Budget Buddies Inc (Chelmsford, MA)


  • Name:Ms. Robin Toof
  • Title:Board Member

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Budget Buddies Inc
  • Address:14 High Street
    Chelmsford, MA 01824
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:978-703-0820

Organization Web

User Email


Click map for a full size active view.


  • Mission:
  • Budget Buddies builds the financial literacy, confidence, and security of low-income women in and around Lowell, MA through a unique six-month program that combines instructional workshops on budgeting, banking, credit, and financial confidence with personal, one-to-one coaching.

    By helping women in transition develop the skills and confidence to handle a variety of financial challenges, we encourage them to take charge of many other parts of their lives – such as improving their education, attaining better jobs, or purchasing a home.

    We partner with local non-profit agencies, instructors from area financial institutions, and a team of trained volunteer coaches to offer a series of programs that are customized to the individual needs of each agency’s clients.

  • Overview:
  • Budget Buddies seeks a $10,000 grant from the Lawrence Foundation to make our program available to additional groups of low-income women in the coming year.

    Our goal for FY2014, which begins July 1, is to serve 75 clients in eight programs at seven social service agencies. Each client will receive 8-12 hours of workshop instruction and another 12-15 hours of one-to-one coaching. Funds from the grant will help pay for designing and presenting the workshops and for recruiting, training, and supporting our volunteer coaches, workshop presenters, and program leaders. It will also help cover costs for program evaluation and educational materials.

    Mastering money management is particularly important for women, who are more likely to struggle financially during their lifetimes. Unfortunately there are few financial education programs that specifically help low-income women learn to manage their finances in a sustainable manner.

    In interviewing local social service agency caseworkers who assist low-income households, we learned that most financial literacy programs are based on workshop instruction alone and provide little or no ongoing, individualized follow-up to ensure that money-management skills are maintained. Although extensive follow-up is a known factor in helping clients adopt new skills and achieve true financial security, most case managers lack the time and resources to provide such important support.

    To bridge this gap, Budget Buddies developed a program that includes: 1) an introduction to basic financial terminology that helps women understand core money concepts, 2) classroom training designed to increase their money-management skills, and 3) one-to-one coaching to build on and personalize the workshop instruction and help participants stay on track for the long term. With the help of an independent consultant and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, we have developed a formal evaluation process to obtain feedback on the progress our clients make in controlling their finances.

    Program participants range in age from 20 to 70 and have varying degrees of education. Many are in transition, living in shelters or rent-assisted housing. Our programs are designed for small groups of 10 to 12 women, which allows for highly personal attention to their individual needs.

    Program graduates have indicated that they increased their financial confidence – both generally and in the specific areas of budgeting, banking, and credit. Evaluation results have shown that those who were the most confident were more likely to develop and stay within a budget. Clients graduating from our program say that they have also become more comfortable discussing their accounts with bank representatives, have learned how to save, and believe they can eventually pay down their debts and improve their credit.

    Follow-up surveys conducted one year after graduation by sociology students at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell show that participants generally maintained – and in some cases improved – their financial confidence and skills.

    Our funding strategy combines significant in-kind volunteer support with donations from individual donors, charitable foundations, corporate partners, and other community groups. Employees from local financial institutions (such as Enterprise Bank, Lowell Five, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, Northern Bank, and TD Bank) serve as coaches and in other volunteer capacities. We also recruit coaches through volunteer Web sites, local churches, and other community groups

    FY2013 funding includes: $26,000 in grants, (of which $15,000 was from the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation in Lowell), individual donations of more than $13,000, and $6,950 from corporate sponsors. For our FY2014 budget of $163,115, we expect 49% to be funded by grants, 12% by corporate sponsors, 10% by individual donations, 3% by fundraising, and 30% by in-kind services.

  • History:
  • Budget Buddies was founded in 2009 by Anita Saville and Kathy Brough – who are now the Executive Director and Director of Operations, respectively. Anita has written about women’s finances for more than 25 years. Kathy has played key volunteer roles with multiple non-profit organizations in our target area for nearly 20 years. For 12 months, Anita and Kathy researched the need for financial literacy in Lowell, speaking with case managers at many local agencies and holding focus groups with potential coaches and clients.

    In September 2010, we launched a six-month pilot program for clients from the Lowell Transitional Living Center (a local shelter) and the Chelmsford Housing Authority. With financial support from the Jericho Road Project, under a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the pilot program helped evaluate the Budget Buddies’ instructional model and obtain the concrete performance results needed for a sustainable organization. In recognition of this work, Jericho Road presented us with their Greeley Award for Excellence.

    In May 2011, we began a program with House of Hope, a shelter for homeless families (mostly women-headed) in Lowell. Having learned from the pilot program that some clients may need preparation for coaching, a readiness component (Budget Buddies Basics) was added to the core instructional program.

    We have since started four other programs at House of Hope and launched new programs at American MoJo, a manufacturing facility for low-income mothers; South Bay Early Intervention, a clinic for families of children with developmental needs; Girls, Inc., an after-school program for middle and high school students; Coalition for a Better Acre, which provides a wide range of activities for Lowell's Acre neighborhood; Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell; and the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services in Lowell, which serves persons with intellectual disabilities.

    Since launching Budget Buddies, we have brought financial education to 144 low-income women from 9 different social service agencies and trained 77 volunteer coaches.

    We received 501(c)(3) status in April of 2011. In April 2013, we received an award from the Center for Women and Work at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell for our dedication to economic justice for women.

  • Year established:2011
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:
  • Advisory board size:10
  • Staff size:2


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:90-0688545

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:900688545
  • Organization Name:BUDGET BUDDIES INC
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:% KATHRYN BROUGH
  • Organization Address:114 TURNPIKE RD STE 2D
  • Organization City:CHELMSFORD
  • Organization State:MA
  • Organization Zip:01824-3563
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:March, 2012
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:June, 2017
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:June
  • NTEE Code:P51
  • Asset Amount:$222,226
  • Asset Code:4 ($100,000 - $499,999)
  • Income Amount:$324,707
  • Income Code:4 ($100,000 - $499,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$321,548
  • Last Updated:3/17/2018 1:03:08 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.