Blog

Cafecito con MAF: The Need to Power Through

June 21, 2022
In episode 3 of Cafecito con MAF, hear behind-the-scenes stories of how MAF launched the Rapid Response Fund from MAFistas Rocio Rodarte and Joanna Cortez Hernandez.

Cafecito con MAF: They Need Me, I Need Them

June 21, 2022
In episode 2 of Cafecito con MAF, hear how Diana, an entrepreneur and working mom, navigated the challenges of the pandemic.

Cafecito con MAF: Do More, Do Better

June 15, 2022
In our first podcast episode, join MAF CEO José Quiñonez and MAF Policy & Communications Manager Rocio Rodarte for the story of how immigrants, students, and workers left out of federal COVID-19 re…

IGNITE Partner Convening: We Shine Brighter Together

May 19, 2022
Lending Circles providers from across the country convened for the first time in nearly two years for IGNITE: Connect, Reflect, Innovate. 

Between Lands, Languages, y Culturas: Iván’s Story

April 26, 2022
Iván, a poet based in the San Fernando Valley, experiments with words, images, and sound as he navigates the world. He uses his voice to advocate for social justice.

Champion Spotlight: Meet Karen Law

February 23, 2022
Like MAF, Karen realized the best of finance could be put to work in service of community. She’s leveraging the skills she has for those left in the shadows.

A Tale of Two Recoveries: How Immigrant Families Survived COVID-19

December 14, 2021
COVID-19 devastated the financial lives of immigrant families. Excluded from federal relief, how can immigrant families rebuild their financial lives?

Dreams Blooming In The Dark: Cristina’s Story

December 14, 2021
While entire industries were shutting down during the pandemic, Cristina and her husband saw an opportunity to seize their dream. Cristina sat down with MAFista Diana to talk about starting a busin…

Champion Spotlight: Meet Elle Creel

November 15, 2021
Elle Creel has been searching for a place to set roots. At MAF, she’s found fertile ground.

Champion Spotlight: Meet Laura Arce

September 23, 2021
Laura grew up in a Mexican immigrant family in Oakland. Her new role as a MAF board member honors those roots.

A Guaranteed Income for the Indispensable

September 2, 2021
At MAF, we’re bringing all that we have to bear in the fight against poverty, just as essential workers did in the midst of the global pandemic.

Demand Lasting Change: Reacting To The Latest DACA Court Ruling

August 6, 2021
A Texas court put DACA at risk again. Here’s what you can do to support citizenship for all.

Putting Heart into UpValley’s Lending Circles: Joleen’s Story

August 5, 2021
Joleen learned valuable lessons navigating the financial system. She runs Lending Circles at UpValley Family Centers to help her community do the same.

Studying Through A Pandemic: Marlena’s Story

May 28, 2021
Marlena has a dream to save lives with science. She’s moving ahead, despite a pandemic. She’s not alone.

MAF’s Vision for Showing Up & Doing More

May 13, 2021
As vaccines roll out, many of us see a light at the end of a long tunnel. But this light is dimmer for immigrant families who have been repeatedly excluded from federal COVID-19 relief. As we l…

MAF Awarded $45 Million To Support Immigrant Families During COVID-19 Crisis. It’s Still Not Enough – Congress Must Act.

March 16, 2021
MAF Awarded $45 Million To Support Immigrant Families During COVID-19 Crisis. It’s Not Enough. Congress Needs to Ensure that All Immigrants Have Access to Relief.

Safe, trusted “Financial Empowerment Windows” for the Mexican Community are a light in these hard times

February 8, 2021
Read about MAF’s partnership with Citi Community Relations and how we’ve provided trusted, culturally-relevant financial education within the Ventanillas de Asesoría Financiera.

Four Years of Possibility: The Legacy of Sustained Organizing

January 15, 2021
Organizing in Georgia made its victory possible. The victory makes a horizon of progressive policies possible. Two are top priority.

5 Keys To Relevant, Intentional Campaigns

December 9, 2020
Here’s what we’ve learned are the 5 keys to running a successful campaign for a diverse electorate.

SB 1157 Becomes Law: California’s First-in-the-Nation Rent Reporting Bill

December 8, 2020
SB1157 offers a credit-building lifeline to low-income tenants living in subsidized housing, allowing them to report their rent payments to major credit bureaus so they can continue safely building…

Francisco’s Story: Strength in the Time of COVID-19

December 2, 2020
Read about Francisco’s inspiring journey and its many challenges – including migration, financial barriers, fatherhood, and COVID-19.

