive a quarterly newsletter either electronically or by mail! Part of the national America Saves campaign, Indy Saves is dedicated to helping individuals save money, reduce debt and build wealth.

Logo onto www.indysaves.org and read about successful Indy Savers who turned their financial life around!

America Saves is coordinated by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA).

Welcome, Stopover!

Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness is proud to welcome our newest community partner, Stopover, Inc. Transitional Living Program. We look forward to collaborating with their citizen outreach efforts and providing all three pillars of the ICFF program.

ICFF April Newsletter

ICFF/BOI Make Impression at Conference

Indianapolis had the honor of being picked to attend the Municipal Financial Empowerment Strategy Session Feb. 28-29 in San Francisco, hosted by The National League of Cities (NLC) and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition (CFE).

The conference brought together representatives from more than 15 cities from across the nation to exchange ideas and gain practical advice about financial empowerment for citizens.

The focus was on identifying available resources, figuring out what works and what doesn’t for a particular community, and disseminating proven data toward promising strategies and best practices.

The programs from New York City and San Francisco served as models during the session, but the work being done in Indianapolis did not escape notice.

Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness/Bank On Indy were distinguished among the attendees for being the only major city to rely entirely on volunteers for outreach efforts, rather than paid municipal employees.

ICFF and Bank on Indy were also recognized for bringing their program to the people in neighborhoods, apartment complexes, local events and even jails.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams at the conference.

Free Tax Prep kicks into high gear

The federal tax filing deadline on April 17 is fast approaching, and Indy’s Free Tax Prep volunteers are helping people file their income tax returns free of charge! That includes Mobile Tax Sites that bring the program out into the community.

At the Mobile Tax Sites alone, 516 tax returns were prepared in January and February of 2012, and another 414 returns were filed in March. That’s 930 tax returns from the mobile sites so far! A total of 5,000 individuals and families are expected to make use of the free service this year.

Free Tax Prep is a program launched to help Indianapolis residents file timely, accurate tax returns without having to pay costly preparation fees. Citizens can then use their refunds to pay down debts, buy groceries or other necessities or start a new bank account

Bank On Indy events coming this spring and summer

Bank On Indy will continue bringing their outreach program to residents this spring and summer, with a special focus on events at apartment communities and churches.

Banks and financial institutions looking to open new accounts should sign up to represent themselves at these events.

It’s a great opportunity for unbanked citizens to increase their financial security with their own bank account!

Thanks to Free Tax Prep Volunteers

The 2012 tax season is drawing to a close, and it’s been another great year for Indy’s Free Tax Prep program. We want to take this opportunity to thank all the terrific volunteers who are helping out the community with their time and expertise. We couldn’t do it without you!

Here are some of our tax prep volunteers in action.

ICFF February Newsletter

Free Tax Prep Kickoff a Smashing Success!

Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness held its first Free Tax Preparation event of 2012 at Brown Mackie College on Jan. 25, and received tremendous turnout.

The event was held on the fourth floor of the Circle Centre Mall downtown. Volunteers from ICFF and numerous local banking institutions assisted hundreds of city residents with advice and helping them get their income taxes filed at no charge.

In addition, financial institutions were able to offer unbanked residents the opportunity to open a new account right on the spot, so their income tax refund can be saved for emergencies and necessities.

Click the image below to watch video from the event!

More sites added for 2012

Free Tax Prep events are going even further out into the community! Instead of waiting for Indianapolis residents to seek out their services, ICFF proactively engages to bring free tax preparation services directly to the community.

By partnering with civic organizations, corporations, financial and educational institutions, and utilizing volunteers from churches, utility companies, schools, local corporations and many others, free tax prep services are now available in more than 40 locations throughout the Indianapolis area.

A vital part of that operations includes working with our Bank on Indy partners to set up accounts for unbanked residents, right on the spot! Volunteers from financial institutions will even set up direct deposit of their tax refund directly to their new account.

More than 5,000 individuals and families receive free tax preparation services, saving approximately $780,000 in tax preparation fees!

Thank you to our sponsors!

ICFF could not enjoy all the success we’ve had in bringing financial fitness to the community without the help from our fantastic sponsors. We want to thank all of them for their help with 2012 Free Tax Prep, including:

  • IndyGo
  • Clear Channel Communications
  • Bright House Networks
  • Kroger

Indianapolis selected for national financial strategy session

Indianapolis has been tapped to join The National League of Cities (NLC) and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition (CFE) for the Municipal Financial Empowerment Strategy Session. The meeting will bring together representatives from more than 15 cities from across the country to San Francisco Feb. 28-29.

