Empowering Americans to take charge of their financial futures

Each day leading up to Giving Tuesday on November 27th, we will feature one case study showcasing our member companies’ social impact work. View the list to date here.

Led by: IDEO.org

What was our intention? 

Studies show that financial coaching is extremely effective in helping Americans improve their financial health. Yet, few people have access to the service, and those that do struggle to stay engaged. Only 40% of financial coaching clients make it past the first appointment, and people rarely are able to complete the steps needed to achieve their goals without constant guidance from their coach. Life often gets in the way. So IDEO.org set out to build a digital tool that would better engage and support their clients, keeping them on the path to financial security.

What did we do? 

Roo is a digital assistant financial coach that helps financial coaching clients stick to their action plans. Using chatbot technology, Roo sends automated nudges, reminders, and motivational content to help clients achieve their financial goals. Currently, IDEO.org is piloting Roo with seven nonprofit financial coaching organizations to test how effective it is in helping clients stay engaged. We’ve designed an impact and measurement plan to track client outcomes, engagement, return visits, and the number of tasks completed by clients as a result of using Roo. The pilot will conclude on December 31, 2018 and results will be shared in Q1 of 2019.

How did this drive impact?

Over the last four months, IDEO.org has enrolled over 200 financial coaching clients to use Roo. Of that number, 139 clients are actively engaging with the tool and 62 clients have completed a total of 129 tasks. In qualitative research interviews, coaches have also shared that Roo is helping their clients to build their confidence and stay engaged in the coaching programs longer than normal. While it is still too early to analyze the results of the pilot, we are excited to hear the positive feedback from coaches and use our learnings to iterate and improve on the tool.

What do we aspire to do next? 

Roo has received overwhelming support from financial coaching organizations, and many partners have reached out to learn how they can start using the tool right away. In 2019, we’ll be analyzing the results the pilot and sharing our learnings with stakeholders and potential partners. Our goal is to secure support to continue iterating on the tool, and launching a larger pilot to test Roo with a more diverse set of organizations and clients.

Want to learn more? Contact: 

Danielle Ola

Photo courtesy of IDEO.org