This article defines, provides examples of, and offers important tips and best practices for requests that are financial in nature. Our goal is to help agency workers submit the most impactful requests that are likely to get a response.
Financial Requests in CarePortal are defined as being focused on the need for some kind of payment (or portion of a payment) to be made on behalf of a family in crisis. No items or services are being requested that a responder may be able to purchase, deliver, or provide themselves. The only way for the request to be met is for cash to be given to a third party organization.
Examples of Financial Requests include:
- Utility bill assistance
- Rent assistance
- Court fees assistance
- Car note or insurance payment assistance
Important Tips & Best Practices
1. Consider Whether Goods & Services Can Offset the Needed Amount(s)
In some cases, it may work for tangible goods and services to be requested instead of financial assistance, which could free up the cash in the family's budget to pay the amount(s) they owe. Since requests for goods and services typically have a higher response rate through CarePortal than financial requests, this should be the preferred approach if possible.
2. Touch Base with Your Agency Rep to Understand Policies & Limitations
Your agency may have an agreement in place for financial requests with the local CarePortal network leader(s) that limits the dollar value or frequency of these types of requests. It's important to check with your Agency Rep to better understand how your request may affect the balance and expectations of the network's responding partners.
3. Verify the Family's Claim
The credibility of CarePortal requests rely heavily on the validation and approval of agency workers. If a church or community responder offers to help and, in the process of offering that help, discovers details that undermines the legitimacy of the request, they will be less likely to want to respond to more requests. This is true for all CarePortal requests, including for tangible services, but it is most sensitive when the request involves financial assistance.
4. Proactively Answer Common Questions in Your Request Description
To increase the chances of a request receiving a response, it helps to use the "Story/Case Description" field to genuinely advocate for the family and thoughtfully address some of the common questions potential responders would wonder, such as:
- Will the family be back in this situation next month and, if so, is there a plan for that?
- Has the family contributed anything to the need themselves?
- What verification have you done to confirm the need?
- Will a partial amount of what you're requesting help achieve the same desired result?
5. Have Confirmed Payment Details Ready
When someone offers to help on a financial request, it's important to have the web site, phone number, account number, etc. ready to give them. If you are unsure how the payment process will work, it's recommended that you call or explore this ahead of time to help set the responder's expectations for what kind of questions or prompts they will encounter. In cases where only cash is accepted (such as "handshake" lease agreements), CarePortal is not a viable option to seek assistance for the family.