The invitation-only event is an opportunity for participating cities to deepen their engagement in financial empowerment efforts by receiving practical guidance from advanced cities and experts in the field.

ICFF December Newsletter

Income tax time is just around the corner!

Soon local residents will be inundated with pitches to do their taxes and give them an advance on their tax return refund – in exchange for a fee. What many people don’t realize is that those hard-earned dollars could instead be used for groceries, pay bills, rent or for emergencies.

In these tough times, many people are living paycheck-to-paycheck. A great way for them to save money at tax time is to have their taxes prepared for FREE! Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, residents could better use filing fees to open a new bank account, increase an existing one or use that money to pay for necessities and emergencies.

Last year alone, Indy’s Free Tax Prep saved residents more than $650,000 in tax preparation fees!

Marion County residents who made $49,000 or less in income during 2011 may qualify for free tax preparation services. For hours, locations and more information on our services, call 2-1-1.

Click the image above for a video message from Indianapolis First Lady Winnie Ballard and clients who have received free tax preparation through VITA!

Still looking for volunteers

ICFF has so many dedicated volunteers who work hard to make sure our city’s working families keep more of their hard-earned dollars. They know that financial stability brings peace of mind and an improved quality of life for their neighbors.

To help even more people in 2012, ICFF is looking to add to our roster of volunteers. Whether it’s financial experts who can help with preparing tax returns, administrative whizzes or just people who want to help ICFF better connect with the community, we welcome all offers of assistance! The IRS and our community partners provide training that takes the guesswork out of tax preparation.

Click the image below for a personal message from Mayor Greg Ballard!

Save the date for first Free Tax Prep of 2012

We’re gearing up for the 2012 tax return season, and ICFF will kick things off with the first Free Tax Preparation event at Brown Mackie College on Jan. 25.

Click here for full details.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the 4th level of the Circle Center Mall downtown, 49 W. Maryland St. All Indianapolis residents and community partners are welcome to attend.

Residents of Indianapolis/Marion County who made $49,000 or less in income during 2011 may qualify for free tax preparation services onsite.

Thank you for your help in 2011!

On behalf of the entire Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness team, we’d like to extend a big thank-you to all the many volunteers who gave of their time and expertise in 2011.

Your generous assistance has helped many thousands of Marion County residents become better, more financially fit citizens. We couldn’t do it without you!

ICFF November Newsletter

Indy’s Free Tax Prep Program Receives $125,000 IRS Grant

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has awarded a $125,800 grant to “Indy’s Free Tax Prep,” a program operated by Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness (ICFF) and the Indianapolis Asset Building Coalition (IABC) to boost the citywide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in 2012. Last year, the effort also received IRS funding and worked to prepare more than 5,000 tax returns for eligible Indianapolis residents. This year, the program will again feature expanded sites and a special kickoff event in January 2012.

“The IRS VITA grant is a welcomed boost for our local financial fitness initiatives,” said Indianapolis First Lady Winnie Ballard. “Providing free tax prep for thousands of eligible residents is one of the best ways we can help individuals and families in Indianapolis keep more of their hard-earned money and stay on track for long-term financial stability.”

Locally, the VITA program is a collaboration of public and private entities, including the City of Indianapolis, United Way of Central Indiana, Central Indiana Community Foundation, local banks and credit unions, and nonprofit organizations focused on asset-building and financial fitness. The grant application was submitted through the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, a public-private partnership that is also an ICFF partner and a member of the IABC.

Free Tax Prep Volunteer Round-up

Tax season is fast approaching, and Indy’s Free Tax Prep Program is looking for volunteers for 2012! Volunteer tax preparers, screeners, reviewers and assistants are needed.

Join First Lady Winnie Ballard and the ICFF team at Indianapolis City Market (corner of Market and Delaware streets) at 11 a.m. on Nov. 30 to learn more and sign up!

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offers free tax return preparation services for all Earned  Income Tax Credit-eligible Marion County residents who earn less than $49,000

For more information, please attend the Free Tax Prep Volunteer Round-up on Nov. 30 or email indyscampaign@indyscampaign.org.

ICFF welcomes Belinda Ellis

You may have noticed a new name in our ICFF emails, and a new smiling face at some ICFF events. We recently hired Belinda Ellis to help us with some of the day-to-day administration of ICFF initiatives. In addition, she will be working on our Free Tax Prep planning team.

