Beyond Tax Preparation: Measuring the Market Impact of Wealth Building Initiatives

Matt Fellowes
Matt Fellowes Former Brookings Expert, CEO and Founder - United Income

October 2, 2007

Hundreds of free tax preparation sites have opened-up in the past ten years that connect low-income families to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other income-supports. While these organizations prepare only about 1.5 percent of all EITC claims, they have generated an enormous amount of enthusiasm for anti-poverty efforts among a diverse group of leaders and financial supporters, some of which are not traditional partners in antipoverty campaigns. Now, many of these organizations are thinking through strategies to harness that enthusiasm by broadening the range of financial services initiatives they pursue to help lower income families get economically ahead. To help inform those efforts, Matt Fellowes reviews in this speech a number of related market, political, and media trends, as well as the tools needed to measure the market impact of these expanded financial services initiatives.