Mat Despard’s research focuses on the financial security of low- and moderate-income households, including tax-time savings, workplace financial wellness programs, credit, and financial services, as well as the capacity and performance of non-profit organizations serving these households and communities.
He is currently leading a project at the Center for Social Development, studying workplace financial wellness interventions for low- and moderate-income (LMI) employees. The project examines workplace benefits such as credit building, financial coaching, and small-dollar installment loans to discover how they are implemented and whether they make a difference for employees and employers. He is also part of the Refund-to-Savings team examining tax-time savings and a range of household financial security topics to better inform policy and practice.
Despard has several years of graduate teaching experience in financial social work, nonprofit management, community practice, and social policy, as well as practice experience with nonprofit organizations serving LMI households. He is also a faculty associate with the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion at the University of Michigan and is a co-chair of the Policy Task Force of the Financial Capability and Asset Building for All Grand Challenges Initiative.
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