Growing Lending Circles Communities With 7 New Partners

October 1, 2020
We’re welcoming 7 incredible nonprofits to our Lending Circles Network!

Taryn’s Story: Finding Transformation in the Uncertainty

September 22, 2020
Meet MAF’s college fund grant recipient Taryn Williams and learn about her incredible journey finding inspiration and hope in unlikely moments.

MyMAF: Mobile Insights During the COVID-19 Crisis

September 10, 2020
Activity skyrocketed in the MyMAF app in the early months of COVID, as users searched for resources around credit and savings.

Insights from Census Outreach Campaign

September 3, 2020
Immigrants, like other marginalized communities, are labeled as “hard-to-count” by the US Census Bureau. Immigrants, we found, were in fact the easiest-to-count.

Xiucoatl Mejia: Connecting Communities…From A Distance

September 2, 2020
Xiucoatl’s story illustrates the incontestable reality that art—in all of its forms—is essential to enabling people to connect with each other through empathy, shared space, or shared experience. L…

Mobilizing Communities Into Action

July 30, 2020
We’re mounting thoughtful and relevant tools, resources, and campaigns that place people at the forefront of change and mobilizes them towards civic action.

Prioritizing Education in a Pandemic

June 12, 2020
The pandemic has exacerbated a number inequities within this country, including access to higher education. Even in the absence of a pandemic, so many students overcome insurmountable barriers to a…

We Lean on Each Other in Times of Crisis

May 7, 2020
If I had to distill the essence of MAF’s Rapid Response work into one word it would be: partnerships.

Making Our Lives Count In The #2020Census

April 14, 2020
The marginalized communities and hard-working immigrant families that we serve every day at MAF will receive, at best, pennies for each dollar needed because they are invisible. The census plays a …

Helping Those With the Least Weather the Crisis

March 20, 2020
We are in the midst of a generation-defining crisis. The coronavirus is laying bare the interconnectedness of modern life, rapidly spreading and jeopardizing the health and well-being of millions o…

Pushing Back: USCIS Proposed Fee Hikes

February 28, 2020
On November 14, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a proposal to dramatically raise the costs of filing fees. The proposed fee schedule raises unfair and prohibitive …

Podcast: Design for Social Change

January 30, 2020
Design is an integral part of the MAF Lab’s R&D process and today, we give you in an inside peek into how design meets direct service at MAF. In the first episode of our podcast, you’ll get to …

Navigating the Financial System with an ITIN

December 12, 2019
“Impossible” is not a word in Regina’s vocabulary. Her savviness and tenacity stood out to us within minutes of meeting her one Monday afternoon. She walked confidently through MAF’s door, took a s…

Invisible Barriers: Navigating Financial Services with an ITIN

November 8, 2019
In this report, we see our clients’ financial lives are interwoven with larger communities and often relies on informal resources. We invite you to explore this issue with us, develop a deeper unde…

New MyMAF Financial Education on Self-Employment

October 10, 2019
MAF’s clients often turn to creative strategy to manage their financial lives; faced with barriers to accessing formal income opportunities, our clients innovate. One such strategy we’ve seen is se…

SB 455 Updates: CA Financial Empowerment Fund

September 5, 2019
MAF is sponsoring SB 455, also known as the California Financial Empowerment Fund, which would create a $4 million fund to support nonprofits delivering effective financial education and empowermen…

We saw it coming.

August 14, 2019
Ever since that dreadful day Trump descended down the escalator to announce his candidacy, we all knew deep down that it was the start of open season on immigrants. We’d seen it before. Desperate p…

Introducing MAF’s newest program: LLC Loan Program

August 12, 2019
Meet the community where they are. At MAF, this is one of our core values. We’re constantly searching for ways to build new programs that uplift this principle. That’s why we are excited to launch …

Energy Watch Chronicles: How A Small Business Owner Sweetened His Customers’ Experience By Brightening Up His Shop

July 23, 2019
Whether you’re a San Francisco Bay Area native, or have only visited the city a handful of times, you may have explored the famed “North Beach/Little Italy” neighborhood and crossed paths with the …

Testifying Before the Joint Economic Committee

July 1, 2019
On April 30, 2019, I testified before the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee’s hearing on “Expanding Opportunity by Strengthening Families, Communities, and Civil Society.” This bipartisan body…

MAF Staff Spotlight: Doris Vasquez

June 6, 2019
Meet Doris Vasquez, MAF’s Client Success Manager. Though she’d never admit it herself, Doris embodies what it means to be a community leader. As MAF’s Client Success Manager, Doris is engaging with…