Belinda started with us several weeks ago. She dove right in by meeting with some of our partners and learning about all of our financial fitness programs (Bank On, Financial Education and Free Tax Prep). She has been busy scheduling workshops, setting up community meetings and confirming partners for our Financial Education program. She will be a liaison between the ICFF committee and partners.

Belinda has been an active VITA volunteer in Muncie, as well as a Site Coordinator at the Financial Center, the Boner Center and Martin Community Center. Last year she volunteered at the Mobile Tax Site. She previously spent 15 years in San Francisco as an Account Manager for a security company.

Belinda can be reached at indyscampaign3@gmail.com. Her phone number is (765) 228-5265.

Another busy month for ICFF team!

The ICFF team was very active during the month of October! Here are just some of the events we participated in or hosted last month:

Oct. 4 – Attended Crime Force Meeting and introduced ICFF program to audience at Christian Park Community Center.

Oct. 7 – Attended Woods of Eagle Creek Community Day, with BMO Harris Bank and Huntington Bank representatives staffing the ICFF table.

Oct. 11-18 – Presented financial fitness information to inmates at Jail 2.

Oct. 12, 19 & 26 – Transitional Jobs ICFF workshop presented by Huntington Bank.

Oct. 12-19 – Presented financial fitness information to female inmates at Liberty Hall.

Oct. 13-20 – Presented financial fitness information to male inmates at Liberty Hall.

Oct. 14 – Smart Money event for 6th graders from Marion County Schools, with the Financial Center staffing the ICFF table at the Statehouse.

Oct. 15 – ICFF participated in Financial Fitness Day at the University of Indianapolis.

Oct. 17 – Windsor Park Event, a meet-the-neighborhood event attended by representatives from ICFF and the Jane Pauley Health Center.

Oct. 22 – Goodwill Parents Day hosted an introduction of ICFF to parents at Goodwill Day School.

Oct. 24 – Huntington Bank presented an ICFF workshop at Recycle Force.

Oct 24 – Christian Park Event, a meet-the-neighborhood event attended by representatives from ICFF and the Jane Pauley Health Center.

ICFF September Newsletter

Please Join Us!

On September 8, 11 a.m. to noon, we are hosting a ‘Meet & Greet’ event as part of our new and improved process for providing Financial Education to the Indianapolis community. We hope you can attend. The event will be at RecycleForce, located at 754 N. Sherman Dr., Suite 220, Indianapolis, IN 46201. Some of our ICFF participating organizations will speak about their program, and ICFF partners will share their point of view on volunteering. We will also discuss the financial education ‘matching’ process and answer any questions you may have.

“Train-the-Trainer” Webinar

If you or someone in your organization would like to become a Financial Education trainer (or need a refresher course), ICFF has arranged for a FDIC Money Smart “Train-the-Trainer” webinar.  The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at 1 p.m. EST. We request that anyone planning to participate in the train-the-trainer webinar register two days prior to the session at Communityaffairs@fdic.gov. Specific information on the train-the-trainer webinars is available by clicking here.

Promote Your Upcoming Workshops

If your organization has any financial education workshops coming up, please contact us at indyscampaign3@gmail.com and we will post your event on the ICFF website, indyscampaign.org.

A Rewarding Experience

As a Bank On Indy intern, I was given the privilege of not only witnessing the events and impact of the program, but also playing a part in them myself. From the events at apartment communities to Jail II and Liberty Hall as well as the most recent event at BrightHouse Networks, it has been clear to me how impactful this initiative has truly been in the past couple of years. Although the most rewarding part of the program was knowing how much of a difference the help provided would make in the lives of the attendees to the events, the part of this entire experience that has stuck out to me the most has been the generosity and endless donation of time by the people of the ICFF and the financial partners. Whether there was one person in attendance at an event, or there were more than 200 as we had at BrightHouse Networks, the financial partners and the ICFF always came prepared to change the life of at least one person, and often many more.
The things I have learned over the summer cannot truly be expressed in a short synopsis, or even a long one at that, but I can express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity, the extreme honor I have for being a part of such an amazing program, and finally my applause for all the financial partners and members of ICFF for all they have done thus far and will continue to do through the Bank On Indy initiative. Thank you all for such a valuable experience in my life, and for such a valuable program for the City of Indianapolis.

Kelly Powers
BOI Summer Intern

Well on Our Way!

