Background Information on the Initiative Score
Initiative Score: Access to Capital for Families
David Henderson, FII’s Chief Data Officer, developed the Initiative Score as a supplemental criteria to measure reliability and initiative.
The Initiative Score is calculated using 70 different step functions that pull data from indicators of family well-being in four subscores; financial, social capital, health, and youth and family. The score is calibrated to reflect the familiar FICO (300-850) scoring range. The actual algorithm used is complex but the 70 step functions pull from 14 data sets and 55 data fields to create one Initiative Score.
In December 2017, FII began using the Initiative Score to allocate dollars to families from its UpTogether Fund. Each family gains access to a maximum of $1,200/year for two years after having been an active FII partner for six months. The amount available is based on their Initiative Score. As David shares, “Families earned these dollars through their initiative. We see that demonstrated through their monthly journal entries and UpTogether.org interaction; the Initiative Score measures it; and the dollars are available for them to draw down as they see fit.”
The Initiative Score is recalculated weekly and the effective score for families to access dollars is the maximum over each three-month window. The average Initiative Score for an FII family is 681 and 708 families nationwide are currently eligible for dollars. Read more
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