Join FreeFrom’s Savings Matching Program / ¡Regístrese! Al programa FreeFrom, Crece tus Ahorros

Are you a survivor interested in growing your savings? Do you have at least $40 a month to put towards your savings? FreeFrom is now accepting new participants in our Savings Matching Program! We would love to join you on your savings journey and match you up to $40 a month PLUS a $20 end of program bonus. Apply today to join our Savings Matching Program!

Our Goal

Help survivors to grow a savings cushion of $500.

How It Works

Our Savings Matching Program is a trust-based savings matching program. Participants will self-report their savings each month and FreeFrom will match up to $40 a month for six months. PLUS a $20 end of program bonus on top of your last matching payment.

When does enrollment begin?

Starting today, you can enroll in the program! 

When will the program begin?

The program will officially begin September 1st. This enrollment period will remain open until 7/31 or until we reach the number of open spots available. However, if you are unable to join in time, the initial intake survey will remain open and you can fill out the survey to secure your spot for future open enrollments!

Is now the right time for you to participate? 

  1. Do you have spare income to save $40 each month for at least six months? 
  1. Do you have access to an internet connection via smartphone/tablet/computer to fill out a monthly survey?
  1. Do you have a safe way to store your savings? (e.g. perhaps you are moving around and you may not have a secure place to keep your money and track your savings)
  1. Do you have a safe way to receive your monthly matches (e.g. PayPal, Venmo, address we can send a check, bank account)?

If you answered no to any of these questions, it may be best to wait until you are able to answer yes with certainty to all four questions.

We want this program to be as beneficial as possible for you and it is perfectly fine if right now is not the best time!

Next steps:

  1. Fill out the initial intake survey to secure your spot by 7/31 here

Register for one of our webinar sessions in either English or Spanish on Wednesday, August 24th at 11am PT/ 2pm ET (English), 1pm PT/4pm ET (Spanish) to learn more about the program. If you cannot attend, register to receive the recording

¿Es un sobreviviente interesadx en aumentar sus ahorros? ¿Tiene al menos $40 al mes para poner en sus ahorros? ¡FreeFrom está aceptando nuevos participantes en nuestro programa llamado Crece tus Ahorros! Nos encantaría apoyarle en su viaje de ahorro e igualarle hasta $40 por mes MÁS un bono de $20 al fin de programa.

Nuestro objetivo

Ayudar a sobrevivientes a obtener ahorros de $500.

Cómo funciona
Nuestro programa Crece tus Ahorros es un programa de ahorros donde confiamos en la informacion que nos brinde. Lxs participantes reportan sus ahorros cada mes y FreeFrom igualará la cantidad de ahorros, hasta $40 por mes durante seis meses. ADEMÁS le vamos a proporcionar un bono de $20 al final del programa.

¿Cuándo comienza la inscripción?

¡A partir de hoy, puede inscribirse en el programa! 

¿Cuándo comienza el programa?

El programa comenzará oficialmente el 1 de septiembre. La aplicación permanecerá abierta hasta el 31 de julio o hasta completar el número de puestos disponibles. Sin embargo, si no puede apuntarse a tiempo, la encuesta permanecerá abierta y puede completar la encuesta para asegurar su lugar para cuando se abra la inscripción de nuevo.

¿Es el momento adecuado para que usted participe?

  1. ¿Tiene ingresos adicionales para ahorrar $40 cada mes durante al menos seis meses?
  2. ¿Tiene acceso a una conexión de internet a través de un teléfono celular / tableta / computadora para completar una encuesta mensual?
  3. ¿Tiene una forma segura de guardar sus ahorros? (por ejemplo, tal vez se esté mudando y no tenga un lugar seguro para guardar su dinero y ahorros)
  4. ¿Tiene una forma segura de recibir su pago de igualación de ahorros mensuales (por ejemplo, PayPal, Venmo, dirección a la que podemos enviar un cheque, cuenta de banco)?

Si respondió no a cualquiera de estas preguntas, le sugerimos que se espere hasta que pueda responder afirmativamente y con certeza a las cuatro preguntas.

