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Philanthropy Thought Leader Uncategorized

Making an impact on financial literacy… collaboratively

Did you know that one-third, or more than 77 million Americans, do not pay all of their bills on time? And 39% of Americans carry credit card debt over from month to month? In Greater Atlanta alone, 40% of families are classified as working poor, meaning their wages most likely do not cover basic needs, even though many work over 50 hours a week.

To improve these staggering statistics, we must work collaboratively with businesses, government, communities and nonprofits to address financial literacy issues early on. As the Senior Vice President of Community and Government Affairs at SunTrust, we work with nonprofits across Greater Atlanta to give individuals and families a life of financial strength and confidence.

Through United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Financial Capability Network, the SunTrust Foundation has been able to work collaboratively with other financial institutions across Greater Atlanta and a collection of nonprofit partners to bring financial coaching to families in need. In just three years, we’ve been able to help 847 individuals receive financial coaching services and 725 of those individuals continue to demonstrate positive financial behaviors (increased income, increased savings, improved credit, and reduced debt).

Through the SunTrust Foundation and United Way of Greater Atlanta partnership, we are taking our financial education reach even further. Together we have developed Money Game, a financial trivia app that puts financial education in the palm of the user’s hands. Money Game teaches users 16 and up how to become financially self-sufficient so they can do more than live from paycheck to paycheck. A desktop version is also available for classroom instruction.

Finally, through programs like Atlanta CareerRise, we’re providing training and support for individuals with limited education, creating employer-led partnerships that ultimately provide individuals with the means to obtain and retain better paying jobs. In just a short time, CareerRise and its partners have served more than 500 individuals, enrolled more than 300 individuals in training and placed more than 100 unemployed persons in jobs.

Our goal at SunTrust is to provide individuals and families across Greater Atlanta with tools and resources that they need to live a life free of the worries of financial burdens. Our Purpose at SunTrust is “Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being” and by working collaboratively, we’re living that purpose and able to make a greater impact. We are pleased to partner with United Way and invite you to join us in this effort.


KirbyheadshotKirby Thompson is the Senior Vice President of Community and Government Affairs at SunTrust Bank.

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