Monday, December 7, 2009

New National Guide for Donors Recognizes CCCS of Greater Atlanta as Foreclosure Prevention Leader

/PRNewswire/ -- In a newly-released national guide that identifies nonprofit organizations making the greatest difference helping people suffering in the current economic crisis, Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Greater Atlanta has been cited as a nationally recognized leader in effective housing counseling.

The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania recently published the guide, called "High Impact Philanthropy in the Downturn." The guide targets nonprofits that are preventing foreclosures, sustaining primary and preventive health programs and ensuring access to food. It provides descriptions of high-impact models for donors to fund, "cost per impact" estimates for each philanthropic opportunity, tips on finding and assessing local agencies and contact information for leading nonprofits.

CCCS of Greater Atlanta was cited as a "Model in Practice" for effective foreclosure prevention counseling in the investment guide. The guide says the nonprofit agency's low "cost per impact" is a major reason it is a model in foreclosure prevention counseling.

"The purpose of the guide was to identify where philanthropic capital could make a meaningful difference addressing the suffering caused by the current economic downturn," explained Katherina Rosqueta, executive director, Center for High Impact Philanthropy. "For donors focused on maximizing the social impact of their gifts, CCCS of Greater Atlanta's work represents great bang for the philanthropic buck."

In recognizing the Atlanta-based nonprofit, the guide says: "We estimate that it costs CCCS of Atlanta approximately $300 to keep one client in his or her home and avoid foreclosure activity for a year. By comparison, industry wide, the cost ranges from $500 to $3,800, based on the complexity of the issue."

The guide attributes several factors to CCCS of Greater Atlanta's strong "cost-per-impact" profile, such as its 45 years of experience working with people in financial distress; its strong commitment to data-driven decisions and investments in data management systems and its strong, professional culture that is reflected in its working relationships with mortgage servicers.

Suzanne Boas, president of CCCS of Greater Atlanta, said the agency is honored to be recognized by The Center for High Impact Philanthropy and hopes more homeowners will contact the agency to receive help to avoid foreclosure.

"We hope homeowners falling behind on their mortgage payments will not hesitate to call us to receive professional counseling at no cost," said Boas. "We realize that each and every homeowner is going through a difficult economic period and one of our housing counselors can help them understand all of their options, including how to avoid foreclosure."

In 2008, CCCS of Greater Atlanta answered more than 175,000 telephone calls from homeowners seeking to avoid foreclosure and provided foreclosure prevention counseling to more than 73,000 homeowners. This year, the agency anticipates that it will be provide foreclosure prevention counseling to more than 90,000 homeowners across the nation.

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