Queremos que este programa sea lo más beneficioso posible para usted y está perfectamente bien si ahora mismo no es el mejor momento para comenzar. Habra posibilidades de empezar en otro mes.

Próximos pasos

  1. Complete la aplicacion para registracion antes del 31 de julio aquí: bit.ly/FFahorros

Regístrese a nuestro seminario web el miércoles 24 de agosto a la 1pm PT/4pm ET (Español),  o a las 11am PT/2pm ET (Ingles) para obtener más información sobre el programa. Regístrese aquí: Ingles: https://bit.ly/SMP-ENG22 Español: https://bit.ly/SMP-SP22 (Si no puede asistir, regístrese para recibir la grabación).

ANNOUNCING OUR NEW REPORT: When Disaster Strikes: Lessons From Survivors Living Through Winter Storm Uri

We are very excited to share our latest report that we just released today, entitled, When Disaster Strikes: Lessons From Survivors Living Through Winter Storm Uri, that shares the stories of 661 survivors impacted by Winter Storm Uri who applied for cash assistance from FreeFrom. 

In February of 2021, Winter Storm Uri—a record-breaking coast-to-coast storm—brought record-low temperatures and unprecedented snowfall to the state of Texas. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, large-scale disasters not only exacerbate survivors’ already precarious circumstances, but also expose the pervasive lack of support for survivors within societal institutions and systems. We found that the #1 need reported by survivors affected by the storm is access to unrestricted cash, which aligns with other data our team has collected about what survivors need outside of a natural disaster situation. 

Some key takeaways from the data: 

  • 1 in 4 survivors in our sample reported that the harm they had been subjected to started or got worse during Winter Storm Uri
  • 25% of survivors reported the winter storm led to increased economic abuse or threats of economic abuse 
  • 90% of survivors reported the winter storm created more expenses for them that they don’t know how to pay for
  • 58% of survivors said they didn’t and would find it difficult to set aside savings for natural disasters or other emergencies
  • 75% of survivors named access to unrestricted cash as one of their top needs; this was the most frequently reported need across all respondents

Support survivors in covering the costs to access safe abortions

FreeFrom is launching a cash assistance fund for survivors who need help in covering the costs to safely get an abortion. 

We cannot talk about economic safety and physical safety for survivors without reproductive justice. Survivors must have access to healthcare services and full control over their own bodies. 

This will be a nationwide fund that any survivor of gender-based violence can apply to in order to cover the full costs associated with getting an abortion out of state, such as transportation, lodging, etc. 

The first step is to raise money and we need your help.

Can you invest in this fund and share it with anyone else you think might be interested in doing the same? Anything you can give will go directly to survivors. FreeFrom does not keep a fee, and your donation is 100% tax deductible. 

Thank you for your commitment to survivors’ safety. We are so grateful to be in community with you.

The FreeFrom team

Match a Survivor’s Savings this Holiday Season 💸

This holiday season, support survivors of gender-based violence in building an emergency savings cushion of $500.

FreeFrom recently launched our new, trust-based Savings Matching Program, and our goal is to support more than 900 survivors by matching their savings 1:1 until they have $500 in emergency savings to support their long-term safety and well-being. Is there any greater gift you can give someone?

The first $50,000 we raise will be matched dollar-for-dollar by our board of directors. Every dollar you donate this holiday season will go directly to matching someone’s savings and your donation is 100% tax-deductible.

Happy holidays,

Sonya and the FreeFrom team

“I have left my living situation with my ex partner and found a new apartment. I am trying to become financially independent and be able to pay rent and save for school and emergencies. As well as feed myself and buy necessities.”

“I want to build my savings to eventually invest and build generational wealth for my daughter.”

“For now I want to save to fix my car to get to work cause if I can’t get to work I can’t pay my rent or bills.”

Launching our Savings Matching Program / Lanzamiento de nuestro programa ¡Crece tus Ahorros!

We are so excited to announce the launch of our Savings Matching Program! We know how important it is to have access to emergency savings which is why we want to assist survivors in creating or adding to their savings through this new program. 

