New Intern Orientation packet


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New Intern Orientation packet

  1. 1. ACCION USA Orientation Packet Table of Contents Page Welcome From Gina 1 ACCION USA Loan Portfolio 2 ACCION USA (NY loan) Porfolio 3 Microfinance in the US 4 Business Loan Fact Sheet 5 Client Testimonial 6 Sample Grant Proposal 7 -10 Communications Guide 11-23 Social Media Guide 24-25 Twitter Basics Guide 26-28 Financial Education Program 29 -30 Webinar Series 31 Partnership Info Sheet 32 ACCION USA Partnerships 33-36 AUSA/KIVA lending team 37-38 IT Do's and Don’ts 39 Volunteer Non-Disclosure Sheet 40-41 Organizational Chart 42 Phone Directory 43 ACCION USA 115 East 23rd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010 (t) 212-387-0377 (f) 212-387-0277
  2. 2.                                                  
  3. 3. Lending. Supporting. Inspiring. About ACCION USA ACCION USA at a Glance As a leader in U.S. microfinance, ACCION USA empowers low-to-moderate income (LMI) business owners with access to capital and financial education. With economic opportunity, these entrepreneurs—often minorities and women—can build assets, 19,068 Loans Made better provide for their families, and strengthen their communities. AUSA has lent $119 million since 1991, and is one of the nation's largest $119.5 Total Amount Lent (in millions) microlenders, serving more than 2,000 active borrowers across 46 states. $6,828 Average Loan Size ACCION USA offers affordable loans from $500 to $50,000 for small business and credit development with an average loan size of $5,100 and interest rates from 8% to 15%. 89% Historic Repayment Rate Our investment in our clients does not end with a loan—we provide free financial 2.4 Jobs created/retained per loan disbursed education services to set the foundation for long-term business success. Data since 1991 inception, as of January 1, 2010 The extended U.S. ACCION Network has supported 24,300 U.S. small businesses with $272 million. This network of licensees serving TX, LA, NM, CO, AZ, IL, and CA and our online lending platform provides a national footprint for microloan borrowers. Microloan Need Nationwide, low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs are unable to access the credit needed to build sustainable businesses and attain economic self-sufficiency. This challenge takes on increased significance during the recession, where unemployment presents a hurdle to full economic recovery. 10 million microbusinesses nationwide cannot access from traditional sources Success Story: Margarita Amador the loans needed to grow their business Margarita Amador, owner of Amador Home Microenterprises (<5 employees) account for approximately 18 percent of Improvements, is dedicated to providing employment in the U.S., and create 900,000 jobs a year. her clients with quality service at a fair price. Even during the economic Predatory lenders charge average annual interest rates over 300%— downturn, business has been steady. and accounted for over $42 billion in loan volume in 2008. However, Margarita was experiencing cash-flow difficulties and needed a loan to ACCION USA Impact keep her business on track. Unable to According to the most recent MicroTest impact study conducted in partnership with borrow from the bank, Margarita the Aspen Institute, AUSA loans empower borrowers to: approached ACCION USA, where she qualified for the loan she needed. Create employment opportunity in low- to moderate-income communities: On average, each AUSA small business loan recipient creates 2.4 new jobs. "My dream is to be able to provide for my children's education and to start Create living wages for borrowers and their employees Wages provided by another business of my own," says ACCION USA borrowers are 24% higher than the national minimum wage. Margarita. These goals are now within her Create sustainable businesses: The business survival rate among AUSA reach, thanks to the support of AUSA. clients is 98% for established businesses and 89% for start-up businesses. ACCION USA Headquarters — 115 East 23rd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010
  4. 4. Lending. Supporting. Inspiring. About ACCION USA NY/NJ at a Glance 12,169 ACCION USA (AUSA) is a nonprofit microfinance organization that provides access Loans Made— to capital and financial education to low- and moderate-income individuals, NY/NJ Region primarily minorities and women. A pioneer and recognized leader in U.S. microfinance, AUSA empowers individuals to create sustainable businesses, increase family incomes, and contribute to the economic development of cities $86.6 Total Amount Lent— NY/NJ Region (in millions) 89% across the U.S., including the metropolitan New York and New Jersey region. Historic Repayment Rate $119 million lent since inception in 1991 through offices in Boston, MA; Miami, FL; New York, NY; and Atlanta, GA; as well as an online lending platform. 2.4 Jobs created/retained per loan disbursed $272 million lent by the U.S. ACCION Network, which includes AUSA and four independent licensees: ACCION Texas, ACCION New Mexico-Colorado- $7,233 2009 Average Loan Size Arizona, ACCION Chicago, and ACCION San Diego. Data since 1991 inception, as of January 1, 2010 Loan Products and Services AUSA loans help bridge the gap between business capital and the financially underserved. We provide affordable loans that help meet essential business needs: Small Business Loans up to $50,000: Our flexible requirements place business capital within reach for individuals who lack the credit history and length of time in business needed to qualify for mainstream loans. Credit Development Loans: Realizing the challenges that individuals without credit face, we offer loans to help establish and build a credit history. Success Story: Flor Diaz Financial Education Programs: Online resources, free group seminars, and As an immigrant from the Dominican individual training opportunities help to further strengthen businesses. Republic, Flor Diaz found difficulty in obtaining a loan to buy fabric and Microloan Need and Impact equipment for her business, Florquidiaz, With