Nevadans Come Together to Create a Culture of Savings

At SaverLife, we’re shifting the narrative and changing the culture around saving. Two years ago, SaverLife launched a small, local campaign with the goal of empowering Bay Area residents to start a savings habit. The campaign’s resounding success caught the attention of Nancy Brown in Reno. Nancy, a long time advocate of savings and the Managing Director of Community Development at Charles Schwab Bank, reached out to her colleagues at the Nevada Bankers Association and EARN. “Let’s do this in Nevada!” she said. Phyllis Gurgevich, President and CEO of the Nevada Bankers Association, was immediately inspired by the idea of bringing together her member banks in support of savings. Knowing that nearly 31% of Nevadans make less than $35,000 a year, she said, “having a savings cushion for unexpected expenses is the first step to financial security.”

So we got to work. Nancy and Phyllis, along with colleagues Connor Cain of McMullen Strategic Group and Elaina Mule from Charles Schwab Bank worked tirelessly with EARN to leverage the power of a tight-knit community in Nevada to transform the savings landscape.

We wanted to be first to launch a statewide savings campaign. For months, we met weekly to set up the campaign, committing ourselves and our colleagues to creating a culture of savings in Nevada – or as we all came to know it – SaverLife Nevada.

Last September, we launched SaverLife Nevada. Our simultaneous launch events in Reno and Las Vegas included testimonials from multiple sectors, including Savers from Nevada. Tony Chopp, from JPMorgan Chase, spoke of his family’s personal experience “overcoming the struggle and the grind” through his mother’s disciplined savings habits to afford a better life for her family. Other launch event speakers included Senator Yvanna Cancela, Senator Scott Hammond, Senator Julia Ratti, Nevada Commissioner George Burns, Brian Cook of Charles Schwab, and leaders from the United Way of Southern Nevada and Northern Nevada and the Sierra. It was truly inspiring to see the community come together to promote savings.

The impact so far is incredible. The Nevada Bankers Association led the way, building relationships with 11 elected officials to endorse the campaign and 30 community-based organizations to join the SaverLife Nevada network. Through advertising, social media, media, and a lot of community outreach, 850 people have signed up and set aside over $140,000 toward their financial futures. SaverLife Nevada continues to promote the culture of saving through advocacy, speaking to the Nevada Task Force on Financial Security to share the positive impact of SaverLife Nevada to legislators.

Beyond the numbers are the inspiring stories from Nevada Savers. Like Saira from Las Vegas, a single mother of a four-year-old son, who saved her tax refund after joining SaverLife. Her savings mean she doesn’t “have to worry if something happens because I know I won’t have to rely on a credit card or dip into the money I need to pay for school.”

Olga, a working mom in Reno, got “hooked” on saving after winning a $25 prize with SaverLife. She says that saving, “has made me feel more free and independent.”

The SaverLife Nevada campaign is continuing to gain momentum with new Savers, funders, and partners joining the movement. Want to help create a culture of saving in Nevada? Reach out to Lynley (lynley@earn.org) or Phyllis (phyllis@nvbankers.org) at the Nevada Bankers Association to learn more!

Lynley is EARN’s Partnerships Associate. She works to create and maintain strong partnerships with nonprofits, banks, and other organizations interested in helping individuals save and accumulate assets.