Our goal is to support survivors in growing a savings of $500. To achieve this, we would like to match up to $40 towards survivors’ savings each month for six months! Plus, we will provide a $20 sign-on bonus just for participating. Survivors can join the program once and we want to make sure they  join when they are ready. 

Interested? The first step is to fill out the intake survey. Then register for our webinar on Wednesday, November 10th at 11am PT/ 2pm ET to learn more about the program. If you cannot attend, it is still important to register so you can receive the recording. You can find the registration link for our webinar as well as the intake survey link in our bio.

FAQ’s

✨ How many times can I join the program?

You can join the program once.

✨ Do I need to have a bank account to participate?

No, you can choose one of the other payment options that works the best for you to save and track your savings. These include: Cash, PayPal or Venmo. 

✨ Do I need to have a social security number to participate?

No, you do not need to have a social security number to participate.

✨ Do you require any proof of savings?

No, this is a trust-based program. We trust that the amount you say that you saved is the amount that you saved. We do not require any documents to show proof that you saved each month. 

✨ How will I receive my matching payments?

You will receive your matching payments based on the payment option that you choose (e.g. venmo, paypal, check in the mail) when you complete the intake survey.

If you have any additional questions or concerns about our Savings Matching Program, contact our Director of Peer Engagement & Support, Em Jackson (they/them) at em.jackson@freefrom.org. 

We can’t wait for you to join!

Estamos muy emocionadxs de anunciar el lanzamiento de nuestro programa ¡Crece tus Ahorros! Sabemos que importante que es tener acceso a ahorros de emergencia, por lo que queremos ayudar a lxs sobrevivientes a crear o aumentar sus ahorros a través de este nuevo programa. 

Nuestro objetivo es ayudar a lxs sobrevivientes a obtener ahorros de $500. Para lograr esto, nos gustaría igualar la cantidad de ahorros de sobrevivientes, hasta $40 cada mes, durante seis meses. Además, proporcionaremos un bono de inicio de $20 solo por participar. Sobrevivientes pueden unirse al programa una vez y queremos asegurarnos de que se unan cuando estén listxs. 

¿Interesadx? El primer paso es completar la encuesta de  inscripción. Luego, regístrese a nuestro seminario web el miércoles 10 de noviembre a las 11AM PT (Hora Estándar del Pacifico) / 2PM EST (Hora Estándar del Este) para obtener más información sobre el programa. Si no puede asistir, es importante que se registre para poder recibir la grabación. Puede encontrar el enlace de registro para nuestro seminario en la red, así como el enlace de la encuesta de admisión en nuestra biografía.

El seminario será en Inglés, pero si quisiera obtener la información en Español, por favor contactar a Anakaren Alcocer por correo electrónico a anakaren.alcocer@freefrom.org en vez de registrarse al seminario. 

Preguntas frecuentes

¿Cuántas veces puedo unirme al programa?

Puede unirse al programa una vez.

¿Necesito tener una cuenta bancaria para participar?

No, puede elegir una de las otras opciones de pago que mejor se adapte a sus necesidades para ahorrar y realizar un seguimiento de sus ahorros. Estas incluyen: efectivo, PayPal o Venmo. 

¿Necesito tener un número de seguro social para participar?

No, no es necesario tener un número de seguro social para participar.

¿Necesito alguna prueba de ahorro?

No, este es un programa donde confiamos en su palabra. Confiamos en que la cantidad que dice que ahorró es la cantidad que ahorró. No requerimos ningún documento para demostrar que ahorro cada mes. 

¿Cómo recibiré mis pagos equivalentes?

Recibirá sus pagos equivalentes según la opción de pago que elija (por ejemplo, venmo, paypal, cheque por correo) cuando complete la encuesta de admisión.

Si tiene preguntas o inquietudes adicionales sobre nuestro programa de ahorros, comuníquese con nuestrx Directorx de Participación y Apoyo, Em Jackson (pronombres: elle) por correo electrónico a em.jackson@freefrom.org. ¡Estamos emocionados en que se unan!

FreeFrom celebrates 5 years of working toward safety and abundance with survivors

I cannot even believe it’s been 5 years since we started this journey. In 5 years, we’ve gone from a team of 1 working on my couch, to a team of 4 at my dining table, to a team of 10 in my garage, to a team of 17 making magic happen each from our own home offices.

