San Francisco Consumer Action

Consumer Education and Advocacy Since 1971

aka Consumer Action   |   San Francisco, CA   |  https://www.consumer-action.org

Mission

Through education and advocacy, Consumer Action fights for strong consumer rights and policies that promote fairness and financial prosperity for underrepresented consumers nationwide.

Ruling year info

1972

Executive Director

Mr. Ken McEldowney

Main address

57 Post Street, Suite 611

San Francisco, CA 94104 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-7172908

NTEE code info

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Citizen Participation (W24)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2021, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The pandemic-related challenges coupled with structural and systemic racism such as redlining, incarceration rates, health disparities, the racial wealth gap and other inequities make the COVID-19 outbreak deadlier and more harmful for low- and moderate-income consumers, rural consumers and communities of color. It is estimated that it will take these vulnerable populations six to 12 months, or more, to attain economic recovery.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Consumer Action Programs Overview

Consumer Action mission is to empower low- and moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers nationwide to financially prosper through education and advocacy. We engage in multilingual consumer education, community outreach and issue-focused advocacy efforts that promote consumer protections and economic justice for all. Consumer Action works on a wide variety of issues including privacy, telecommunication rights, fraud prevention, fair access to financial services, pro-consumer changes to the credit card industry, anti-predatory lending, civil rights and the needs of multicultural communities.

Core products and services include:
1. Consumer education materials published in multiple languages for underrepresented consumers.
2. Free multilingual national hotline that provides non-legal consumer advice and complaint referrals.
3. Educational materials, training and support for a national network of more than 6,000 community-based organizations.
4. Expert witness testimony before legislators and policy committees, advocating for underrepresented consumers.
5. Unbiased and well-respected surveys of financial and consumer services.
6. A comprehensive website (www.consumer-action.org) that includes consumer news, downloadable materials, an online “help desk,” and access to the Take Action advocacy database.
7. An online database of class action lawsuits, which enables consumers to join a pending action, make a claim or learn more about the case.
8. Collaboration with other non-profits and financial technology (FinTech) innovators on efforts to assess and improve financial health for underrepresented consumers.
9. Alliances with other consumer advocates and national coalitions to fight for urgently needed policies that ensure a more fair and inclusive economy for vulnerable consumers—particularly low-to-moderate-income and limited-English-speaking households.

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants
Undocumented immigrants

A web-based, free service allowing people to write and send emails to their representatives in Congress and state government. Consumer Action's [email protected] network of about 90,000 consumers receives regular advocacy alerts about anti-consumer legislation, regulation and consumer protection rules at risk.

Population(s) Served

This project provides publications, workshops, training tools and technical assistance to enable a network of nearly 7,000 community-based organizations (CBOs) to deliver in-language consumer and personal finance education to low-to-moderate- income and underserved individuals and families across the country.

Population(s) Served

Consumer Action established this project in the spring of 2019 in response to the pandemic. We have produced fact sheets and an online resource guide designed to help readers cope with financial fallout caused by COVID-19. Since May, we’ve conducted almost a dozen webinars for thousands of staff members from community-based organizations, who go on to share crucial financial recovery and resiliance information with their communities.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adults
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of website pageviews

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Seniors, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

According to Google Analytics, this is the number of pageviews on our main website.

Number of new website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Per Google Analytics for Consumer-Action.org

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Per Google Analytics for Consumer-Action.org

Number of return website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Per Google Analytics for Consumer-Action.org

Number of periodicals distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Free multilingual educational guides distributed. The lower figure represents our move to provide more digital publications.

Number of advocate or trained spokesperson citations in the media

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our spokespersons are regularly quoted in the mainstream and ethnic media.

Number of testimonies offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of testimonials featured in FT 2019 in our INSIDER newsletter feature, "What people are saying."

Number of training workshops

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our staff traveled to 21 different cities to conduct trainings, make presentations and staff exhibit tables at community events (FY 2019)

Number of customers reporting satisfaction with program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of people who responded to our hotline survey agreeing that their complaint was handled in a timely fashion (as of Nov. 21, 2018)

Number of people on the organization's email list

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of press releases developed and distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

FY ending 2019

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Consumer Action empowers low- and moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers nationwide to financially prosper through education and advocacy. In 2020, in response to the pandemic, we produced new fact sheets and an online resource guide designed to help readers cope with financial fallout caused by COVID-19. We’ve conducted almost a dozen webinars for thousands of CBO staff members, who share the crucial information with their communities. Meanwhile, our referral hotline has been bombarded with a record number of requests for advice, which we have responded to with suggestions and referrals.

