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Natnael Tsegaw

A Wider Circle
9159 Brookville Rd #C
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Dear NFEC Board,

It is with great excitement that we at A Wider Circle present to you our grant proposal. If
accepted, we believe our partnership will bring about serious change among the less fortunate in
the Washington D.C. metro area. As our non profit already has a large base of over 100,000
individuals served, we are in a prime position to target those in the area who would benefit most
from learning the basic principles of ​financial literacy​. Our program, titled “Financial Literacy
100”, will be taught in a classroom style, and our goal is for each student to finish the course
with a concrete plan to better their long term financial situations.

A Wider circle has been serving the D.C. metro area for over 16 years, and during this time with
hard work and help from our community we have made a difference in the lives of over 22,000
families. Furthermore, we continue to help push the envelope when it comes to our work. We
offer job training and job placement classes that focus on alleviating the burden of learning
resume building and interview skills by oneself. And we pride ourselves in offering all people,
no matter their circumstance a place to begin their fight against poverty; which we firmly believe
to be our nation’s largest social crisis.

In order to see our mission through we request from NFEC a total of ​$1,224.98​ to fund a
financial literacy course that will be aimed at those suffering poverty in the immediate area. The
money will be used to hire professionals to build a curriculum annually, teach, and for supplies
for students. We at A Wider Circle believe same as your organization, of the powerful effects
teaching financial literacy can have and hope to positively impact the lives of those with the
least. “Financial Literacy 100” will carry the same goal as each and every program we run, and
that is to make a difference in the fight against poverty.

A Wider Circle notes the fantastic work in which the NFEC has done to broaden the appeal of
financial literacy across the country as we hope that with your help, we too can help those in the
Washington D.C. metro area become financially literate. Please do not hesitate to contact us with
any questions at 301-608-3504 or at ​awidercicle@awc.com

Thank you,
Natnael Tsegaw (​Program Coordinator)
INTRODUCTION

A Wider Circle is a 501(c)3 non profit comprised of dedicated individuals who work diligent to
make sure those with less in our community are taken care of. Our mission to end poverty has
been aided through strong partnerships within our community and we remain motivated by the
impact we have made over the last 16 years. At the end of the day our goal is to provide each
family that steps through our door, the necessary tools and information to succeed.

Serving over 160,000 children and adults in the Washington D.C. metro area, a Wider Circle is
no stranger to the community at large and its needs. Beginning with our donation programs,
which remain our largest area of philanthropy, we help families in need alleviate the burden of
purchasing expensive basic needs items. This can range from kitchen appliances, professional
attire, to mattresses. By accepting donations of lightly used items from those in our community
we can provide these services free of charge.

From the outset, A Wider Circle has set itself up to be an efficient organization that partners
extremely well with its surrounding community in order to make real change. This organization
owes its success to the community and our dedicated staff behind the scenes.

Due to A Wider Circle being so integral to the community, the potential it has to impact the lives
of poverty-stricken families has grown throughout the years. With the introduction of classes to
our list of services offered, it became our next foray into serving the poor. Through targeting
individuals in need of professional attire, our job placement classes have gained much traction
and we hope to go through as many ways as we can to help these families increase their chances
of getting good paying, financially secure jobs.

We know and have seen first hand the impact a community can make when it comes together
and realize that while there is much more work to be done—much has been done. A Wider
Circle will be around until we see all families with an equal opportunity to success and access to
basic needs items. Each step of the way A Wider Circle will continue to innovate and support the
members of our community until they are able to support themselves.
Project Abstract

Located in Silver Spring, Maryland and serving the Washington D.C. metro area, A
Wider Circle seeks to increase their impact through financial literacy classes targeted at low
income adults. With the objective being each participant leave with both an understanding of
basic principles of finance and a customized financial plan we hope to set each student up for
long term success. For too long, those in lower economic classes have lacked the opportunity for
financial advising. A Wider Circle hopes to end this cycle and begin by providing students
lessons on three topics: ​Retirement​, ​Loans​, and ​Budgeting​. The class will be no get rich quick
scheme, it simply aims to inform these individuals of the many safe financial decisions that can
help promote a secure financial future for their families. Titled “Financial Literacy 100”, it will
be an introductory course into how to the poor can fair in our nation's financial system.
NEEDS STATEMENT

In D.C. alone, it is estimated that in 2012, one in every five residents were living below the
poverty line, despite economic conditions improving since the most recent recession in 2008.1
Furthermore, the odds of a child in the District from the bottom fifth of economic earners to get
to the top fifth is only 11 percent.2 It is clear from the start that those lower on the economic
ladder have the odds stacked against them when it comes to social mobility. In the United States
we seem to have a problem where the poor stay poor and the rich stay rich, coined ‘stickiness at
the ends’.

While there are several programs across the nation, our’s included, that provide the needy relief
from many financial burdens, statistics show that lower income earners still do not make, on
average, financially literate decisions with the money saved. Many of the financially illiterate in
lower economic classes, are less likely to own a checking account, have no form of retirement
savings, pay the minimum on credit card debts, take payday loans, have high cost mortgages, and
be delinquent on debt.3 Without a firm grasp of the how these decisions can affect oneself
financially the poor will keep making mistakes with the little money they do have. We will
change that.

A Wider Circle has served over 100,000 individuals, among these people we aim to target those
who are serious about being financially literate. This is why we will market the class to those
who are currently taking or have already taken out previous job training and resume building
classes. Although admission will not be exclusive to these people we want a group of 60 that will
take each lesson seriously.

