Common Impact Blog

Impact Inspirations: Capital Good Fund

By Molly Weinstein | Jan 29, 2016

We’re excited to bring you a brand new blog series Impact Inspirations, where we will be spotlighting our most inspiring skills-based volunteering projects! To kick us off, we’re highlighting a project with a talented team from Fidelity Investments and its nonprofit partner, Capital Good Fund, a Community Development Financial Institution that provides high-quality, innovative and transformational financial services to underserved families.  The engagement increased access to the key gateway to Capital Good Fund’s services – its online lending portal.  As a result, Rhode Island residents looking to build better lives for themselves and their families can now access the financial loan options that make that possible.   

Common Impact team member Molly Weinstein shares her take on this inspiring project:

1. Why does this project matter?

Capital Good Fund’s provides affordable loans to Rhode Island residents who are at risk of falling victim to predatory lending. While they were able to attract significant interest in their programs, the technical barriers to having participants move through the service application process in their lending portal were reducing the program’s ultimate reach.  The Fidelity team’s charge was to enhance the user experience and overall effectiveness of this portal. 

The result:  Individuals who don’t have computers are now able to easily apply for a loan from their phones. Busy working professionals can save their application and return to it at a later date. Since the project completed, Capital Good Fund has seen a nine percent increase in their application completion rate, which means more Rhode Island residents will have the opportunity to access affordable loans, to build credit, and to better their financial futures.

“The upgrades you made are essential to our ability to scale. A year from now, you'll see the work you've done has ceded a lot more growth and impact.” – CGF Staff Member

2. What made this project really successful?

The nonprofit and corporate employees worked together as if they were a single teamThe Capital Good Fund staff used their technical know-how and worked alongside the team in the back end of the system.  The Fidelity team was flexible and responsive and provided Capital Good Fund the same level of service they provide their larger corporate clients day in and day out.  The working relationship made for a nearly seamless project delivery and enabled Capital Good Fund to build upon the groundwork that the team laid after the project completed.

3. Did you have a favorite moment during the course of the project?

Capital Good Fund is very intentional about the professional development of its employees. The staff member who was selected to lead this project was someone who had no prior project management experience, but demonstrated tremendous potential in this area. After the project, the nonprofit lead told me that the experience “changed [my] career trajectory.”

“This project was huge for me professionally. I learned so much from the Fidelity team. It couldn't have been a better or more fruitful experience. – CGF Team Lead

Her experience working with the Fidelity team revealed her enthusiasm and penchant for project management work. As a direct consequence of this experience, she is pursuing certification in project management and taking on new leadership roles at the organization. It was so exciting for me to hear that this project was not only an investment in Capital Good Fund’s ability to serve their clients more effectively, but also an investment in the leadership and skills of their staff.