Matching / Savings Program

TPTF’s matching savings program is designed so that families can realize the power of disciplined savings in their lives. During the 12 month program, they can watch their money grow and root their financial future securely for themselves and their family.
Families enrolled in our program open a new savings account with a bank of their choice. Each month, the enrolled family deposits any amount in their savings account and earns saving points equal to the amount saved, up to 100 points per month. Each saving point is worth 1 dollar and families can earn up to 1,200 saving points by the end of the 12-month enrollment period. At the end of enrollment period (twelve months), TPTF matches funds equal to the saving points earned by the enrolled family. The family can then use the money for their desired savings goal.

Program Overview

  • The Foundation identifies families with financially challenged status defined as the total annual income from all sources less than $40,000 (For 1-2 adults & 1-2 children or no children). For additional dependents, the limit can be increased by $2,500/dependent.
  • Candidate families are considered by a selection committee and, if approved, are enrolled into the program.
  • The Foundation enlists sponsoring companies and individuals to pledge funds to match the savings of enrolled families.
  • Once a family is approved, they are required to open a savings account with one of the banks/investment companies we have listed as sponsors.
  • Each month, the enrolled family deposits any amount in their savings account and earns saving points equal to the amount saved, up to 100 points per month. Each saving point is worth 1 dollar and families can earn up to 1,200 saving points at the end of the 12-month enrollment period. The withdrawal of funds during the enrollment period results in the loss of saving points. For more detail on this, see Contribution and Matching Process section
  • At the end of enrollment period (twelve months), The Pledging Tree Foundation matches funds equal to the saving points earned by the enrolled family. After the completion of the enrollment period, a family’s funds will no longer earn saving points and it is hoped that the family will continue saving toward their goals.
  • To help ensure that the program has a meaningful, long-lasting impact on the savings habits of enrolled families, those families  attend quarterly one-on-one financial counseling sessions with a certified financial planner (CFP) to help and guide them throughout the entire 12-month period. Attendance at all 4 financial counseling sessions is mandatory for enrolled families.
  • To redeem points at the end of the enrollment period, families must provide a copy of their 12-month bank statement and a confirmation of their attendance at all 4 quarterly one-on-one financial counseling sessions.

Contribution & Matching Process

Once approved and enrolled, the family is required to open a savings account with one of the banks/investment companies affiliated with the Foundation. The enrolled family may start contributing from the first day of the month after they are approved. The contribution by the enrolled family must be made any time between the first and last day of the month in order for the funds to be counted for that given month. Each month, the enrolled family can deposit any amount in their savings account and will earn one saving point for each dollar saved with a maximum of 100 points per month.

If the family is unable to make a contribution in a given month, they will not be entitled to the saving points during that month. Past contribution amounts cannot be carried over to any subsequent month. If the family is unable to contribute for three consecutive months, their enrollment in the Foundation will automatically be terminated and the family will lose all of the earned points. However, if the family wishes to reapply for participation in the Foundation, they can do so after their one-year enrollment period has concluded.

If an enrolled family withdraws money in a given month, it would lose the number of saving points equivalent to the amount of the withdrawal (1 dollar = 1 point). In other words, during a month, a family can earn a maximum of 100 saving points, but would lose saving points equivalent to the amount of the withdrawal. Keeping this in mind, TPTF discourages families from withdrawing any funds during the nrollment period.

Examples of Scenarios

Scenario 1: If the enrolled family has earned 450 points by the end of May and deposits $170 during June, the net points earned during June would be the maximum amount of 100 points. The net points balance as of the end of June would be calculated as follows:

Net points balance as of the end of June = Beginning balance + net points earned
= 450 + 100 = 550 points

Scenario 2: If the enrolled family has earned 550 points by the end of June and withdraws $250 during July and deposits $160 in the same month, the net points balance as of the end of July would be calculated as follows:

Net points earned in July = Deposits – Withdrawal
= 160 – 250 = -90 points (negative means net loss)

Net points balance as of the end of July = Beginning balance + net points earned/loss
= 550 – 90 = 460

Scenario 3: If the enrolled family has earned 460 points by the end of July and deposits $40 during August, the net points balance as of the end of August would be calculated as follows:

Net points balance as of the end of August = Beginning balance + net points earned
= 460 + 40 = 500 points

Key Success Factors

To measure the success of our program, we have developed and implemented four criteria for success. We measure these criteria periodically and take corrective actions to achieve the Foundation’s stated objective. The key success factors are as follows:

• The monthly contribution by each enrolled family equals or exceeds $100 during their enrollment period. The purpose of this criterion is that enrolled families benefit from receiving the maximum matching funds from our program. This can be measured by reviewing the monthly deposits made by the families.