In 5 years, we’ve gone from a successful small business pilot program to our social enterprise, Gifted by FreeFrom, employing 9 hourly staff and generating over $1.4MM in revenue for survivors.

We’ve gone from supporting survivors one by one in understanding their avenues to compensation to providing the same info to over 13,000 survivors in all 50 states through our Compensation Compass.

We’ve gone from an “on-a-whim” GoFundMe campaign to raise money for survivors at the beginning of COVID to having disbursed 7,200 grants to survivors in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

None of this would have happened without you. All the care and love you all have poured into FreeFrom has helped us grow and create a truly thriving organization and community. Not an ounce of it was wasted and we cannot thank you enough.

In this newsletter, we’ve shared our proudest achievements and our plans for what’s next. Here’s to a future in which everyone can afford to be safe and live a life free from abuse.

With immense gratitude and hope,

Sonya and the FreeFrom team


“Being a part of the GIFTED community has completely changed my life and my children’s lives. The community has caused me to become connected and helped to diminish the feelings of loneliness and isolation. Financially my life has improved drastically; while the journey still persists, I am empowered and have reached a number of substantial milestones…I no longer feel like I NEED my partner thanks to GIFTED.”
 

-Gifted Entrepreneur


In just five years, our successes have included the following:

  • We have given over $1.6MM in 7,200+ small cash grants directly to survivors who are struggling to make ends meet and stay safe. Through these grants, we are building a trust-based community of thousands of survivors working towards financial security and safety together. Survivors are leading our work by sharing their needs, stories, and expertise by experience with us.
  • The Biden-Harris Administration cited FreeFrom’s work in a pledge to provide $5Bn in direct cash assistance for survivors as part of its Plan to End Violence Against Women.
  • We launched and are expanding our 1:1 Savings Matching Program to support survivors in building an emergency savings of up to $500 over 6 months. We are already supporting 87 survivors through this program and we are excited to support 500 more in the coming months.
  • We are building a national network of survivors across 44 cities who are engaged in our peer financial support groups. Through these small groups, survivors are working together and supporting each other in reaching their financial goals.
  • We have directly compensated survivors with $1,425,708 through Gifted, our social enterprise. We’ve paid $810,668 to the Gifted entrepreneurs and $615,040 to the Gifted store staff and hourly workers.
  • We trained 218 people from 22 organizations through our Survivor Wealth and Wellness Certificate and Training Program. This program supports advocates working directly with survivors in getting the tools and support they need to reach financial security for themselves and be able to better serve the survivors they work with.
    • We also started our service provider newsletter with 549 people subscribed so far to share resources, knowledge, and opportunities about financial security for survivors.
    • Recently, one of our trainee organizations piloted a flexible cash assistance program for 8 months for 6 survivors – each survivor will receive $500/monthly to spend on housing application fees, savings, reducing debt, etc. This organization used FreeFrom’s model and trainings to draft the types of questions they asked and their intake process for the program.
    • FreeFrom supported service providers with successfully advocating for raises and promotions at their workplaces. One trainee advocated for a 2% increase in their annual merit increases from 3% to 5%. Another trainee recently received an 8k raise and promotion after coaching calls with FreeFrom.
    • Trainees have also started their own small businesses after completing the online modules and 1:1 coaching calls. Some trainees created income as a basketball coach, photographer, and artist. They have also supported their clients in creating income as an esthetician and chefs.
  • We released our Survivor Safety Banking Guidelines and are working in partnership with members of congress, federal agencies and regulators, and several banks to ensure that survivors have safe access to their bank accounts.
  • U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez amplified the need to protect survivors when they bank after working with FreeFrom and using our data in a recent meeting of the U.S. Financial Services Committee. With this momentum, we anticipate the creation of federal banking protections for survivors within the next year.
  • Facebook, Bumble, ASOS, Blue Shield of California, The Kering Group, Berkshire Bank, The Workers Lab, and Great Place to Work have implemented paid leave policies for survivors in the workplace.
  • We launched our Compensation Compass, tool to support survivors in understanding and pursuing various different avenues to compensation for the harm they have been subjected to. So far, over 13k survivors have used the Compensation Compass and 85% of users say they are more likely to pursue compensation after using it.
  • We launched the National Survivor Financial Security Policy Map and Scorecard, which serves as both a resource and a roadmap for action. This tool outlines existing laws impacting survivors’ financial security and provides state-specific policy recommendations that will ensure that all survivors have access to the financial resources and support they need to thrive. 3,177 people have used this tool since it launched in May 2021.
    • With FreeFrom’s support, 3 states have begun working on expanding their intimate partner violence definition to include economic abuse, advancing coerced and fraudulent debt protections, and increasing access to its domestic violence tort.
  • FreeFrom contributed to a number of survivor-centered components of the Breathe Act, drafted by Movement For Black Lives, Essie Justice Group, and Civil Rights Corps, to give survivors more autonomy in criminal proceedings, help survivors get relief from coerced and fraudulent debt, increase access to Victims of Crime Act compensation, and invest in survivor-centered sources.
  • We have shown our commitment to building a survivor-centered workplace through implementing policies and practices that equip our staff with the resources and care they need to thrive. We pay a living wage of at least 80k annually and we offer an abundance of benefits such as unlimited paid vacation, paid and protected gender-based violence leave and emergency grants, unlimited menstrual leave, a professional growth stipend, and a wealth-building stipend to name a few. 
  • Finally, we published 5 groundbreaking reportsincluding Measuring the Economic Impact of Covid-19 on Survivors of Color, Making Safety Affordable, Survivors Know Best, Trust Survivors, and Prioritizing Financial Security. View all of our reports here. We’ve also embarked on a series of research initiatives to – for the first time – measure the financial impacts of abuse disaggregated by race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, immigration status, and ability. Using this data, we can finally design solutions that work for every survivor.

