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Creating stable futures
and financial independence

Financial Empowerment

Expanding access to financial counseling, planning tools, and asset-building to individuals and families.

Why Invest in Financial Empowerment

The ability to acquire assets and improve financial prospects is something everyone should be able to achieve. But crushing poverty and historic, systemic inequality in our region makes it difficult for far too many. 

By investing directly in financial empowerment strategies, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and our regional partners seek to build a more dynamic, more equitable and ultimately more sustainable economy for us all. 

Now, more than ever, your support can fuel an end to poverty.  

Together, we are investing in solutions for housing stability, living wage, asset building, and financial literacy so everyone has the
chance to thrive.
- Cheryl Mackey, Lead, Financial Empowerment
As a lifelong Philadelphian, Ms. Mackey has been fighting poverty her entire career. As Lead of FInancial Empowerment, she builds community and bridges gaps between agencies to elevate their network of support.

Financial Empowerment Approach

  • Investing in proven, evidence-based community partners that drive measurable change
  • Identifying gaps in the region’s early learning ecosystem
  • Advocating for critical issues across community and legislative partners
  • Promoting next-generation best practices on financial literacy and family-asset building.


United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey supports partner programs focused on financial literacy, skills and planning. 

Opening a bank account, following a budget, increasing savings, managing debt, enrolling in public benefits and accessing tax credits.

These are all basic building blocks to financial empowerment.


It’s not enough to find and keep a good job. Building long-term assets is essential.

Joined by our partners, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey supports long-term financial stability by increasing the number of families who are building financial assets, including first-time homeowners.



The Restitution Fund: Preventing Families from Entering a Cycle of Debt

In many U.S. counties, youth must pay restitution, as well as court fines and fees before they can be free from court or probation supervision. In places with pervasive poverty like Philadelphia, this monetary requirement means that how long a youth stays in the juvenile justice system is entirely dependent on their socioeconomic status.

The Restitution Project, housed by the Juvenile Justice Research & Reform Lab, has partnered with the District Attorney’s Office, Drexel University, the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network, and United Way to create an alternative and more equitable approach to juvenile restitution. Through the creation of the Juvenile Restitution Fund, our region’s youth and their families can access funding to support a quick discharge from the juvenile justice system – meaning parents don’t have to go into debt, and their kids can once again focus on just being kids.





College Savings Account Program helps families in the region save early for college and pave the way to lifelong financial security. 

Saving just $500 in a college fund makes it four times more likely that your child will attend and graduate from college compared to a child with no savings.  

Help Foster a STronger community.

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