How our client MoneyVerbs makes an impact
Financial planning and knowledge have the potential for major social impact. They can help people achieve long-term stability, pursue higher education or entrepreneurial dreams, save to own a home or buy a wedding ring, and build prosperity for their families and communities.
But financial planning is typically reserved for those who already have significant wealth. And financial literacy education is often dry and disconnected from people’s actual lives. Even financial planners who strive to be accessible to those with lower income — like Isaiah Goodman, who set out to do that with his firm Becoming Financial — can only help so many people through traditional planning services.
That’s what inspired Isaiah to create MoneyVerbs — a tool that can serve millions of people at once, while weaving financial skills into their daily lives and using gamification to make it fun. The name “MoneyVerbs” refers to people taking actions for financial success.
Working with Ecotone to value the social impact:
As MoneyVerbs ramps up to launch, they hired Ecotone Analytics to quantify the platform’s potential impact — the value of this financial training and support, both for individuals and at the society-wide scale that the app makes possible.
Based on research, here’s what we found: A $1 million seed investment in MoneyVerbs is projected to yield up to $45 million in social impact return. For employers who offer the app to their employees as a benefit — one of the audiences that MoneyVerbs targets — we project a social return on investment of $2 for every $1 invested.
How our impact analysis helps:
While Isaiah “had a hunch” about MoneyVerbs’ value, he was pleasantly surprised by the projections and excited to keep growing the platform for greater impact. How many more people could be positively affected once the app is available in Spanish, or if it adds training about the financial system in China?
“We really could change the world,” Isaiah says. He points out that financial limitations often prevent people from working to make a difference on issues like climate change. “If an entire generation of people over the next 25 or 30 years could improve their financial skills, they might be able to solve other problems.”
That kind of long-term impact has never been measured for this issue — when Ecotone conducted this analysis, we found very limited research on the long-term, multi-year effects of financial literacy training. For Isaiah and MoneyVerbs, that gap is an opportunity: They’re partnering with the firm Research In Action to track the effects of using MoneyVerbs on people’s lives over time.
“What we’re hoping to do and be able to encourage is to see the domino effect, the generational impact,” Isaiah says.
For now, the impact value calculation done by Ecotone is an important tool for securing investments and partnerships as MoneyVerbs launches.
“We can go to an employer and say, ‘Here’s what we’re predicting for your workforce if you offer this as a benefit,’” Isaiah says. “We think this will help your employees buy the house they want, or save for retirement, or take care of their families.”
Once MoneyVerbs launches, they will be able to use Ecotone’s valuation as a benchmark as the projected impact comes to life.
“I think it’ll knock people’s socks off to hear people say, ‘Once I took control of my finances, I was able to do all this other stuff,’” Isaiah says. “Now these communities will be better off because they’re better with money.”