2016 Common Cents Partners

Our 2016 partners strive to solve some of the most difficult financial problems Americans face with their finances: from increasing emergency savings to smoothing consumption for SNAP recipients. We work to design a real-world solution, rigorously test its impact, and provide recommendations for scaling.

FinTech Companies

Digit connects to one’s checking account to analyze income and spending in efforts to find small amounts of money to set aside for savings. Every 2 to 3 days Digit saves $5-50 dollars, without the user being worried about overdraft fees. One can access their savings any time and an unlimited amount of time.

EarnUp helps members automatically paying their loans smarter, faster and with less money out of pocket. One can use EarnUp with to pay off home mortgages, auto loans, student loans, or credit card loans. Every time a member gets paid, EarnUp puts a few dollars aside so that they can be used towards loan payments at the end of the month. EarnUp makes the loan payments directly.

Gusto offers fully integrated online HR services: payroll and benefits. Over 40,000 businesses have chosen Gusto to help manage their HR processes such as payroll taxes, year-end forms, ACA compliance, and time off calculations. Gusto organizes important information for the entire workplace. Everyone can quickly onboard and access handy forms like I-9s, time off balances, phone numbers, and birthdays with one login.

Payable offers companies and contractors fast payments, automated 1099 tax tools, and access to benefits. Businesses can auto generate invoices, customize contractor rates and work schedules,and approve work.  

Propel will measure the impact of frequently checking your food stamps balance on spending behavior and work to design interventions that improve it. Propel has launched two apps: FRESHEBT and easyfoodstamps.com. With FRESHEBT individuals can check EBT card balance, view spending and transaction history, stretch EBT dollars with local deals, and find nearby stores that accept SNAP. With easyfoodstamps.com individuals can apply for food stamps in 10 minutes, submitting supporting documents from their smartphone or browser.

The Robin Hood Foundation works with more than 240 nonprofit organizations in New York and surrounding areas. Robin Hood granted more than $126 million to fight poverty in New York City as well as $56 million to aid those affected by superstorm Sandy.


Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower. 100% of every dollar lent to Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors. 

GreenPath Financial Wellness is a nationwide, non-profit financial counseling and education organization. GreenPath is increasing longevity of debt counseling customers (high drop-off after the first call), and helping members build emergency savings while paying debt. GreenPath’s housing experts offer foreclosure prevention services, home buyer preparation assistance, and reverse mortgage counseling.

Credit Unions

Credit Union 1 is a member-owned and controlled financial institution dedicated to providing convenient and competitive services as a means of improving the ongoing economic well-being of our members, while promoting growth and maintaining the credit union’s long-term financial stability. Credit Union 1 helps members increase emergency savings to weather financial shocks, to increase fiscally responsible use of Permanent Fund Dividend payments, and decrease use of short-term high-interest installment loans (both serviced internally and externally).

Duke Credit Union has been able to provide employees and students with the convenience of on-campus ATMs, financial seminars, and products/services  designed specifically for Duke employees, students and their families. DCU helps members to decrease total interest paid on his/her credit card by paying above the minimum payment due, and originating car loans at CU rather than a dealer.

LCCU offers members services to increase the use of financial products among low-use members and deposits into checking and savings accounts. Members have easy access to their accounts on-the-go and online bill pay as well as loans and budgeting tools. LCCU offers a number of different programs and services to promote financial well being.

Self-Help is a family of two credit unions, a nonprofit loan fund, and an advocacy group. Self-Help helps members to Increase contributions to a retirement savings product, increase refinancing of high-interest debt, and explore sustainability models for CUs to offer checking without overdraft fees. To date Self-Help Credit Union has merged in eight credit unions and now has over 20 branches, $650 million in assets, and serves 60,000 North Carolinians