FII Strategy

Demonstration to Adoption: 2019-2021 Strategic Plan 

In the past, we centered our strategy on growth in number of family partners to demonstrate the value of our work, our theory being that adoption would follow proven results of families’ success. And although some in philanthropy and government were inspired by our results, substantial adoption did not occur.

While we have always understood that fundamental widespread change in the social sector is needed to shift society’s perception of families struggling with poverty, we realize now that our initial path of choice was, perhaps, a bit naive.

Thus, in early 2018, we embarked on a strategic planning process to evaluate our progress, reexamine our goals, and incorporate key lessons from past efforts.


Key Lessons Learned:

  • Philanthropic partner dollars will never be enough to scale.
  • Government agency adoption and support is critical as they control 90% of all dollars invested in this segment
  • Direct investment dollars must be unrestricted to have optimum impact.
  • Independently-verified family data is critical to offering credibility, refuting naysayers and influencing adoption.
We remain committed to partnering with low-income families to build evidence while accelerating mobility; we are laser-focused on working with government and philanthropy to adopt FII’s strength-based approach; and we are relentless in our advocacy for societal adoption of FII values/principles.

Thus, we are embracing four core strategies for 2019-2021:

  • Deepen demonstration site engagement by partnering with more families and making direct financial investment in their households and communities.
  • Continue to build and strengthen evidence to encourage adoption of FII’s approach
  • Partner with policy and academic institutions to influence philanthropic and government agencies
  • Invest in and enhance UpTogether, FII’s technology and community building platform, to provide a seamless user experience and universal access for low-income families and direct investors nationwide.

“As we share FII’s strategy, we invite government and philanthropy to join us in creating a new system. We know that when individuals achieve success, communities and everyone around them benefit. FII’s data and learning has demonstrated positive outcomes in family-led economic mobility which are not presently recognized by the system. We know enough to adopt practices that put families in control of their decisions, recognize the initiative of communities, and put cash in their hands to invest in their own solutions.”

Jesús Gerena


Family Independence Initiative

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