over 900,000 microbusinesses in New York City alone that employ over 30 a bridal boutique. percent of the region’s workforce, the need for our services is clear. AUSA provides underserved entrepreneurs with the opportunity to create Flor approached ACCION USA for a loan sustainable businesses that have a lasting impact on the borrower’s family and obtained the capital and support and community. According to our most recent MicroTest impact study in needed to grow her business. partnership with the Aspen Institute, AUSA loans empower borrowers to: "I'm proud to have achieved this Create employment opportunity in LMI communities: On average, each AUSA small business loan recipient creates 2.4 new jobs. dream and to be able to earn money for my four children," says Flor. "I plan Create living wages for borrowers and their employees Wages provided by on continuing to build my business by ACCION USA borrowers are 24% higher than the national minimum wage. expanding my shop, offering more Create sustainable businesses: The business survival rate among AUSA products and hiring an employee." clients is 98% for established businesses and 89% for start-up businesses. ACCION USA - New York Regional Office and Headquarters | 115 East 23rd Street, 7th Floor | New York, NY 10010 For Loans: (212) 387-0494 | Office: (212) 387-0377
  5. 5. Microfinance in the U.S. Long hailed as an effective poverty alleviation strategy abroad, microfinance also has strong roots in the United States. The U.S. ACCION Network was established in New York in 1991 and has since lent over $230 million to financially underserved entrepreneurs, primarily minorities and women. An Undeniable Need for Affordable Capital - Microbusinesses account for 18 percent of employment in the U.S., and created more than 4.5 million jobs from 2002- 2005. However, even prior to the credit crisis, an estimated 10 million microbusinesses in the United States faced difficulty in obtaining business capital from traditional lending sources. - In today’s economy, the need for microfinance services in the U.S. has taken on a special urgency. As banks continue to tighten the availability of credit, microfinance will serve the ever-widening credit gap. - As the economy continues to take its toll on consumer spending, energy prices and other essential factors in the small business community’s bottom line, access to affordable capital will never be more vital. In addition, microloans will fill the ever-widening credit gap, as tightening bank borrowing standards push more entrepreneurs out of the mainstream. - With Community Financial Development Institutions—including microlenders such as ACCION USA—receiving a $100 million slice of funds allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, they will play an increasingly important role in helping small businesses survive and in rebuilding our economy through income and job creation. Adjusting the International Microfinance Model Like its international counterpart, domestic microfinance seeks to empower self-employed individuals with affordable and accessible business capital. - Loans tailored to meet borrowers’ needs. ACCION USA provides loan amounts tailored to meet borrowers’ needs in a formal economy. Our loans range from $500 “Credit Start” loans to $50,000 loans for advanced businesses. - A focus on financial literacy. Realizing that it takes both knowledge and capital to build a business, ACCION USA provides borrowers with free business and credit training. - One-on-one strategies. ACCION USA’s loan consultants work one-on-one with borrowers throughout the loan process to help them achieve their financial and business goals - Bringing microfinance to scale. Internet lending and technology innovations that bring efficiency to the lending process have allowed U.S. microfinance organizations to scale up. Current Statistics U.S. ACCION Network Stats: - $250 million in loans made since inception in 1991 ACCION USA (AUSA) Stats: - $115 million in loans made to over 18,500 borrowers since inception in 1991 - $18 million active portfolio - Current average loan size of $5,600 AUSA Impact: - Increase family income: 61% of ACCION USA clients report an increase in annual income after receiving a loan, with a median increase of over $4,500 (or 18%). - Create sustainable businesses: The business survival rate among ACCION USA clients is 97% for established businesses and 90% of start-up businesses. - Create employment opportunity in low-to-moderate income communities: On average, each ACCION USA small business loan recipient creates 1.7 new jobs. AUSA Demographics: - 61% Hispanic or Latino - 27% African American - 40% Female
  6. 6. Small Business Loans Apply online at or call toll free (866) 245-0783 ACCION USA is a nonprofit organization that offers small business loans of up to $50,000 and financial education to small business owners in the United States. Take your business to the next level with a business loan or business start-up loan from ACCION USA. OUR LOAN PRODUCTS LOAN REQUIREMENTS Loan Amounts: ACCION USA is the right fit for Established business (> 6 months): up to $50,000 business owners who meet the Start-up business (< 6 months): up to $30,000 following basic requirements: Installment loans with fixed monthly payments Credit score of 575 or higher You must own fewer than four (4) properties RATES, FEES, AND TERMS No bankruptcies in the past 12 months or foreclosures in the past Competitive annual interest rates from 8.99% to 15.99% 24 months Loan terms up to 60 months No late payments on your No prepayment penalty rent/mortgage in the 3-5% closing cost (minimum of $100) and a $30 application fee past 12 months will be financed into approved loans Sufficient cash flow to comfortably support monthly loan payments Less than $3,000 in past due debt WHY ACCION USA? For start-up loans: Access to capital: Our basic requirements allow you to get the Cosigner required money you need to build your business Investment match of 50% of the Opportunity to build credit: We report to all three credit bureaus loan amount Proof of an outside income Friendly & personalized service: Your loan consultant will help you one-on-one to apply All required licenses Strongly recommended to have a Free financial education: Workshops and online resources help completed business plan you further build your business and credit Lending. Supporting. Inspiring. Additional information available at 03/10
