Immigrant Financial Integration Initiative
2009: Mission Asset Fund’s Immigrant Financial Integration Initiative (IFII) conducted an extensive in-depth survey to analyze the financial attitudes and behaviors of Spanish-speaking Latina/o immigrants who either live or work in San Francisco’s Mission District. The Mission District is a historic gateway for new immigrants and provides a vibrant, living context to understand many of the complex issues that lowincome immigrant families confront across the country.
MAF utilized a participatory action research model to conduct the survey and focus groups. MAF created a survey of 35 questions to gather information about respondents’ personal, household, and financial situation. We also inquired about their views and attitudes about finances and financial institutions. In the course of 6 weeks (May to June 2009), MAF staff and volunteers collected 250 surveys from respondents that represented 10 different countries in Latin America. The survey has a margin of error of plus/minus 6%.
MAF conducted on-site presentations with the staff and clients of other community based and social service organizations in the Mission District. Volunteers conducted targeted outreach to merchants, street vendors and Latina/o immigrant students. Participants in MAF’s Individual Development Account (IDA) program and peer lending circles program (“Cestas Populares”) also took part in the survey. MAF invited 70 survey respondents to participate in 7 segmented focus groups to learn more of their views, experiences and attitudes towards money.
The Survey Briefs are part of a series that analyzes the results from the survey respondents and focus group discussions.