As Consumer Action enters its 50th year, we have our work cut out for us. We must keep up the fight for policies that promote fairness and financial prosperity for underrepresented consumers and restore lost consumer protections. We must continue producing and disseminating timely, unbiased information that helps all consumers understand their rights, avoid scams, and make wise choices.

1. Consumer education materials published in multiple languages for underrepresented consumers.
2. Free multilingual national hotline that provides non-legal consumer advice and complaint referrals.
3. Educational materials, training and support for a national network of more than 7,500 community-based organizations from all parts of the U.S.
4. A comprehensive website (www.consumer-action.org) that includes consumer news, downloadable materials, an online “help desk," and access to the Take Action advocacy database and nine topic-specific sub sites.
5. Testimony before legislators and policy committees, advocating for underrepresented consumers.
6. Engagement with more than a dozen advocacy coalitions working to improve the marketplace for consumers.

Financial and consumer education materials empower underrepresented consumers to make informed decisions and assert their rights in the marketplace. Each year, Consumer Action distributes paper-based guides in five languages and thousands more are downloaded from our websites.

The national hotline provides consumers with an easily accessible information hub where they can receive one-on-one assistance, request educational materials and get referrals to complaint-handling agencies. Multilingual counselors handle hundreds of contacts (phone calls, email, and messages submitted at www.consumer-action.org) per month. In 2020 we responded to thousands complaints and communications to our hotline on a variety of issues, with the top five areas of complaint being: customer service, refunds/ overcharges, deceptive ads/offers, defective goods, and home construction/repair issues.

Materials, training and support services to community-based organizations (CBOs) ensure grassroots educators have the most updated consumer literacy tools and information for their constituents. During the pandemic of 2020, we pivoted to online webinars for CBOs. As of Nov. 30, 2020, a total of 2,473 people attended nine completed webinars and there have been 1,238 more views of these webinars on our YouTube channel.

Consumer Action supports a team of employees in Washington, D.C. By participating in legislative, regulatory, policy and coalition/campaign initiatives, Consumer Action's DC office ensures that underrepresented consumers have a voice in front of lawmakers and the national media. Each year, Consumer Action takes positions on dozens of bills at the state and national levels and submits comments and testimony on a host of consumer protection issues. We participate in dozens of national and state advocacy coalitions that amplified the voice of consumers on issues ranging from bank payday lending and for-profit schools that indebt and mislead students to unfair medical debt reporting and a proposed telecom merger that would harm low-income consumers. (See our annual report for a list of these coalitions.)

Updated daily, Consumer-Action.org and its subsites offer on-demand access to multilingual materials on dozens of consumer and personal finance topics, links to important consumer news stories and resources, answers to hundreds of frequently asked questions and the opportunity to participate in the legislative process by contacting elected officials. For FY2019-2020, Consumer Action’s family of eight websites drew 3,203,458 total pageviews by 1,194,441 users. Our main website, Consumer-Action.org (https://www.consumer-action.org/), claimed the greatest portion of the traffic, with 3,004,114 overall pageviews. On that site, the Class Action Database (https://www.consumer-action.org/law-suits/) page was the top draw, with 1,803,367 pageviews (60.03% of the Consumer-Action.org total), 1,009,657 of them unique.

1. Consumer education materials published in multiple languages for underrepresented consumers.
2. Free multilingual national hotline that provides non-legal consumer advice and complaint referrals.
3. Educational materials, training and support for a national network of more than 6,000 community-based organizations.
4. Expert witness testimony before legislators and policy committees, advocating for underrepresented consumers.
5. Unbiased special reports about financial and consumer services.
6. A comprehensive website (www.consumer-action.org) that includes consumer news, downloadable materials, an online “help desk,” and access to the Take Action advocacy database.
7. An online database of class action lawsuits, which enables consumers to join a pending action, make a claim or learn more about the case.
8. Collaboration with other non-profits and financial technology (FinTech) innovators on efforts to assess and improve financial health for underrepresented consumers.
9. Alliances with other consumer advocates and national coalitions to fight for urgently needed policies that ensure a more fair and inclusive economy for vulnerable consumers—particularly low-to-moderate-income and limited-English-speaking households.

Financials

San Francisco Consumer Action
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

San Francisco Consumer Action

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms Patricia Sturdevant

Attorney, private practice


Board co-chair

Ben Lau

Chinese American Service League (CASL)

Anna Flores

Nonprofit Executive

Irene Leech

Virginia Tech

Faith Bautista

National Asian American Coalition (NAAC)

Sue Hestor

Attorney, Private Practice

Ken McEldowney

Consumer Action

Rosa Gonzalez-Abrego

FEMA

Sue Rogan

Maryland CASH Campaign

Gail Sanders

Tower Federal Credit Union

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/15/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data