Why we compensate our clients for their stories

In 2024, Clarifi began compensating clients for sharing their stories. We publish client stories in blog posts, newsletters, annual reports, on social media, and in other communications. These accounts are vital to demonstrating the impact of our work.

An important distinction: We aren’t paying clients to get stories. We are compensating people for their time.

Prior to this compensation process, clients willingly spoke about their Clarifi experiences without payment. Their stories are necessary to show the impact of Clarifi’s mission and bolster our outcomes data, but they often have limited resources to share their stories. Many of our clients have kids and other caregiving responsibilities, heavy workloads, and long commutes. The 30 to 90+ minutes required for an interview (with photographs and sometimes video) is a substantial commitment on their part. This compensation serves as reimbursement for a client’s time and emotional labor.

Our new compensation process reflects Clarifi’s commitment to equity and our values of justice, community, and integrity. It is also part of our fast-growing integration of direct capital into our service deliveries. When clients receive cash payments combined with our certified financial counseling, they can better prevent future financial emergencies while increasing long-term wealth gains. 

Over the last few years, we’ve interviewed, filmed, and photographed dozens of clients, documenting their financial challenges, homeownership journeys, and the Clarifi services they used to achieve their goals and become financially resilient. They have graciously shared some of the most difficult moments of their life, from being incarcerated to facing eviction and escaping domestic violence.

We will continue to honor our clients’ voices and ensure they have the resources to thrive financially. Our compensation process is now part of that purpose.