My MAF Journey: Bridging Tech and Financial Inclusion

June 4, 2019
In celebration of the MAF Lab having hit its one-year mark, we want to recognize the role and work of our Tech Advisory Council in supporting our successes. We’ll be sharing a series of blog posts …

MAFista Spotlight: Samhita Collur

June 1, 2019
Samhita Collur has held many roles during her nearly three years at MAF. Officially, she’s been a Partner Success Manager and Communications Manager, but she’s also been a storyteller, a mobile app…

2019 MAF Summit: And the award goes to…

May 30, 2019
At Mission Asset Fund (MAF), we never pass up an opportunity to celebrate our inspiring and all-around incredible community members. At this year’s MAF Summit, we rolled out a red carpet of our …

Catalyzing Change: Antonio’s Story

May 28, 2019
Catalyst Miami is a member of MAF’s national Lending Circles network based in Florida’s Miami-Dade County. Through its diverse programs and services, Catalyst Miami is dedicated to fighting poverty…

A Galaxy of Her Own: Connie’s Mixcoatl

May 24, 2019
When you’re strolling down 24th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District, you can’t help but stop in your tracks as you are greeted by a display of luchador masks outside Mixcoatl’s storefront. …

‘Échale ganas, mijo’/’Give it your all, son’: PART TWO

March 20, 2019
What does ‘Transcend. Evolve. Take Flight.” mean to you? Read part one. ‘Ni de aqui, ni de alla’/’Not from here, nor from there’ I maintained my connection to my Mexican heritage and cult…

MAF Sponsors SB 455: CA Financial Empowerment Fund

March 6, 2019
In the U.S. there is a wide array of financial products and services to help consumers build their financial lives. In addition to banks, there is a whole Financial Planning and Advice industry to …

‘Échale ganas, mijo’/’Give it your all, son’: PART ONE

February 27, 2019
What does ‘Transcend. Evolve. Take Flight.” mean to you? Life’s about a dream I’ve always considered myself a dreamer — long before the term was used to identify a community of hard-working…

MAF Lab Spotlight: Shruti Dev

February 13, 2019
Meet Shruti Dev, MAF’s first Technical Project Manager in the MAF Lab. Shruti came to MAF from the for-profit sector with a background as a developer and business systems analyst in healthcare. …

Boni: A Story of Self-Sufficiency

February 6, 2019
Today, Boni speaks about his life in the U.S. with a humble confidence. In the five years that Boni has lived in the country, he has built financial security for himself. He has navigated unfamilia…

MAF’s 12 Data Points of Christmas

December 25, 2018
Watch MAF’s 12 Data Points of Christmas, a video featuring insights from the last decade

Rosa’s Story: An Advocate’s Journey

December 19, 2018
“My name is Rosa, and I received a check from you within only days of my request. You understand that this issue is incredibly time sensitive, and you did not neglect nor treat me as just a number….

Public Charge Statement Release: A Barrier to Upward Mobility for Immigrant Families

December 3, 2018
MAF recently submitted the below statement against the proposed public charge rule. We would like to encourage you all to also make your voice heard before the public comment period closes on Decem…

Introducing MAF’s new mobile app: MyMAF

November 27, 2018
MAF is excited to announce the launch of its new mobile app, MyMAF. MyMAF is a virtual financial coach designed to help low-income and immigrant families achieve their dreams and help MAF’s clients…

Public Charge: An Attack on All Immigrants

October 11, 2018
A few weeks ago the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a proposed rule that will change how the government looks at immigrants who have used or are likely to use public benefits. This …

What Resistance Looks Like: MAF’s DACA Campaign, a Year Later

September 6, 2018
The Trump administration blatantly targeted immigrants by rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on September 5, 2017. Shocked and angered by his actions, we did not r…

Why We’re Excited for the 2018 MAF Summit

August 14, 2018
At this year’s Summit, we’re bringing together thought leaders from a variety of sectors – nonprofit, finance, tech, and social sector. We can’t wait for the conversations and ideas that are bound …

We will keep fighting

June 21, 2018
My soul hurts to hear babies crying inconsolably for their parents, begging for help. I think about these little ones each time I look at my children, hoping that we will stop this madness and reun…

In Their Own Words: The Hopes of Dreamers

May 22, 2018
Being responsive is one of the major goals of our organization and our R&D team. After a successful DACA renewal fee assistance program, we surveyed clients to identify ways in which we could c…

