*Research Report Financial Security

When a job is not enough: Employee financial wellness and the role of philanthropy

Employee financial wellness programs provide workplace products and services such as financial coaching and small-dollar credit products that may help employees address the various challenges that are at the root of their financial stress. This report is intended to offer guidance to grant makers to understand the role philanthropy can play in promoting the development of these programs as a strategy to improve financial stability of workers and their families through targeted products and services that:

  • Present new opportunities to promote short-term and long-term financial well-being beyond helping employees prepare for retirement.
  • Provide products and services that address the specific financial needs of employees (e.g. student debt repayment, small-dollar loans).
  • Deliver financial products and services at a larger scale than may be possible through community-based programs alone.

To achieve this goal, this report describes the employee financial wellness program landscape, including promising features and challenges, and reviews research and evidence to date. It also outlines four recommendations for how philanthropy can continue to grow and develop the field:

  1. Align funding strategies with desired outcomes.
  2. Support and participate in local and regional collaborative efforts.
  3. Support research and evaluation.
  4. Support and share promising practices.

Project: Workforce Financial Stability Initiative


Despard, M., & Frank-Miller, E. (2019). When a job is not enough: Employee financial wellness and the role of philanthropy. (Report). Asset Funders Network.