  7. 7. Client Testimonial For Luis Zepeda Alvarez, a microloan was more than just the means to purchase a delivery van. His $5,500 loan from ACCION USA helped pave the road to self-renewal. Luis was homeless just ten years ago. He was that guy holding a sign saying, ““Need Work””. Without a place to stay or a way to earn a living, he was invisible, as many of the homeless are to the rest of society. That was, at least, until the owner of a bakery decided to give Luis a chance, and offered him work making deliveries. Years later, the tragedy at the World Trade Center would claim many of the businesses on Luis’’ route, pushing him back into unemployment. Luis, now, had too much to work for——three sons——and decided self-employment was his only chance to become a stable provider for his family. He knew he had to start his own bakery delivery service. But Luis didn’’t have the cash to buy a delivery van himself——he needed a loan, and no bank would lend to him. All that changed when Luis discovered ACCION USA. Unlike other financial institutions, ACCION USA recognized Luis’’ entrepreneurial spirit and valued the Luis Zepeda Alvarez ACCION USA Client and Entrepreneur experience he had acquired during his days as a delivery worker. Ten years ago, Luis was depending on spare change and odd jobs. Today, Luis relies on himself and the honest living his business brings him. He is proud of the life he is leading, the legacy he is creating for his family, and the opportunities he is providing his employees. For Luis, and so many of our clients, a microloan means more than just financial help. It is the impetus for change, and the chance to define their own path to success.
  8. 8. 2010 Proposal Example Supporting Small Businesses and Employment in New York City Contact: Gina Harman, President and CEO (646) 833 4512; Executive Summary As a leader in U.S. microfinance, ACCION USA empowers lower income business owners through access to capital and financial education. With economic opportunity, these entrepreneurs——often minorities and women——can build assets, better provide for their families, create employment, and strengthen their communities. ACCION USA focuses on serving microentrepreneurs (business owners with five or fewer employees) who lack access to the affordable credit and financial education they need to launch and grow their businesses into sustainable assets. In the current economic climate, as mainstream lenders have tightened credit and increased interest rates, ACCION USA remains one of the few sources of transparent and affordable credit that low income and underserved individuals can use to build, sustain, and expand small businesses. A 2009 outcomes survey found that, during a period marked by declining business revenues and rising bankruptcies (2007 2008), an astounding 96% of ACCION USA’’s clients stayed in business. The survey also found that, on average, ACCION USA’’s clients retained or created 2.4 jobs each and experienced a 19% median increase in take home pay. Since its inception in 1991, ACCION USA has invested over $86.6 million in 12,169 loans in the New York City small business community. As our track record shows, ACCION USA has the capacity and connections to quickly deploy funds to underserved small businesses that create jobs and economic activity within the city’’s most distressed neighborhoods. Without organizations like ACCION USA, which are deeply rooted in low to moderate income communities, financially underserved business owners would be more likely to fail, or worse, fall victim to predatory lenders. To continue fostering job growth within our local communities, ACCION USA respectfully requests a $15,000 renewal grant from the Foundation to support our New York microlending and financial education program. Your continued funding is critical and will help ACCION USA support 350 small business owners through $3 million in business loans. Our work will create or retain close to 840 needed jobs in low income neighborhoods of New York City. Client Need Many low income minority and immigrant individuals, who are excluded from the mainstream job market or relegated to low wage jobs due to language barriers, limited formal education, and discrimination, turn to entrepreneurship to support their families or to supplement their incomes. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, between 1997 and 2002, the number of minority owned firms grew by 30%, far outpacing the national average (10%). Yet while minority owned businesses continue to be a growing force in our local and national economies, their owners are disproportionally affected by the
  9. 9. lack of access to capital. The Center for American Progress noted in a 2007 report that the loan denial rate for African America families in 2004 was more than double that of white families (22% compared to 10.8%). For Hispanic families, the loan denial rate was greater than 16%. Moreover, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity confirms that microenterprises (defined as businesses with 5 or fewer employees) create over 900,000 jobs in the New York City economy, representing over 33% of all private sector employment. However, in today’’s economy, with unemployment at 9.7% nationally and 10.2% locally, microenterprises are at risk of closing and pushing an average of three people per business into unemployment. While much is being done to address the consequences of the economic crisis at institutional levels, ACCION USA addresses it on ““Main Street””. We serve as one of the few links between small and micro business owners and the credit they seek. Struggling small business owners need immediate assistance and ACCION USA provides proven, effective and timely loans and services they can use to weather these difficult economic times. ACCION USA fosters economic development through entrepreneurship by helping our clients be active and productive participants in the mainstream economy for the betterment of New York and its residents. With the recent contraction of credit markets, many new businesses——especially those with limited credit experience——will face even great difficulties accessing traditional forms of credit. This will lead in turn to greater reliance on high priced credit cards and predatory lenders for financing. A 2009 study on credit card usage among small businesses by the Kauffman Foundation found that credit card debt reduces the likelihood that a new business will survive in the first three years of operation. The study revealed that every $1,000 increase in credit card debt increases the probability that a firm will close by 2.2 percent. Many small businesses owners even rely on personal credit cards for their immediate financing needs, directly impacting their own and their families’’ credit worthiness. In the Annie E. Casey Foundation’’s documentary, ““Building Credit for Life””, experts estimate that a good credit rating will save the average borrower $250,000 in interest over a lifetime. Inexperienced credit holders would not be able to build a strong credit record without access to affordable and effective alternatives to high interest credit cards and payday lenders. Client Profile ACCION USA’’s programs benefit creative microentrepreneurs living and operating in the five boroughs of New York City. Over 87% of our client base is low to moderate income, according to HUD guidelines, with a median household income of $29,970. Nearly 38% are females and 90% are minority, of which 68% are Hispanic/Latino, 15% African American, 10% Multi ethnic, 5% Caucasian, and 2% are Asian. Many of ACCION USA’’s female borrowers are daycare providers, beauty salon owners, and successful entrepreneurs in the fashion design or restaurant industries, while male
  10. 10. borrowers primarily represent the transportation, landscaping, retail, delivery, and food & beverage industries. Program Services ACCION USA’’s high touch microlending program is tailored to meet the needs of microentrepreneurs and small businesses. We offer affordable business and credit development loans from $500 to $50,000 with flexible terms that work with our borrowers’’ budgets. Our loans contribute to the New York City small business community by 1) providing needed access to capital, when traditional sources are tightening their lending criteria, 2) creating 2.4 jobs on average (not including the borrower), and 3) providing a legitimate path to building credit. Unlike banks, ACCION USA considers eligibility criteria beyond a credit score and provides deep application support to help our clients understand the make up of their credit and the components of a strong loan application. ACCION USA believes in providing more than credit to our clients; we believe education is a key element for their long term success. ACCION USA offers free one on one technical assistance, referral services, workshops, networking opportunities, and a suite of online resources ( designed to supplement the financial products that we offer. In 2010, ACCION USA will continue its Survive and Thrive curriculum series which centers on three main strategies for business survival: protecting credit, managing cash flow, and maximizing marketing. We will also deepen our support to declined applicants and will develop new financial literacy content with the goal of providing them more options to move forward. Why Support ACCION USA ACCION USA serves as one of the few links between low income families and fairly priced capital. Without organizations like ACCION USA, which are deeply rooted in low to moderate income communities, financially underserved business owners would be more likely to fail, or worse, fall victim to predatory lenders. In FY 2009, JP Morgan Chase wrote the largest number of small business loans through the SBA program in NYC: a total of 28. ACCION USA provided $2M in microloans to over 300 borrowers in 2009. Moreover, that same year, ACCION USA was the NYC Business Solutions Centers’’ highest volume lending partner, disbursing 51 loans to Center customers. As our track record shows, ACCION USA has the capacity and connections to quickly deploy funds to underserved small businesses, enterprises which create jobs and economic activity within the city’’s most distressed neighborhoods. In 2009, over 1,500 potential clients contacted ACCION USA’’s NYC office to explore their options for obtaining capital. Whether a loan is provided or not, we are a committed to serving each person who walks through our doors; we offer free one on one technical assistance during the pre application process to educate potential borrowers on credit and the components of a strong application. Our goal is to create a clear and effective process to move credit worthy small business owners from being unqualified applicants to strong, credit conscious borrowers, ultimately graduating them to traditional sources for long term
  11. 11. financing. In 2010 and 2011, the number of individuals seeking assistance will increase. The Foundation’’s support will guarantee we can help every individual who contacts ACCION USA. Conclusion At ACCION USA, we serve the smaller, less formal businesses that are overlooked by mainstream financial institutions. Businesses that are a viable means for low and moderate income individuals like Luis Zepeda Alvarez to earn living wages, create jobs, and provide for their families. Last year, Luis received an ACCION USA loan to make upgrades to a delivery van needed to keep his business running, an endeavor which turned Luis into a thriving entrepreneur just years after being homeless and unemployed. We are incredibly grateful to the Foundation for your past support. This year, we respectfully ask you to renew your commitment to families across New York City who rely on self employment to make ends meet. Together we can secure the livelihood of hundreds of hardworking individuals in what for many could be another year of financial uncertainty.
  12. 12. What is a Brand? • More than a logo, product, or service • What our clients “feel” about our organization. • Many organizational policies & procedures help to build a good brand brand, whether we know it or not! • Client sales messaging! (Brands our products) • Good customer service! (influences what clients feel about AUSA) • Underwriting guidelines! (Determines the type of lender we are) 1 Branding, Branding Everywhere! The Obvious The More Subtle (but important!) • Print Ads • Panel presentations • Banners with logos • Bank presentations • Website • Emails to clients & partners • Media Stories • Voicemail message • Brochures • Office appearance • Fact Sheets • Flyers 2
  13. 13. The Branding Bank Our brand is like a bank account. Actions can either add money to the account (build our brand) or withdraw from the account (discredit our brand). It’s our responsibility as staff to help build the best brand possible by: • Striving for outstanding customer service • Putting care & professionalism into our everyday communications (internal and external, email, voicemail, phone calls, etc.) • Using the branding resources outlined in this training! 3 ACCION USA Brand Identity Guide AUSA Communications March 2008 Lending. Supporting. Inspiring.
  14. 14. About the Brand Identity ACCION USA’s brand identity system is a set of consistent standards about when and how to use our institutional identifier elements, including our logos, taglines and messaging. The system protects and builds the value of ACCION USA’s identity and image by allowing the organization to speak with clarity, immediate recognition, recognition and impact in conveying messages to our many audiences audiences. Brand Components: – Visual Identity (Logos, Design Elements, Colors & Fonts) – Mission & Boilerplates 5 Part 1: Visual Identity Logos, Taglines, Colors, Logos Taglines Colors Typography & Suggested Design Elements Lending. Supporting. Inspiring.
  15. 15. Corporate Logos The primary ACCION USA logo is blue & gold (see “colors” for specifications) on a white background. Acceptable variations of this logo follow. When printing in single-color process, the AUSA may be presented in all blue. 7 Corporate Logos – Cont’d When printing in black and white, the logo may be presented in solid black When printing on a solid blue or black background, the logo may be presented in solid white. However, the blue/black must be utilized as a background design element, and not just as a box surrounding the logo. Acceptable Use 8
  16. 16. Corporate Logos – Cont’d Acceptable Use Logo Clearance Designers must allow vertical clearance on each side equal to ½ the height of the logo. Horizontal clearance on each side must equal ½ the width of the logo. 9 Use of AUSA Tagline The ACCION USA tagline (“Lending. Supporting. Inspiring.”) is to appear at least once on each collateral item. It may appear as an additional logo element, or as a separate design element in Times New Roman (True Type) or Goudy (PostScript), (PostScript) 301U Blue and on one line Blue, line. Lending. Supporting. Inspiring. Préstamos. Apoyo. Inspiración. The official tagline cannot be modified or replaced. Unique taglines may be created for tactical marketing campaigns, in which case a campaign-specific tagline can be created. These taglines must be visually separated from the logo so it is clear that it is not part of the official brand identity. 10
  17. 17. Co-branded Logo Usage For collateral related to initiatives in partnership with other organizations, co- branded use of the AUSA logo may be approved. Standard logo usage guidelines apply in full. In addition, effort should be made to use a color scheme and design elements that complement both organizational brands. Use of neutral colors such as blue or gray is encouraged encouraged. Co-branded logos may appear side-by-side or stacked, following logo clearance guidelines. Logos may not be combined or overlapped in any way, and must be approximately the same size. Acceptable use of co-branded logos: 11 Use of ACCION USA Website URL Promoting traffic to the ACCION USA Website is a primary marketing and communications strategy. Therefore, the URL for the ACCION USA Website,, must appear prominently and at least once on every print material. The main URL may be replaced with a “vanity URL” when a promotional item is specific to a sprcific campaign, program, or project. For example: 12
  18. 18. True Type Fonts True Type Fonts are employed in Arial desktop applications, such as Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur email, Word documents, etc. and are commonly available on all Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur computers. computers Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur Times New Roman Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur These fonts should be the only fonts Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur used by staff in internal and external Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur communications, including email. Arial and Times New Roman are the only acceptable fonts for internal and external staff communication including email, letters, other mail, documents, forms, etc. 13 Suggested Design Elements The ACCION USA logo and client photos will form the core of AUSA design elements. To add the sense of of “movement” a semi-circular element will be utilized around the AUSA logo and client photos, and within sections of blue. This also serves as a complement and reference to “O” of the ACCION USA logo. Please refer to the following references of existing uses of this design element (in addition to the design of this presentation), to be applied to all collateral materials going forward. AUSA Homepage 14
