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DFPI Awards Nearly $2 Million in Grants for Financial Education and Empowerment Programs

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SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) today announced the award of nearly $2 million in CalMoneySmart grants to nonprofit organizations throughout California to support new and existing financial education and empowerment programs for unbanked and underbanked consumers.

The DFPI announced the second round of CalMoneySmart grants in April 2021 and received 94 grant proposals from state and national nonprofits by the end of the application period. A committee reviewed, analyzed, and scored each grant proposal on eligibility and effectiveness and recommended awarding grant dollars to 22 nonprofits.

“We are grateful for the tremendous work of our community partners, whose financial coaching and financial literacy programs have helped Californians work through the economic insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “It’s their work that helps underscore the importance of the CalMoneySmart program as we work together to provide every resident with the tools they need to succeed.”

CalMoneySmart grant recipients who were awarded grants during the first round of funding have utilized the funding to create financial coaching programs, financial education curriculum, and provide financial services aimed at unbanked households throughout California.

“After a tremendous response to the CalMoneySmart grant program in its first year, we are excited to continue supporting organizations financially empowering vulnerable Californians,” said DFPI Acting Commissioner Christopher S. Shultz. “These organizations will work to ensure an equitable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for all Californians.”

A conversation between Secretary Castro Ramírez, Acting Commissioner Shultz, and representatives from Proteus, Inc. and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. SF Chapter on the impact of the grant funding and lessons learned can be found here:

Gov.  Gavin Newsom authorized the CalMoneySmart program when he signed Senate Bill 455 by Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, in October 2019. The bill established a $4 million Financial Empowerment Fund from which the program will award grants up to $100,000 and a maximum of $1 million annually. In July 2021, The Financial Empowerment Fund received an additional $10 million in funds in the 2021-22 state budget, increasing the annual amount available to $2 million.

The 2021-22 CalMoneySmart grantees represent communities and financial education nonprofits throughout the state, serving unbanked households across 27 counties. A full list of recipients and grant amounts for this fiscal year (2021-22) is provided below.

Additional information about the CalMoneySmart grant program can be found at For questions, comments, or help, please contact