• The monthly savings of each family equals or exceeds $100 for a two-year period after their enrollment period has ended. The purpose of this criterion is that enrolled families have cultivated the habit of disciplined savings. This can be measured by statements that each family will provide after the program has ended.

• Each enrolled family attend at least three of the four workshop/training sessions that take place during their enrollment year. The purpose is that families are gaining knowledge to manage their successful financial futures. This can be measured by the attendance sheet.

• Since two of the four workshop/training sessions are open to the public, the percentage of public attendees at the workshops/training sessions grows by at least 10% every year. The purpose of this criterion is to engage the public more in this program in order to have a broader impact in the community. This can be measured by the attendance sheet.

Source of Funding

he Foundation will be funded through donations from corporate sponsors as well as individual donors. The donors can directly donate money to the Foundation or can designate donations through other charitable organizations such as United Way. The Foundation is currently working with other charitable organizations to enable designation of funds.

The foundation has different levels of partnership with business sponsors. The table below outlines the donation amounts. Families are enrolled only when the funds are appropriated in advance. Individual donors can donate any amount and the Foundation will enroll the next family once the minimum amount to sponsor one family is reached.

Sponsorship Levels Donation Gift Impact
Platinum Partner $1200 Provides one year of matching funds and financial education for an eligible family
Gold Partner $600 Provides six months of matching funds and financial education for an eligible family
Silver Partner $100 Provides one month of matching funds and financial education for an eligible family
Bronze Partner

No Minimum

Contributes individually or distributes a United Way contribution letter to all employees

Criteria for Selection

To qualify for our program, the candidate must meet the following criteria:

1. He or she must be a legal U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien and 21 or older.

2. His or her total annual household income from all sources should be less than or equal to $40,000 (For 1-2 adults & 1-2 children or no children). For additional dependents, the limit can be increased by $2,500/dependent.

3. He or she must be currently employed either part-time or full time.

Enrollment Process

Financially challenged families are identified with the aid of a Selection Committee comprised of The Pledging Tree officers and other independent members from outside organizations. Upon the review of the application by the Selection Committee of The Pledging Tree Foundation, the family’s application will be either approved or rejected. If approved, the enrolled family will sign an agreement to abide by all Terms and Conditions outlined in Guideline Document of The Pledging Tree Foundation. Any violations of Terms and Conditions will automatically result in cancellation of enrollment in the Foundation.

How to Apply

Read and understand the Program Overview section on this web site or in the Guidelines Document. If you are certain that you qualify for the program, follow these steps:

Step 1: Download and complete the Enrollment Application Form Download/View

Step 2: Send the completed application form with all the appropriate documentation of eligibility to TPTF at the address mentioned in the form.

Step 3: TPTF will review your application and will schedule a telephone interview with you. The process may take up to 1-2 months depending upon the number of applications in the queue.
If your application is approved, you will receive a welcome packet. If your application is rejected, you will receive a regret letter in the mail.

Step 4: Open a new savings account (no checking account) with the banks/credit union listed with the foundation. Once the account has been opened, send the following information/forms to TPTF:
a. Savings Account Information.
b. Client Liability Waiver Form (contained in the Welcome Packet) Download/View
c. Privacy Notice Form (contained in the Welcome Packet) Download/View

Once TPTF receives the information listed above, you will officially be enrolled into the program.

During and After the Enrollment Period:

1. Keep saving every month as much as you can. Read the guidelines on withdrawal of funds.

2. During the first months of enrollment, you will be assigned a financial counselor. You need to schedule meetings with counselor for each quarter. Meet and discuss your financial situation with your counselor. Follow up with recommendations given by the financial counselor.

3. At the end of each quarter, send your bank statements for last three months along with the date and time of your meetings with the counselor.

4. And the end of enrollment period (12 months), TPTF will calculate your savings points and match the funds directly into your bank account. At the end of the enrollment period, TPTF will no longer match your savings however you should keep saving until you achieve your goal.