“Receiving a grant [from FreeFrom] no questions asked was like being looked at and received by people who trusted me unconditionally. That’s extremely important for a survivor who has often been shamed, had to deal with people gaslighting and creating false stories about their integrity and believability.”


-Safety Fund Grant Recipient


What’s next for FreeFrom? Join us as we continue to build a resilient ecosystem of support for survivors in which they can build the financial security necessary to support their safety, healing, and ability to thrive. We look forward to being in community with you over the next five years as we:

  1. Create tools, resources, and environments to support survivors’ collective economic and community power. We are fostering a network of thousands of survivors across the country who are coming together to build financial security, share their expertise through lived experience, and innovate with us.
  2. Continue supporting the movement against gender-based violence in centering economic security for all survivors. Through this work, we hope to address these 4 goals over the next 5 years:
    • Illuminate challenges and systemic barriers that exist in the GBV movement in a way that is restorative and easy to understand.
    • Create a coalition of GBV service providers who advocate for change at their agencies, with their boards and funders, and in the community.
    • Create and implement accessible and sustainable solutions that the movement can use to create a survivor-led and centered movement.
    • Create a movement that invests in the long-term safety of all survivors.
  3. Bring in our society’s institutions (e.g. banks, employers, city, state, and federal governments) to be part of the ecosystem of support for survivors across the U.S.
  4. Continue to engage in constant dialogue with survivors to ensure that all of our solutions are supported by data and rooted in what survivors of different, intersecting experiences identify as their needs and build the compelling evidence necessary to support our solutions and make it impossible for institutions to ignore their roles in addressing gender-based violence. Using this data, we can shift the narrative from one of crisis response to one of systemic change that works for all survivors.


“I would ask our representatives to please take a look at Freefrom’s list of political and banking reforms so we can accomplish the kind of change we need. Money is wonderful, but it’s only a temporary fix. Getting to the root of issues would make lasting change which could help us overcome this tremendous setback.”


-Safety Fund Grant Recipient

FreeFrom is awarded $4MM from the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge

We’re so excited and grateful to announce that FreeFrom was awarded $4MM from the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge. Out of 550 applicants, FreeFrom was selected as one of ten finalists doing ground-breaking work to promote gender equity in the U.S. 

