One Year Post-COVID-19: SpringFour Looks Back
In the year since COVID-19 lockdowns began, more financial institutions than ever before have committed to their customers’ financial health. Together with banks, lenders, employers, and nonprofits, SpringFour is proud to be part of the solution, delivering almost 3.8 million financial health referrals to individuals in need in the past year.
Like everyone around the country, the SpringFour team was thrown into our new reality just over a year ago. There was no way for anyone to predict just how long the lockdown restrictions would continue – and that we would still be dealing with the aftermath, particularly the financial shocks, today.
“Like so many others, the dark cloud of lay-offs and furloughs directly hit me in early 2020. I was faced with figuring out how to pay my utility bills, mortgage, and prescription costs with a loss of household income. Assistance and support from companies were not readily available and phone calls to customer support were met with hours on hold and no real answers. SpringFour’s solutions allow real people, no matter their background, economic class, or education level, a way to get back on track to financial health. When people are faced with job loss, paying prescriptions out of pocket, or any additional family expenses, SpringFour makes trusted resources accessible nationwide.”
– Maggie Kaiser, Client Success Manager, SpringFour
Our staff actually grew within a few months of the pandemic. While everything changed around us in an instant, and we acclimated to being at home with our families during work and school, adjusting our daily rituals, and hoping our loved ones stayed safe, we found ourselves busier than ever at SpringFour.
The mission of SpringFour has always been to provide resources to people who need assistance in a time of financial difficulty. We believe that families deserve help when they have fallen on hard times, and recognize that it can be extremely challenging to know where to go to get that help. Our research shows us that 83% of households would like to get financial assistance from their bank, but at the same time, a minority of households know where to go for financial assistance. So when COVID-19 hit, we knew people and companies would need SpringFour more than ever – and we knew that we were in a unique position to help.
We immediately brought our experienced Resource Integrity Team together, and in just days, we added hundreds of resources. Within a month, we built three new COVID-specific categories containing over 3,000 local resources focused on food savings, financial support, and healthcare assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even before the extent of the pandemic was clear, the SpringFour Resource Integrity Team swung into action. In addition to the challenging task of looking for pop-up and ad hoc resources, we were also faced with closures and changes to the organizations that we feature in our database. The advantage of a small organization powered by experienced community development and social services professionals is that we were able to completely shift our focus to the needs in front of us. That meant developing new resource categories and creating a financial assistance guide that has been referred over 260,000 times. Every single person on our team is dedicated to providing accurate and helpful information to people in need – that’s what kept us going through a challenging year.”
– Cassandra Compton, VP of Data Integrity & User Experience, SpringFour
While it is a sobering reality that 1 in 10 Americans found themselves facing food insecurity due to the pandemic – many of them for the first time – it is a privilege to be a part of the solution in providing access to affordable and healthy food. And while high unemployment levels impacted families, and record numbers of women left the workforce to care for their children who could not go to school, SpringFour was grateful to be in a position to help thousands of those families weather the storm.
“As someone who has researched financial health, economic systems and economic development for more than 20 years, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a unique financial shock due to its ongoing impact and widespread reach. Suddenly, financial crises were impacting families who had never experienced such acute need before, for reasons outside of any individual family’s control. The pandemic uncovered what those of us in the financial health field have long known to be true: we are all one crisis away from financial catastrophe. And there should be systems in place to help.”
– Katy Jacob, VP of Research & Impact, SpringFour
The need was not only widespread – it was immediate. SpringFour reduced its deployment time to less than 15 days in response to the high number of new clients we took on during the pandemic who needed fast emergency assistance for their customers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is an event that caused immediate and unexpected chaos – impacting and disrupting lives and businesses. As a SpringFour team, we knew we had to act quickly and figure out a way to respond to pressing financial needs by delivering our solutions faster than we ever had before. Presented with this challenge, SpringFour was able to streamline its deployment processes, enabling current clients to expand and new clients to onboard within a two week window. This efficiency focus by our SpringFour team showcased our role as a leader in delivering financial health and amplified the social mission we share with our valued client partners.”
– Scott Freeze, Chief Operating Officer, SpringFour
Our clients became close partners in delivering financial health solutions to families in crisis. Together with banks, lenders, nonprofit agencies, and employers, we prioritized financial health for millions of individuals, making it possible for them to find the support they needed when they needed it most.
“At SpringFour, we have always viewed our subscribers as our partners. As our subscribers saw their customers’ needs rise, we strengthened those partnerships to make sure we could help them meet those needs. Whether it was repositioning their S4direct applications to draw attention to much needed resources, adding new categories to meet these new needs, or incorporating new scripting strategies to address new challenges, we worked closely with our subscribers to quickly get the most needed resources into the hands of struggling customers. We know that our partners see SpringFour as a key resource to show compassion and provide real solutions to their customers. We were honored to continue to do this as the COVID crises overwhelmed so many.”
– Katie Donohue, VP of Strategy & Engagement, SpringFour
Together with our clients, in the year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we helped provide:
- 700,485 food assistance resources
- 473,089 employment resources
- 328,738 utility assistance resources
- 268,033 rental assistance resources
These resources help millions of people keep food on the table, find jobs or apply for unemployment, and stay in their homes with their lights and heat turned on. While families struggled, we dedicated ourselves to providing a way out of that struggle. We know that the impacts of COVID-19 are not over, and will be far-reaching. But even without a global pandemic, there has always been and will always be a need to help families in financial distress. SpringFour remains committed to that mission, in partnership with like-minded banks, lenders, nonprofits, and employers.
“While this past year was harder than any one of us could have imagined, I am deeply grateful for my team at SpringFour who worked tirelessly even when their own lives were in upheaval to ensure people had the help they needed. I am proud that companies of all sizes and shapes chose SpringFour to be their trusted partner in providing COVID-19 assistance. I am inspired by the way our industry came together to serve those in need and I am hopeful that brighter days are ahead. The silver lining is that financial health solutions have moved to the top of the priority list and we are going to come out of this with a roadmap to enable people to achieve financial health.”
– Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey, Co-Founder & CEO, SpringFour
VP of Research & Impact, SpringFour