Deportation, Stress, and Fear

May 4, 2018
Over the past couple months, we’ve heard many of our clients pour out their fears and concerns over their future. The threat of deportation looms large for so many immigrant families, causing real …

Here to help: reacting to the latest DACA court order

April 30, 2018
A third federal judge has issued a new DACA ruling. While the first two injunctions re-opened the program for the foreseeable future, this order is the first time since September 5, 2017 that there…

Work and Bills: The Financial Concerns of DACA Recipients

April 20, 2018
To hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients and their families, a DACA permit represents hope. Hope for jobs, for family security, for a future worth fighting for. The threat of losing DACA has pla…

Introducing MAF’s Self-Employment Webinar Series

April 19, 2018
In this new political context, when our community told us that maintaining financial security was their top concern, we decided to invest in promoting self-employment. We decided to invest in the i…

DACA’s multiplier effect

April 6, 2018
In “DACA=Better jobs, stable families,” we explored the impact that DACA has on job opportunities and family security. With a work permit and the ability to get education, it’s no surprise that DAC…

DACA = better jobs, stable families

March 21, 2018
$460 billion. That’s the estimated value that DACA recipients add to our GDP. In addition to the well-known economic impacts to our country, there is a good amount of research about the positive be…

MAF Lab: R&D for social good

February 28, 2018
It goes back to the earliest days at MAF, when Lending Circles was not yet a program available across the nation and when the conversation about financial capability only centered around savings. O…

DACA: 44 States & 70 Countries

February 26, 2018
In September 2017, MAF launched the nation’s largest DACA fee assistance program serving 7,600 Dreamers across the country. In a series of blog posts, we’ll share information about who we served an…

#HereToStay: Announcing MAF’s new immigration loan programs

February 23, 2018
Mission Asset Fund is excited to launch new zero-interest, credit-building loans available throughout California to cover the USCIS filing fees for U.S. Citizenship ($725), DACA Renewals ($495), Gr…

How MAF launched the largest DACA renewal campaign in 3 days

January 13, 2018
The Trump Administration ended DACA on September 5, 2017, igniting a wave of anguish and fear in communities throughout the country. Since 2012, hundreds of thousands of young people came out of th…

DACA: The stories behind the checks

January 10, 2018
After September 5, 2017, MAF quickly mobilized to provide financial assistance to DACA recipients across the nation. Our campaign was inspired by our belief that DACA recipients and their families …

Pilar’s Story: An ode to Prince and homeownership

January 5, 2018
Pilar celebrates her one-year homeownership anniversary this year. Her home is a beautiful, cozy, and peaceful place in South Minneapolis. She recalls the warm and loving home her mother created fo…

Nora’s Journey: A story of strength

January 1, 2018
Today, Nora speaks excitedly about the prospect of buying a home. She shares the number of rooms she’d like to have, her ideal neighborhoods, and even hints at how she plans to decorate her kitchen…

Press Release: 5,000+ DACA renewal scholarships now available

September 22, 2017
Media Contact: (888) 274-4808 x206 [email protected] $2,500,000+ Fund to Help Dreamers Renew DACA by October 5 San Francisco, CA – September 22, 2017 – Mission Asset Fund (M…

Press Release: 2,000 Dreamers to receive DACA renewal scholarships

September 13, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: (888) 274-4808 x206 [email protected] $1,000,000 Fund Announced to Help Dreamers Renew DACA by October 5 San Francisco, CA – September 13, 2017 – M…

Meet the Adelante Advisory Council

July 13, 2017
This group of passionate MAF advocates is fundraising and friendraising for justice At the end of 2016, an exciting group formed at MAF: the Adelante Advisory Council (AAC) is MAF’s first-ever c…

Champion Spotlight: Meet Gaby Zamudio

June 8, 2017
She’s a bilingual UI developer and ping pong pro who’s passionate about using tech for good. Meet Gaby Zamudio, a bilingual developer specializing in UI and an all-around positive, people person…

Claudia’s dreams: health, credit & a new bakery

May 25, 2017
When Claudia’s husband was offered a job in the United States, she encouraged him to take it and insisted that the entire family—the two of them and their two children—move from Guatemala to build …

Preparing yourself for financial emergencies

May 22, 2017
How you can prevent an immigration-related emergency from becoming a financial one  Detention and deportation can have a huge impact on a family’s finances. What happens to a car, apartment…

FinTech pros and consumer advocates

May 15, 2017
Meet MAF’s four passionate new members of the Board of Directors: Alex, Cara, Lissa, and Sagar MAF is thrilled to welcome four new members to our Board of Directors! They bring rich experience i…