The latest Bank On Indy stats from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago are in!
•         Cumulative total since the program inception in October 2009: 19,293 active accounts
•         January through June 2011: 6,313 active accounts
We are well on our way to our 2011 goal of 8,000 accounts. Thanks for all your hard work.

Financial Planning Day Coming Soon

The Financial Planning Association of Greater Indiana (FPA) will once again host Financial Planning Day, Saturday, October 15, 2011, at The University of Indianapolis. Financial Planning Day is a free event designed to give Indianapolis residents an opportunity to speak one-on-one with professional financial planners and address financial questions at no cost. In this difficult time, the FPA hopes to touch a larger number of people and provide them with a place where they can discuss their individual financial situation. Click here for more information.

Bank on Indy Day @ Brighthouse was a Success!

Enjoy photos below from the very successful Bank On Indy Day @ Bright House Networks held on August 1. In addition to our host Bright House, participating partners included: Huntington, Chase, 5/3, Salin, Flagstar, Financial Center Credit Union, Key Bank, PNC, INHP, Old National, the IRS and Brown Mackie College. More than 241 Bright House customers visited partners’ booths. 21 bank accounts were opened on site.

The Brown Mackie College representative recruited four busy visitors who needed to fit education into their hectic schedules. Brown Mackie’s unique ONE COURSE A MONTH and career-focused education schedule met their needs.

Bright House provided free snacks and drinks to all visitors on a very hot day, indeed!

ICFF June Newsletter

Taking It To The People

According to Kate McKnight, Senior Tax Specialist with the Internal Revenue Service and Chairperson of ICFF’s Free Tax Preparation Services, one of the most rewarding aspects of serving as a participant in ICFF’s programming is the ability to deliver free services and build relationships with some of the city’s most financially challenged.

This past month, Kate McKnight and Ruth Ann Walker, Chairperson of ICFF’s Bank On Indy pillar, along with ICFF’s founder Winnie Ballard and numerous volunteers from among ICFF’s Community and Financial Institution Partners, delivered services and touched the lives of more than 150 Indianapolis citizens.

During the month of June, ICFF brought services to families and seniors living in the following areas:

  • Cambridge Square North on June 14 and June 18, courtesy of a grant to ICFF from the Glick Family Foundation
  • Woodbridge Apartments on June 22, also supported by the Glick grant
  • Bethel Park on June 2, in conjunction with Indy Parks
  • Postbrook Apartments on June 11 and June 23

At the Bethel Park night, Free Tax Preparation volunteers including Kate McKnight and Winnie Ballard (shown in picture above) helped qualified seniors apply for Indiana’s Unified Credit for the Elderly. If filed by June 30, these seniors received a much-appreciated $100 refund from the state.

While their parents discussed Bank On Indy options at Bethel Park, Ruth Ann (shown in picture at right) conducted Piggy Bank Fun for children ages 5-11. Each child earned a quarter to deposit in his or her new piggy bank after telling Ruth Ann how he or she helped around the home.

In addition to Glick and Sexton apartment management teams and Indy Parks, ICFF thanks IndyGo for donated bus passes and Kroger for gift cards, both offered as raffle prizes at these events.

Happy Graduates!

In June, 18 inmates from Indy’s Jail II successfully participated in ICFF’s Second Chance program and were presented with certificates of completion.

Over a three-week period, ICFF volunteers – including Laurie Jones from INHP, Kate McKnight from the IRS, Dorothy Dodd with Huntington Bank, Mary Stevenson from Hawthorne Community Center, and Ruth Ann Walker along with Michael Corner from the City of Indianapolis – presented information regarding opening a banking account, repairing bad credit and filing tax returns. Congratulations to the graduates and thank you to our volunteers!

Thanks also to dedicated volunteers from BMO Harris Bank and Chase Bank who have helped with ongoing ICFF programs at Liberty Hall.

Save the Date for Bank On Indy @ Bright House Day

Join us and our partners from Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness on Monday, Aug. 1 at Bright House Networks, 3030 Roosevelt Ave., for Bank On Indy Day @ Bright House Networks. Members of Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness will be onsite from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 P.M. to discuss the benefits of having a bank account, with the opportunity to open an account on the spot.

Many Bright House customers from throughout the city come into the lobby at the beginning of the month to pay their bills with cash. This is a great opportunity for our Financial Institution partners to educate Bright House customers on the benefits of having a bank account.

We hope all of Financial institution partners will sign up for the Bright House event by clicking here.