The award, funded by Pivotal Ventures, MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett, and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, gives us the freedom to be bold and visionary and the support to invest in structural change so that every pillar of our society is actively working to support survivors and their long-term safety. 

Imagine a world in which banks help survivors keep their money safe from harm-doers through secure bank accounts with enhanced fraud protections. Or one in which a survivor could contact their health insurance company to get their premiums waived when seeking medical attention for their injuries. What if survivors could reach out to their employer and take paid leave in order to relocate, without worrying about whether they had enough accrued sick days? Or if their place of worship offered free financial safety planning resources? This is the world our FreeFrom community is building. 

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists. We’re so honored to be in community with you. 

NEW RESOURCE: Learn how your state scores for survivor financial security

We are so thrilled to announce the launch of our National Survivor Financial Security Policy Map and Scorecard.

Over the past year, we researched the policies of all 50 states and DC and identified 13 different policy categories that are most directly linked to a survivor’s ability to build and maintain financial security.

We evaluated and scored each state based on whether and to what extent its policies are supportive of survivors’ financial security. Each state was given an overall score based on how well (or poorly) they did across each policy category.

We found that only 2 states are survivor financial security friendly, while 38 states have not prioritized survivor financial security in their state policies.

This map and scorecard is both a resource and a roadmap for action. For each state, the scorecard outlines the existing policies impacting a survivor’s ability to build and maintain financial security and provides state-specific policy recommendations that will ensure that all survivors have access to the financial resources and support their need to thrive. 

Our map and scorecard is perfect for:

  • Folks who want to learn more about the laws in their state and how they compare to others across the U.S.
  • Folks who want to take action and advocate for better and more supportive policies for survivors in their state.
  • Elected officials and those working in legislative offices.
  • Survivors who are interested in learning more about, and getting engaged in, the policy-making process in their state.

We are confident this resource will urge more states to reevaluate their current responses to intimate partner violence and begin to prioritize policy solutions that center survivors’ long-term financial security. Join us for our upcoming webinars to learn more (see below).

If you have any questions or comments regarding the Policy Map and Scorecard or are interested in partnering with us on state-level policy work, please contact Sabrina Hamm, Policy and Advocacy Specialist (sabrina.hamm@freefrom.org).


May 27th at 1pm PST

Learn more about FreeFrom’s National Survivor Financial Security Policy Map and Scorecard 

Who should attend? Folks working in policy advocacy across all movements and government officials at all levels, as well as folks working in the intimate partner violence movement.


June 16th at 1pm PST

Building collective power through policy change

Join us for a walkthrough of FreeFrom’s National Survivor Financial Security Policy Map and Scorecard and discussion on how you as a survivor can leverage this tool to engage in policy change and advocacy work on behalf of yourself and other survivors in your state. 

Who should attend? Survivors interested in learning about how to get involved in policy change and advocacy work that will impact survivors in their state. 

We’re hiring for 3 new positions – know someone who should join our team?

Want to join our team or know someone who should? FreeFrom is a team of survivors, and we each bring our unique personal experiences to the work we do. We are a proudly queer, feminist, and people of color-led organization.

We intentionally cultivate a spirit of creativity and experimentation in our work, understanding that we must be willing to try new approaches and apply new frameworks in order to solve a systemic problem like IPV. 

On a typical FreeFrom work day, you can find us: sharing our wins, challenges, and ideas for innovation; wearing stuffed animal slippers; talking astrology, art, literature, movies, healing, new research, and feel-good things; taking breaks to hang out with the kids in our learning pod (the kids of staff who are currently doing e-learning from the office with a trained professional); sharing memes and ways to prioritize self-care on our group chat; testing tech, client products, and theories; and collaborating on exciting projects.

We also offer great benefits and perks: 

  • Fully covered health, dental and vision insurance;
  • 401k with a 5% match;
  • Unlimited paid vacation plus a vacation stipend;
  • Gender-based violence paid and protected leave;
  • Unlimited menstrual leave for people with uteruses;
  • An annual tech stipend;
  • A personal and professional growth stipend; and
  • A stipend to help you build wealth.

Open positions: