Alpaugh Family Economics Center helps nonprofits explain their impact

Spotlight on advocacy, accreditation, other services to nonprofits

The Alpaugh Family Economics Center is likely best known for the economic education and financial literacy programs offered to teachers, students and parents. 

Its Susan Sargen Student Enterprise Program (StEP) helps teach thousands of elementary and middle school children in the Cincinnati area about budgeting, saving, and philanthropy. Its $martPath program includes a free online learning platform for kids in grades K-8 and an Emmy-winning video series that makes learning about money and finances fun for children across the country. 

But the academic programs are only half of what the center does. As part of its mission to do “Work That Matters,” the center conducts research for nonprofit organizations. These clients use the work to increase community awareness of their organizations and services offered, evaluate whether their objectives are being met and secure financing to advance their missions. 

A project with ChangingGears provides one example of how the center can help nonprofit partners use data to articulate their impact in the community. ChangingGears is a Cincinnati nonprofit that helps people escape poverty by helping eligible individuals obtain restored and reliable vehicles at half price with a no-interest loan. Empowering individuals through affordable transportation solutions can be life-changing in a place where owning a vehicle is critical to getting a job and staying employed. 

The Economics Center’s work showed how ChangingGears helped its clients improve their economic circumstances and illustrated the additional benefits to the broader community.

The center’s evaluation of the program revealed that ChangingGears served the needs of their clients by supplying accessible, affordable and reliable transportation. Overall, Changing Gears helped clients save nearly half a million dollars through February 2021. These savings average approximately $3,000 for each client – money that can be used for housing, groceries, savings  and debt reduction. 

The center also found that the programming was associated with more people becoming employed, clients earning more money and improved educational outcomes for children of ChangingGears clients. 

In addition to ChangingGears, the center has completed research on the economic mobility of Black women for the Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, analyzed Hispanic demographic and economic trends for the Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA, measured the impact of Black-owned businesses for the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky African American Chamber, quantified the economic benefits and impact of career technical education in Ohio for the Ohio Association of Career-Technical Superintendents and completed cost-benefit analyses for Dohn Community High School, Lighthouse Youth & Family Services and other organizations that serve the community.

Groups providing advocacy or other services

  • Alpaugh Family Economics Center
  • Mayerson Academy 
  • Human Services Chamber
  • Covington Business Council
  • Area chambers of commerce
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Green Umbrella
  • CityLink
  • Junior League

Read more about regional nonprofits who serve other nonprofits.