The Results Are In!

Free tax preparation sites in Indianapolis assisted with 5,292 tax returns for 2010, bringing more than $7 million in federal tax refunds. The amount received through the Earned Income Tax Credit increased to more than $2.7 million.

The expansion of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in tax year 2010 was greatly assisted by adding 18 mobile tax sites, enabling the VITA program to reach more taxpayers than in previous years.

More than 120 volunteers helped city residents save an estimated $661,500 in tax preparation fees. Thank you to all our volunteers for making this our best year ever!.

ICFF May Newsletter

Federal Leaders Review Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness

WIBC News – By Liz Thomas – May 4, 2011

PACFC President Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz called the local campaign a model for other communities. “What Mayor Ballard and his wife Winnie have done, in terms of creating a wonderful coordination among banks and non-profits to create more financial fitness in this city, has become a blueprint for the rest of the country,” Schwab-Pomerantz said …

Read more.

Liberty Hall and Marion County Jail II

Financial workshops are scheduled throughout June at Marion County Jail II and Liberty Hall.

These sessions, presented by representatives from local financial institutions, legal firms and the IRS, will educate inmates about a variety of issues, including opening a banking account, repairing bad credit and filing tax returns. A total of nine workshops are available.

ICFF New Partnerships

Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness is proud to announce new partnerships with three local institutions.

Tangram is a non-profit organization that helps individuals with disabilities to live actively and independently. Their alliance with ICFF will focus on tax preparation help.

ICFF is partnering with the Indianapolis Parks Department to present fiscal education sessions in neighborhood venues. The first event will be held on June 2 at Bethel Park, a diverse community of low-income families.

ICFF now has a third apartment community outreach partner: Greystone Properties. Postbrook East Apartments will be the first site for fiscal education sessions.

Veterans Advisory Council Partners with ICFF to Provide Financial Fitness Resources to Veterans

In January 2011, Mayor Greg Ballard formed the Mayor’s Advisory Council for Veterans (MACV) in Indianapolis. The MACV is a network of military leaders, Veteran service organizations, and Veteran subject matter experts assembled to provide Mayor Ballard meaningful advice and assistance on Veteran issues and programs in Indianapolis and Marion County. Subcommittees have been formed to focus on Homelessness of Veterans, Reintegration (PTSD, Suicide, Substance Abuse, etc.), Economic Development (Employment, Education, Financial Fitness), and Communications.

The MACV agreed during its May meeting to expand its Economic Development mission to include financial fitness for Veterans. The MACV is now set to begin connecting Veterans with the tools and resources made possible by Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness.

“Mrs. Ballard and the ICFF partners have worked to create a real resource for our community, and we want to make sure our Veterans know how to take full advantage of the program,” said Russ Eaglin, the City’s Veteran Service Officer. “Financial matters are often a primary concern of Veterans and their families, and making sure these individuals are getting the most from their hard-earned dollars is just one more way we can thank them for their service.”

Glick Apartment Communities & ICFF Kick-Off

Marianne Glick hosted a luncheon for apartment managers at the Woods of Castleton Apartment Community April 26 to launch the ICFF Glick partnership . Thanks to a generous grant from the Glick Family Foundation, the ICFF curriculum with its three pillars (Bank On Indy, Financial Education, Free Tax Preparation) will be customized and spread to 20 Glick apartment communities this summer. Mayor Greg Ballard introduced ICFF and Bank on Indy at the event.

Q1 Stats Announced

Statistics for the first fiscal quarter of 2011 are in, and Bank on Indy reports 3,614 new accounts opened at local financial institutions. We are well on our way to reaching our goal!

Join Indianapolis First Lady Winnie Ballard for the Arthritis Walk on June 4 at 7 p.m. at Admiral Spruance Basin. Let’s get as many people involved in promoting financial fitness to take part in some physical fitness, and promote a great cause at the same time. Click here to sign up.

Volunteers Appreciation Night

The Indy Free Tax Prep Volunteers Night Appreciation was held recently at the John H. Boner Community Center to thank and salute those who helped out on the free tax preparation campaign. Approximately 70 attendees received certificates from the IRS and catered snacks.

ICFF Presentation at University of Indianapolis

On April 19, Indianapolis First Lady Winnie Ballard and Kate McKnight of the IRS spoke to more than 70 University of Indianapolis students about their experiences giving Indy residents the tools to improve their financial literacy. After the talk, several students came up and volunteered for the free tax prep program.