With ❤️, From: Mom, Charu, Mama, 엄마, Hajurmuma

May 5, 2017
From a thriving chocobanana business to a spicy pinch of kimchi that literally means “I love you.” At MAF, we’re always looking for an excuse to share stories. In celebration of Mama’s Day 2017,…

Champion spotlight: meet Jessica Leggett

April 27, 2017
She’s a MAF donor and Board Member who brings passion and creativity to everything she does. Follow our Champion Spotlight series, where we introduce you to our great Social Investors and honor …

Wealth inequality and new Americans

March 20, 2017
The racial wealth gap is real, and it’s growing. But where do immigrants fit into this analysis? This post first appeared on the Aspen Institute’s blog. It was written by MAF’s CEO José A. …

Citizenship for New Yorkers

March 16, 2017
The $725 application fee is keeping one million New Yorkers from becoming citizens. Building a wall, the Muslim and refugee ban, sanctuary cities, an uncertain future for DREAMers: under the cur…

Ventanilla: A Window of Opportunity

January 1, 2017
Mission Asset Fund (MAF) and the Mexican Consulates of San Francisco and San Jose have joined forces to support the economic empowerment of Mexican nationals across northern California and the Stat…

Lending Circles at the Brown Boi Project

December 2, 2016
Building Credit & Confidence in LGBTQ Communities of Color Carla’s first experience with a lending circle came long before she began working with Brown Boi Project, and long before she’d hea…

Winners of the 2016 Super-Partner Awards

December 2, 2016
These fabulous #LCHeroes took home prizes at the Lending Circles Summit When MAF was founded in the Mission District of San Francisco in 2007, the vision was always to grow. MAF’s leadership and…

LC Summit 16: Top 16 Moments

December 1, 2016
16 reasons why you can’t miss the next Lending Circles Summit Call me biased, but here are 16 reasons why the LC Summit was not only beautiful but hands-down one of the most excit…

Words from the Wise #LCSummit16

November 22, 2016
A Financial Coach, a scholar, and a philanthropist on what Lending Circles mean to them One of our favorite parts of the Lending Circles Summit was hearing from wise members of our community on …

On Food & Family: Isabel’s Story

November 22, 2016
Isabel joined a Lending Circle to help grow her business. This summer, her restaurant “El Buen Comer” opened in Bernal Heights. Isabel is a MAF client and entrepreneur who used Lending Circles t…

Taking Financial Learning Beyond the Classroom

October 17, 2016
Lending Circles round out the Game Theory Academy Experience Jasmine and Pasha’s friendship began during childhood, when the two girls were elementary school classmates. Eventually they were ass…

José Quiñonez named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow

September 22, 2016
The visionary Lending Circles program brings low-income communities out of the shadows. Today, the MacArthur Foundation announced this year’s class of MacArthur Fellows. Among the short list of …

Sonia: A Future Chicago Homeowner

September 20, 2016
Building Credit and Community through Lending Circles at The Resurrection Project Sonia arrived in Chicago from Puerto Rico one year ago with hopes to turn over a new leaf. As a result of a…

The Freedom to Move: My DACA Journey

August 15, 2016
How DACA gave me the opportunity to help others & make my parents’ sacrifices count. Before Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was announced in 2012, I spent all my time volunteer…

6 Reasons You Won’t Want to Miss the Lending Circles Summit 2016

August 11, 2016
Members of our Partner Advisory Council share why they’re excited to converge on SF for #LCSummit2016 This October 26-28, MAF will host the first ever Lending Circles Summit in the city where MA…

Building Better: 2015 Annual Report

July 28, 2016
Take a look back on what you helped build in 2015 – and get a sneak peak at what’s next! MAF’s 2015 Annual Report Building Better tells the story of what’s possible when we continually chal…

It’s who you ask that matters

June 27, 2016
A conversation with a founding member paints a picture of what a new member-driven council will contribute to the Lending Circles program. It’s about keeping it real. As we grow and evolve, we k…

Strengthening the Voice of our Lending Circles Partner Network

June 23, 2016
MAF’s first Partner Advisory Council will provide an exciting opportunity to harness the insights of our partner network From our early years serving families in the Mission District, we believe…

Innovations: Making the Invisible Visible

June 6, 2016
CEO Jose Quinonez gives a behind-the-scenes look into MAF’s origin story in MIT Press’s “Innovations” journal. The following excerpt was originally published in “Innovations: Technology, Governa…

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