Along with the classes we offer, teaching financial literacy is a must, as if one wishes to increase
their income, outside of attaining a higher paying job, we must teach them strategies of saving,
loaning, and budgeting that would work best for them. These classes are not get rich quick
schemes, but aimed to help those in poverty secure their long-term financial futures through
careful planning and discipline.

1
​http://www.dcfpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/DC-Poverty-Demographics.pdf
2
​http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/opinion/brooks-the-wrong-inequality.html?_r=1
3
​https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/10_financial_literacy_gale_levine.pdf
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

A Wider Circle’s new class, “Financial Literacy 100” will be an 8-week class in which
students will learn how to save, take loans, and budget, and at the end of the course leave with a
tailored plan to meet their long term financial goals. The target audience for this program will be
adults in the D.C. metro area who have taken our courses previously, however in line with our
organization’s dogma, we will not refuse anyone who applies (except after 60 students).

The course will meet for two months twice a week for one hour classes. It will be taught
in our own facility, as there is plenty of space and chairs to hold a classroom session. There will
be two classes of 30 students; one class occurring right after the other. The course will be taught
by a certified CPA and will be updated annually to reflect the changing financial landscape. Each
student will be provided the opportunity to become financially literate as it pertains to their
situation and be given time to receive brief professional financial guidance. Due to the majority
of lower income earners not having access to a financial advisor we deem it crucial for students
to take advantage of such an opportunity. After graduating the course students will be proficient
in financial literacy and be on their way to long term financial security.

Mission
To lift families in our community out of poverty through careful financial planning in addition to
our other services.

Objectives
Teach individuals in the community financial literacy through understanding how to save, take
loans, and budget responsibly

Have each student come up with a concrete financial plan by the end of the class.

Have each student follow his or her financial plan through.

Goals
Every student graduating the course report having learned something new within the psat 8
weeks

70 percent off all students following through with their financial plan 10 months after end of
class

Achieve over 80 percent satisfaction rating by students at the end of the course
Topics Covered & Timeline (subject to change)

8/5/2017 Introduction to Financial Literacy

8/12/2017 Methods in saving: Checking Account & Savings Accounts

8/19/2017 Methods in saving: Retirement Accounts

8/26/2017 Borrowing responsibly: Credit

9/3/2017 Borrowing responsibly: Loans

9/10/2017 Budgeting: How you Should Spend

9/17/2017 Making a Long-Term Plan: “Ask me anything”

9/24/2017 Making a Long-Term Plan: Present Plans

Barometers and benchmarks for quantification of impact


Determining the impact of our program requires that each of our students report their progress in
the long term. Each plan created should be critiqued by their teacher and made sure to be
rational. For the following year after lessons are complete statistics on how effective the
programs are will be based on adherence to financial plan and success with it. Additionally,
students will be asked to take a short survey after they complete the course in regards to how
satisfied they were with the class.

Number of people influenced


We will have 60 people take our class in order to provide enough individual attention to each
student and maximize the amount of people who can take the class. If the class proves popular
we hope to expand in the future. However, before going all out we want to make sure we stamp
out any unforeseen issues. After the first year is complete we will have a better understanding as
to what our students desire and how to best serve them.

Cost per Impact calculation


Program cost will be approximately $20 per person this coming year. This includes all costs
associated with the program divided by each participant.
Budget (1 year)

Price Quantity Total

Instructor (CPA)4 $35 26 hours $910

Notebooks5 $1 65 $65

Printer Paper $19.99 1 Case $19.99

Pens $6 2x60 pack $12

Pencils $12 1x72 pack $12

Calculator $3 25 $75

Whiteboard $62.99 1 $62.99

Dry Erase Markers $8 1x8 pack $8

Food $60 (various snacks) $60

$1,224.98 TOTAL

Budget Narrative
The majority of this budget will go to hiring a CPA to teach the program. The teacher,
will be paid $35 dollars due to the specialized nature of the course, their making of the syllabus,
and monthly check ins for ten months after program is complete. The program’s success has
much to do with who is teaching it, so we plan to invest a considerable amount in a quality
professional.

In regards to other costs this program will incur, supplies make the rest of it. All figures
in regard to office supplies are from Staples, however at the time of purchase costs may change
slightly due to the fluctuations in prices.

In regard to cost savings, a Wider Circle already has a large facility, with large rooms in
which the class can be taught in. Additionally, we already have enough desks and chairs for each
person cutting the cost of this program dramatically.

4
​https://www.indeed.com/q-Financial-Literacy-Teacher-jobs.html
5
All office supply prices reflect Staples prices as of 5/15/2017
Conclusion

At A Wider Circle, much work has been done to alleviate the burden of purchasing many
basic needs items for those living in poverty primarily in the D.C. metro area. Items such as
mattresses, interview attire, and small kitchen appliances are donated to the organization and
given out to those who need it. The reason being it alleviates the burden placed on many families
that need to buy these expensive items. Providing these goods sets up a solid foundation for
many of those in poverty to rise, however if the statistics regarding economic growth are true,
those who are poverty stricken have remained so.

While we make no effort to place blame on circumstance or those in poverty for this lack
of income growth, the fact is, there is very little development occurring in the lower class. After
basic necessities are taken care of, A Wider Circle aims to teach those in poverty how to seize
economic opportunities; and we do this through teaching financial literacy. We hope that you
consider our request of $1,224.98, and that we will be able to work with you in the future to
teach financial literacy to lower income Americans.

Thank you.