  19. 19. Examples of Core Design Element AUSA Email Header Letterhead Business Cards 15 Examples of Core Design Element Flyer Template 16
  20. 20. Part 2: Messaging Mission Statement Boilerplates & Abbreviations Statement, Boilerplates, Lending. Supporting. Inspiring. Mission Statement When presented, the ACCION USA mission statement must be presented as below, without modification to punctuation, word choice, or order. ACCION USA’s Mission Statement As a leader in U.S. microfinance, ACCION USA empowers low-to-moderate income business owners through access to capital and financial education. With economic opportunity, these entrepreneurs—often minorities and women—can build assets, better provide for their families, create employment and strengthen their communities. 18
  21. 21. Boilerplate Building off of the AUSA mission, the boilerplate is an expanded description of our organization’s vision, mission, services and impact. It may be used in any document where an organizational description is appropriate. When presented it must appear without modification. ACCION USA Boilerplate: ACCION USA is a leading U.S. microfinance organization that provides access to capital and financial education to low- and moderate-income individuals, primarily minorities and women. A pioneer and recognized leader in U.S. microfinance, ACCION USA empowers individuals to create sustainable businesses, increase family incomes, and contribute to the economic development of cities across the U.S. Since inception in 1991, ACCION USA has provided over $119 million in small business loans ranging from $500 to $50 000 offered nationwide via the $50,000, ACCION USA online lending platform. For more information about small business loans, visit Last Updated: 6/2/10 19 Messaging Affiliate Relationships Relationship of ACCION USA to ACCION International: ACCION USA was established in 1991 as the domestic arm of ACCION International, a global microfinance organization with the mission of providing people with the financial tools needed to work their way out of poverty. A world pioneer in microfinance, ACCION was founded in 1961 and issued its first microfinance microloan in 1973 in Brazil. Today, ACCION USA is an independent affiliate of ACCION International. Relationship of ACCION USA to licensees: ACCION USA serves entrepreneurs nationwide via direct lending offices, an online lending platform and four independent licensees – ACCION Texas (also serving Louisiana market), ACCION New Mexico-Colorado-Arizona, ACCION Chicago, and ACCION San Diego. Together, these organizations and ACCION USA form the U.S. ACCION Network the largest microfinance network in the US Network, U.S. with over $250 million lent since 1991. 20
  22. 22. Email Signature The signature below will be used by all AUSA staff members in outgoing emails. (Staff may use discretion regarding the most appropriate contact info to include) Font: Arial 10 pt Color: Gray John Doe | Financial Literacy Coordinator | ACCION USA | | Direct: (646) 833-0000 | Fax: (646) 834-0000 Lending. Supporting. Inspiring. As a leader in U.S. microfinance, ACCION USA empowers business owners with access to capital and financial education. 21 “ACCION USA” : Abbreviations & Translations Abbreviating ACCION USA: The only acceptable abbreviation (both verbally and in print) is “AUSA.” “ACCION” refers to ACCION International, and is an unacceptable abbreviation for ACCION USA. In print, the first reference to the organization must be presented in full, with the abbreviation indicated. Subsequent mentions may use the abbreviation. Example: “ACCION USA (AUSA) is located at 115 East 23rd Street. AUSA staff members are available… Translating ACCION USA: The ACCION USA name is not to be translated, as it reflects our organizational identity. Please do not refer to the organization as “Action” or translate as ACCION E.E.U.U. EEUU 22
  23. 23. Part 3: Staff/Volunteer Resources & Approval Processes Lending. Supporting. Inspiring. Staff Resources Templates: Located in Docs & Templates Drive, Read only – please do not modify! • PowerPoint: No other PowerPoint template may be used •Letterhead (Electronic & Print): No other letterhead may be used • Flyers (Publisher) •Fact sheet/form Communications: Please consider the communications department as a resource for document creation, modification, and template use. ti difi ti dt l t Laura Kozien, x1536,or Elizete Groenendaal, x1828 or 24
  24. 24. Approval Processes To maintain adherence to proper brand standards, all print documents or presentations that will be distributed to or viewed by over 25 external individuals must be approved by the communications department. This includes documents created by scratch and from templates including: • Letters • Email blasts • Flyers • PowerPoint Presentations • L di D Lending Documents: A li ti t Applications, ti sheets, etc. tip h t t Please contact Laura Kozien at for approval, providing your completed project. You will receive approval or revisions by the end of the business day (unless a different time frame is proposed). 25
