Accion raises awareness of financial inclusion at Do It Day
At The Drum’s Do It Day in New York, Accion, a nonprofit that seeks to expand access to financial services around the world, worked with teams from digital agencies Rapp and Syzygy on its challenge to raise awareness of financial inclusion, or addressing the needs of the 3 billion people worldwide who are underserved by mainstream financial services.
The goal was to come up with a plan to engage more of its corporate partners, which include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank – and enable any partner staff, particularly those with expertise in financial services technologies, or fintech, to support Accion’s work. That was according to Katie Mounts, director of engagement at Accion.
“Accion has strong relationships with a number of corporate partners whose support has made much of our work possible. We’ve had requests from staff at a number of those partners for opportunities to share their skillsets directly with Accion to support our work,” Mounts said. “At Do It Day, we’re exploring opportunities to develop an engagement program where partner staff with expertise in fintech and financial inclusion can join our team for a short period to advance our shared efforts to expand access to quality financial services around the world.”
Per Mounts, the organization provides microfinance services, as well as investing initiatives, client education and industry training.
“What our organization does is take a multi-pronged approach to solving that problem [of financial inclusion],” Mounts said. “We work with microfinance solutions [providers] and also do a lot of work in the fintech space and work with partners to come up with innovative ways to use digital technology to expand access to financial services.”
Mounts said Accion heard its partners were interested in getting more involved with its work, which is why the organization wanted to come up with an engagement plan to provide a way to collaborate even more closely.
Further, Mounts said Do It Day was a fantastic opportunity to benefit from the expertise of a wide range of individuals in communications and advertising.
“We want to raise awareness of the problem of financial inclusion and the concrete steps we can take to solve it,” Mounts added.
At Plan It Day in October, Accion asked participants to create a campaign to raise awareness of financial inclusion – and to make people realize it is a solvable problem. In particular, the teams working on the Accion challenge wanted to find a way to make the issue of financial inclusion relatable to young people. The winning team pitched a campaign about how financial services can impact a person’s life and help them do something they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. At the time, Chief Communications Officer Jim Rosenberg said Accion chose the campaign because it is people-focused and has the potential to illustrate how a wide variety of individuals can benefit from Accion’s services.
And that, in turn, is because individuals that are able to participate in the economy can do things like start and grow businesses and invest in education and their futures, Mounts said.
“The expansion of access to digital and mobile technologies around the world presents an incredible opportunity for fintech…to lower the cost and increase the quality of financial services for those 3 billion people [underserved by mainstream financial services],” she said. “The chance to leverage the expertise of staff at our corporate partners can support Accion’s effort to help fintech advance financial inclusion. We’re really excited about the campaign concept that we’ll take from the Do It Day experience that can help Accion deepen our relationships with our partners—and ultimately help us fulfill our shared goal of advancing financial inclusion.”
In addition to Mounts and Rosenberg, the Accion Do It Day team includes: Anna Husain, director of digital communications at Accion; Betty Lai, digital manager at Syzygy; Victoria Repka-Geller, senior vice president of business leadership and operations at Rapp; Will Rushford, art director at Rapp; and Daniela Ramirez, designer at Rapp.