10 Most Innovative Consumer Advocacy Groups of 2015

Alexandra Leslie
By: Alexandra Leslie
Posted: April 27, 2015
From big names to up-and-comers, BadCredit.org experts share their picks for the top resources in the personal finance industry.

In a nation that offers such a broad scope of social, political and economic opportunity, it would seem that advancement options should be available to all.

Yet so many Americans fall prey to the dangers of false advertising, fraud, predatory lending and damaging corporate policy.

Thankfully there are more and more advocacy groups emerging to fight for the rights and opportunities of consumers. Whether you’re looking for access to fair and reasonable housing or a trustworthy guide to products and services, these organizations are committed to the interests of your average consumer.

We’ve examined and evaluated some of the nation’s leading consumer advocacy groups in the U.S. and have honed in on the most original and noteworthy organizations.

Americans for Financial Reform

Americans for Financial Reform is a not-for-profit coalition of more than 200 consumer, business, labor, civil rights, community and faith-based groups dedicated to promoting a stable and ethical financial system. They serve the best interests of the nation and its economy through education, policy analysis and community outreach. The Huffington Post praised AFR as, “the leading voice for Wall Street accountability,” in Washington.

Social Clout: 5,685+ Facebook likes; 2,320+ Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @RealBankReform

URL: ourfinancialsecurity.org

Consumer Action

Consumer Action is a nation-wide, not-for-profit organization striving for the advancement and protection of consumer rights and literacy. Their consumer-oriented areas of advocacy range from credit and banking to health care and utilities. With a culturally diverse network of organizations including university contacts, credit counseling agencies, immigration services, government agencies, libraries and churches, Consumer Action is committed to consumers and their financial literacy.

Social Clout: 1,795+ Facebook likes; 1,615+ Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @consumeraction

URL: consumer-action.org

Consumers' Checkbook

Consumers’ Checkbook promotes quality products and services so consumers can make the best choices for their personal finance situation. The nonprofit consumer organization publishes a magazine called CHECKBOOK, which reviews and assesses prices and quality of local businesses. Consumers’ Checkbook is funded by private donations and subscriptions to the magazine, while the organization also publishes a bi-weekly newsletter called CarDeals and several national guides for health care.

Social Clout: 3,730+ Facebook likes; 395+ Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @checkbookorg

URL: checkbook.org

The Corporation for Enterprise Development

The Corporation for Enterprise Development is a leading resource for household financial security data, as well as policy solutions to help middle- to low-income families achieve their American dreams. The not-for-profit, nation-wide organization promotes social and political programs to facilitate the expansion of economic opportunity. By helping Americans build and protect their assets via home-building, higher education, saving or starting a business, The Corporation for Enterprise Development is creating a future of financial security for millions of American families.

Social Clout: 4,475+ Twitter followers; 2,660+ Facebook likes

Twitter Handle: @cfed

URL: cfed.org

Insight Center for Community Economic Development

Insight Center for Economic Development promotes and protects economic health for vulnerable, economically-detached communities through research, consulting and legal advocacy. The organization centers around the notion that increasing inclusion will increase productivity across all scales — individual, communal and national. Working toward consistency between morality and democracy, the organization strives for equal opportunity to financial wellness, quality education and affordable resources for security, such as health care and housing.

Social Clout: 420+ Facebook likes; 180+ Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @InsightCCED

URL: insightcced.org

National Poverty Center

The National Poverty Center is a nonpartisan research center established in 2002 at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. The organization conducts large-scale research endeavors, including the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study while also facilitating a system of training and mentoring for postdoctoral fellows and scholars. Through research grants and more than 200 working papers and policy briefs, the NPC promotes poverty research and data assessment with the support of nearly 200 research affiliates across the U.S.

URL: npc.umich.edu

Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity recognizes the detrimental consequences endured by families and children that result from disproportional economic statuses across the U.S. This economic advocacy resource seeks to minimize the effects of poverty on our nation’s well-being, the health care system and the moral values of our country. Those faced with lack of employment and the associated financial burdens will find support, information and advocacy from Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity’s commitment to reinforcing children and families struggling with the troubled economy.

Social Clout: 19.3K+ Twitter followers; 1,830+ Facebook likes

Twitter Handle: @povertynews

URL: spotlightonpoverty.org

West Coast Poverty Center

The West Coast Poverty Center unites a network of professionals, policymakers and practitioners in order to promote anti-poverty research and activism. As a 10-year-old resource, the Poverty Center provides mentoring to young scholars emerging in the anti-poverty field of study and is committed to providing outreach and advocacy within the community. The University of Washington founded the Poverty Center and now provides poverty-relevant insight via academic conferences, research projects and seminars for faculty and graduate students.

URL: depts.washington.edu/wcpc

National Low Income Housing Coalition

The National Low Income Housing Coalition focuses on the unequal distribution of decent, affordable housing in the U.S., provides advocacy for lower income families and brings its awareness goals to reality. Their Field Team deploys across the nation to promote fair housing policy, while their Communications Team frames low-income housing issues and highlights them for society. With a mission to preserve existing federally assisted housing, increase low-income housing supply and establish stability in the housing sphere, this coalition works tirelessly to promote equal housing opportunity.

Social Clout: 5,395+ Twitter followers; 4,720+ Facebook likes

Twitter Handle: @NLIHC

URL: nlihc.org

Class Action

Since 2004, Class Action has been providing a dynamic, safe space for discussion of all issues pertaining to class and classism. This nonprofit conducts workshops, presentations and interactive training sessions in order to offer education and outreach to the community. They serve as a voice for every race, cultural background and socioeconomic class standing and promote opportunity across social classes. Mor than 17,000 individuals and hundreds of organizations have been effected and moved by Class Action in the last decade.

Social Clout: 1,950+ Facebook likes; 1,165+ Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @ClassismExposed

URL: classism.org

Photo sources: facebook.com; twitter.com; ioer.ilsharedlearning.org; npc.umich.edu