  25. 25. Top 10 Social Media Activism Strategies Swing your social media activism into high gear and help ACCION USA spread the word about U.S. microfinance with our Top 10 Social Media Activism Strategies! But first, be sure to join ACCION USA on our social networks: Facebook: ACCION USA (nonprofit page) and U.S. microfinance – ACCION USA (Cause page) Twitter: @ACCION_USA Blog: FACEBOOK STRATEGIES 1. Invite Friends to join ACCION USA’s pages: help educate your friends about U.S. microfinance and help ACCION USA gain supporters. o Actively refer your own socially-minded network to the fan page using the “Suggest to Friends” feature. o Post ACCION USA’s page and Cause to your profile using the “Share +” button, located underneath the “Events” box on the left hand side of the page. 2. Share ACCION USA’s updates: Simply click the “Share” feature which appears at bottom right of every post or message displayed on the ACCION USA Nonprofit page to post to your friends’ news feeds. 3. Dedicate your status updates to ACCION USA: Here are some ideas for impactful status updates—we’ll leave it up to you to make them your own. o Share the link to our microsite, o Let friends know that you supported ACCION USA with a donation o Share our video (link) o Ask your friends to spread the word! Example: o “Microfinance: It’s not charity it’s a chance. Be an ambassador for ACCION USA and donate today! Help build YOUR local community one microentrepreneur at a time. ” ACCION USA – 115 East 23rd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010 | | (212) 387-0377
  26. 26. 4. Show your support by using the “Like” feature found underneath every post, comment and status update from ACCION USA. 5. Make ACCION USA your “Featured Cause.” When you become a member of Facebook Causes you will have the option of selecting ACCION USA as your featured cause which will mean it is displayed on your public profile. 6. Donate through causes. Your donation will be attributed to our holiday giving campaign, and your impact will be recognized on our cause page and shared with your community! You can also use causes to recruit people to join your campaign and become donors. TWITTER STRATEGIES 7. Tweet the link to Holiday Campaign microsite: along with our special holiday message. Ask your followers to retweet (RT) the message. o Microfinance: It’s not charity, it’s a chance. o Help build YOUR local community one microentrepreneur at a time. o Microlending its not charity it’s a chance and this chance starts with you and me.” (Extra credit: Tweet about us on #CharityTuesday and #FollowFriday!) 8. Use hashtags to spread the word! - Start an ACCION USA hashtag movement (#notcharity) - Add hashtags to your tweets about ACCION USA’s holiday drive. (Examples: #microfinance, #socent, #smbiz, #poverty) 9. Tweet @ACCION_USA when you make a donation. GENERAL STRATEGIES 10. Comment, comment, and comment some more! Give ACCION USA a piece of your mind on our Facebook wall, Cause page, and blog! Don’t forget our campaign slogan: Campaign slogan: Microfinance: It’s not charity, it’s a chance. This holiday season, build your local community one microentrepreneur at a time Questions or other ideas? Get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter! ACCION USA – 115 East 23rd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010 | | (212) 387-0377
  27. 27. Twitter Basics What is Twitter? Twitter ( is a “microblogging” and social networking site that serves as a platform for informal collaboration/networking and information sharing. The most basic action in Twitter is sending a “tweet”: a brief, 140 character update that is made public to all on Twitter, and seen by people following you or the topic you are discussing. You can send your own tweets, view others’ tweets, and send short, private messages to other Twitter users. How is Twitter different than Facebook? Like Facebook, Twitter is a site that allows for personal interaction with other users, content sharing, and networking. It lacks some of the more robust features of Facebook, such as email messaging, photo sharing, and detailed profiles, but makes up for it by being a quick way to obtain information on people and topics that you are interested in. Many Facebook users also use Twitter because it serves a different purpose: Facebook is a great way to stat in touch with people, but Twitter is a better way to stay posted on news trends, industry information, and more. On Twitter, there is less emphasis on having friends and being friends with people you know, and more emphasis on providing good information. (Ie. – its more “acceptable” to be in contact with people you do not know offline) How do I get started? 1. Open a Twitter account at 2. Navigate to the settings tab to define your preferences and upload a photo 3. Get tweeting! The way to earn “followers” is to just put your self out there! What should I tweet about? If you are tweeting for professional purposes, you’ll have a lot to say! Here are some ideas: - Disburse an interesting loan or meet an interesting client? Tweet it! - Traveling for work? Let people know where you are - See an interesting article? Share the link and say why people should read - Help promote ACCION USA’s workshops and news releases The Twitter platform makes no sense. What’s up with that? Twitter was originally designed to serve one sole purpose: to allow users to let people answer the question “What are you doing?” It was not created with the intention of becoming a go-to news source, networking platform, or chat room. Therefore, most users prefer to manage their account from a 3rd party platform. TweetDeck ( is a popular platform to help you manage your account. If you are intimidated by Twitter, TweetDeck will solve that problem and help Twitter make sense Here’s how to get started: - Visit and download and install the application - Once installed, visit the settings tab (wrench in upper right hand corner) to link it to your Twitter account. ACCION USA – 115 East 23rd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010 Phone: (212) 387-0377 Fax: (212) 387-0277
