July 24 2017
Citi Foundation support builds Operation HOPE’s capacity to deliver financial empowerment at scale
ATLANTA – July 24, 2017 –For over 15 years, the Citi Foundation has served as one of the top global investors in Operation HOPE
(HOPE). From over 1,000 Citi volunteers teaching youth to take control of their financial futures in cities
across the U.S., to financial recovery support for hundreds of survivors of Superstorm Sandy, to serving
as the founding partner of HOPE South Africa, spurring our financial inclusion and workforce programs in
Johannesburg and Cape Town, the Citi Foundation has demonstrated leadership, excellence, and a
commitment to improving the financial health of low and moderate-income individuals around the
When HOPE began to scale the HOPE Inside business model in 2014, the Citi Foundation stepped up and
invested in building the capacity of HOPE to implement operating efficiencies that would enable
sustainable, measureable impact at scale.
“When we launched the HOPE Inside business strategy, we had opened a total of 12 locations in 21
years. This year, our 25 th anniversary, we are proud to have just opened our 75 th location and have
commitments that will enable us to open an additional 200, putting us on track toward our goal of 1,000
HOPE Inside locations by 2020. Because of the Citi Foundation’s partnership and support, we are able to
manage our growth, operate more efficiently and, most importantly, more accurately measure our
impact” said Mary Hagerty Ehrsam, president of the Office of Partnerships.
In 2015, funding from the Citi Foundation enabled HOPE to conduct assessments of its current client,
volunteer and donor management systems and research current product offerings to determine the
best systems to meet HOPE’s strategic objectives in each of these areas. As a result, HOPE implemented
a technology infrastructure to ensure strong fiscal oversight, structured donor relationship management
and more accurate impact reporting.
With the 2016 grant funds, HOPE reengineered its human resource, talent management and finance
departments— streamlining our processes and workflows to improve customer service and reduce
operational costs. The grant further supported the implementation of a system to manage
the recruiting, hiring, and placement of all employees, and a full-time recruiter was hired to manage the
process. The organization was restructured by focusing on the redesign of business processes, and an IT
infrastructure was developed to manage all human capital, including employees, contractors,
volunteers, fellows, interns and loaned executives. These technology-optimized workflows reduced the
costs associated with opening new locations. The efficiencies generated supported the opening of 20
new locations and the hiring of 20 new coaches.
The 2017 grant funding will enable Operation HOPE to further enhance the capacity of their financial
coaches by having them earn the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education’s new
professional credential for Accredited Financial Counselors. Through this accreditation HOPE financial
coaches will be able to deliver more consistent and high quality financial coaching services at HOPE
Inside locations across the country.
“What this all translates to is thousands of future economic opportunities for young people participating
in HOPE’s youth entrepreneurship programs and workforce internship program and thousands of adults
increasing their credit score above 700 and transforming into first-time homeowners and small business
owners,” said Ehrsam.
“The Citi Foundation is pleased to continue our support of Operation HOPE to further enhance the
capacity of their financial coaches, enabling them to deliver more consistent and higher quality financial
coaching services at HOPE Inside locations across the country” said Daria Sheehan, Senior Program
Officer at the Citi Foundation. “Our funding over the past 15 years demonstrates our commitment to
investing in efforts that strengthen the organizational capacity of our non-profit partners, thus
increasing their ability to scale their work and achieve stronger gains for the people they serve.”