Financial Empowerment Member

START/END DATE: 9/1/2022 - 8/31/2023

Program Overview

United Way of King County’s Financial Stability Team is seeking five dynamic professionals to serve as Financial Empowerment AmeriCorps Members for one of the largest anti-poverty programs in Washington State. The Free Tax Preparation Campaign is a community-driven effort to put money into the pockets of low- and moderate-income residents of King County by:

  • increasing tax refunds
  • improving access to tax credits
  • assisting individuals and households to apply for food, cash, and other public benefits

These are powerful anti-poverty tools—such as tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Education Credits—that provide critical economic stability, reduce racial wealth disparities, and increase public health outcomes, particularly for communities of color. However, millions of dollars are left unclaimed by eligible recipients each year.

As a member of the Financial Stability Team, you will play a direct role in connecting residents with money to survive and thrive. Your role starts with helping households to avoid the extremely prohibitive cost of tax preparation, which often exceeds $400 in Washington state. Your work is particularly important due to our region’s growing economic instability, which has been exacerbated in recent years due to high inflation and COVID-19. Additionally, you will serve during an exciting time as Washington rolls out its first ever state tax credit for low-income residents.

Inequality, wealth disparities, homelessness, generational poverty—the Free Tax Preparation Campaign seeks to address these problems and more by providing free, high-quality tax preparation services at absolutely no cost to community members. Each year, this campaign has the capacity to help over 20,000 households and bring more than $30 million back to the community.

Member Roles & Responsibilities:

As a Financial Empowerment AmeriCorps Member, you will contribute to each phase of the Free Tax Preparation Campaign’s lifecycle, including pre-season planning, tax season, and post-season operations:

Pre-Season Planning (September – December)

  • Implement a volunteer recruitment plan to recruit and train 750+ volunteers
  • Conduct outreach and communicate with community members
  • Engage with other organizations and support community education initiatives
  • Contribute to developing a program evaluation strategy

Tax Season (January – April)

  • Complete advanced training in tax preparation and financial coaching
  • Work directly with community members to help them complete and file their taxes
  • Educate clients on cash assistance opportunities, such as the Working Families Tax Credit
  • Conduct surveys to gather valuable insights from tax clients

Post-Season (May – August)

  • Work directly with community members to provide extended season tax preparation services
  • Conduct surveys to gather valuable insights from campaign staff and volunteers
  • Support tax season closeout and celebrate program successes
  • Engage in early-stage planning for tax season 2024

As a Financial Empowerment AmeriCorps Member, you will support an important social justice initiative. You will gain firsthand experience using innovative thinking and creative problem solving to lead projects central to United Way’s mission of fighting inequality. As a project leader, you will have many opportunities to build and develop your communication skills, social awareness, and resiliency. Additionally, this role is a great chance to gain a mix of direct public service experience, tax and personal finance expertise, and programmatic professional skills—all while making a profound impact on our community. Furthermore, you will receive exclusive access to community leaders for networking, advanced training for career development, and other opportunities for professional advancement.

Position Length: 12 Months

Benefits & Compensation:

  • Bi-weekly stipend of $1158 (pre-tax)
  • $250 monthly housing stipend
  • $6495 Education Award upon successful completion of service
  • Additional $1000 completion bonus from UWKC upon successful completion of service
  • Loan deferment and payment of interest accrued during service year on qualified student loans (loans must be federally-backed; personal/private loans not eligible)
  • Noncompetitive eligibility for federal jobs for up to one year after completing service
  • Health benefits that meet the minimum standards of ACA compliance
  • Unlimited free transportation with a pre-paid ORCA Card
  • Childcare assistance
  • 10 days sick leave, 10 days personal leave plus 11 federal holidays
  • Enrollment in an assistance program with 24-hour access to phone counseling
  • Access to emergency assistance program to mitigate unforeseen financial emergencies that put your continued participation in AmeriCorps service at risk
  • Monthly team meetings, high-quality training, professional development, and networking opportunities
  • Lifelong friends and colleagues who are passionate about service!

Professional Development Benefits:

  • Robust professional development to support your personal, professional, and service goals and growth
  • Skills to be gained include but not limited to: Interpersonal and Intercultural communication, community outreach, adaptability, relationship building, conflict management, customer service, resource navigation, data entry, knowledge of WA public benefits, knowledge of inner workings of non-profits
  • One time $100 Professional Development stipend
  • Optional career development trainings provided by UWKC AmeriCorps team
  • Previous trainings include: How to Network, Resume Workshops, Mock Interviews, How to make your LinkedIn Profile Shine
  • Networking opportunities within United Way, and Community Partners

What We’re Looking For:

  • Innovative problem solver and critical thinker
  • Passionate believer in social justice, economic justice, and community building
  • Eager to learn new skills and empower others with knowledge
  • Can work independently and on a team
  • Ability to be adaptable and work on multiple projects simultaneously
  • People-oriented, with exceptional relationship-building skills
  • Ability to speak a second language is helpful, but not required
  • Access to a car (highly suggested, but not required)
  • No tax preparation experience or financial background is needed—we will train you!

As a member of this cohort, you will be supported with a robust orientation, ongoing professional development opportunities, training, check-ins, and the tools and resources you need to succeed.

This is a full-time position and members will serve approximately 40 hours per week for the duration of their service term.

AmeriCorps Program Eligibility

  • Must be over 18 years old on the first day of service
  • Must be a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident of the United States. Unfortunately, F1 visas are not sufficient.
  • Must be available 40 hours per week through August 2023. Exact hours may vary by site placement, but will primarily be Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Must undergo a Washington State Patrol background check, FBI background check and National Sex Offender Registry Check, plus state of residence background check if not currently living in Washington
  • Per United Way of King County Policy, AmeriCorps members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the first day of service. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. If you are a selected candidate, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination. Please reach out to unitedwayamericorps@uwkc.org if you need information on medical or religious accommodation

Please note that United Way of King County has moved to remote and limited in-person operations. As such, be prepared to participate in interviews remotely and to complete service responsibilities in a hybrid environment (in-person and remote) should we move forward with your candidacy. If technology presents a barrier to applying, interviewing, or accepting the position, please reach out to unitedwayamericorps@uwkc.org for accommodations.

Additionally, per United Way and public health guidance, all AmeriCorps members must be able to transition from working hybrid to commuting to their site to serve 40 hrs. per week at any time during their service year. Service schedules will be based on your service site’s needs.

To Apply: Create an application on My AmeriCorps Portal or click here: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=81902

  • No resume or cover letter is required.
  • The application process moves quickly, please expect a response within 1-2 days.
  • Please contact unitedwayamericorps@uwkc.org with any questions.