  28. 28. - Then, use the (+) tab to add search columns to your TweetDeck. Interested in following microfinance Tweeters? Add a column for the search term “microfinance.” Interested in reading Tweets from just your high school friends? Start a custom column and add your friends to it. - You can send, view, and monitor Tweets all in one place! I have no followers or people to follow – how do I get started? First, remember that Twitter is a useful tool even if you don’t have followers. People who are following the topic you are tweeting about will be able to view your Tweets. Likewise, you can follow topics and see tweets from people who you are not following. - The easiest way to get followers is to just start tweeting. People who are interested in what you are saying will start following you. Remember, it’s more acceptable on Twitter than on Facebook to have interactions with “random” people. - Second, use your TweetDeck to set up search columns for topics that you are interested in. When a Tweet shows up that you are interested, view the person’s profile, previous tweets, etc. and see if you’d like to follow them. If you do, go for it! You can always remove him/her later. - There are also tools to help you find people who you may like to follow. Twellow ( is the “Yellow Pages” for Twitter. Register there so people can find you, and use it to find more people that you may find interesting. How do I follow Twitter conversations? What’s the lingo? A Twitter “feed” (or list of Tweets) can be difficult to follow for beginners. Here are some tips: - Understand that tweeters are limited to 140 character phrases – abbreviations, skipped words, and improper grammar are acceptable! - @ indicates a Twitter “handle” or username. By including @ in a tweet, you are directly addressing that user. If you wanted to wish your friend (username:maryA) a happy birthday, you would tweet: @MaryA Happy Birthday! @ is also a way to recognize someone in a tweet. If you just had a great meeting with Cap1Bank and GreenBiz, you might tweet: Great meeting with @Cap1Bank and @GreenBiz, looking forward to chatting more! - RT: means “retweet.” A retweet is when a user forwards a tweet from a user. Example: ACCION_USA sends this tweet: RT @SalvationArmyBz: Microfinance can help Haiti | Radio Netherlands Worldwide This means that ACCION USA is forwarding SalvationArmyBz’s tweet about Haitian mictofinance. - # This is called a “hashtag” It signifies that you’re talking about a certain topic, even though you don’t mention that word in the tweet. When you include a hashtag in your tweet, it will show up for people who are following that topic. Ex: RT @SocialEarth Global Community Listens to the Voices of Microfinance: Vittana #socent ACCION USA – 115 East 23rd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010 Phone: (212) 387-0377 Fax: (212) 387-0277
  29. 29. This means that this tweeter wanted those interested in Social Entrepreneurship (#socent is the abbreviation) to see this tweet. See useful Twitter tools for resources on how to choose hashtags. - DM: this signifies a direct message. If you start your tweet with DM, it will be a private tweet between you and the recipient. (Set up a direct messages column in your tweet deck to manage) Useful Twitter tools: - TweetDeck ( Essential Twitter management tool – everyone must have this! - ( Allows you to shorten links to under 140 characters. If you register for an account, you can also track on how many people click on your link. - Twellow ( Twellow is the Twitter Yellow Pages, a tool that allows you to search for users you may be interested in following and allows users to find you. - Tagalus ( A tool for identifying hashtags that are currently in use. - Twitter home page On the bottom, there are lists of topics that are “trending” – or topics that are currently popular. These are good conversations to join! “Getting Good” at Twitter - Good tweeters always include links, when relevant, in their Tweets. This proves that you’re a good source of information! - Good tweeters RT (retweet) other’s tweets. You’re helping them spread their message, and they’ll help you in return. - Good tweeters use hashtags (#) to better integrate themselves in the twitter community - Good tweeters have a good mix of industry news, personal messages, and information sharing. Don’t be a “messaging machine!” Suggestions for Hashtags to use and follow: - #mifimon – Microfinance Monday – a weekly microfinance discussion group - #microfinance - #smallbiz - #socent – Social Entrepreneurship - Competitor searches – Grameen, Kiva, SBA, etc. ACCION USA – 115 East 23rd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010 Phone: (212) 387-0377 Fax: (212) 387-0277
  30. 30.                                                    
  31. 31.                                                               
  32. 32.                                                                                                                 
  33. 33.                                                                                                  