We’re Just Getting Started: Beam’s 2022 Impact In Review

2022 was a banner year for Beam.
February 9, 2023

2022 was a banner year for Beam.

After years working with colleges and universities to optimize how they support basic student needs, we realized the potential to increase our impact. We started seeing that addressing the financial issues that plague students and keep them from reaching their goals is similar to helping people struggling to make ends meet in other areas. 

And, last year, that’s exactly what we did. Our flexible platform, impact-driven team, and mission can benefit all Americans, not just students. And so we rebranded to Beam. Now, we’re on a path to bring dignity to the social safety net. 

Current financial support application processes are outdated, difficult to use, and offer little transparency. Mitigating friction points across program outreach, application, verification, decision, payments, and reporting is a challenge not just faced by postsecondary administrators, but administrators across nearly all safety net programs. Yet, few existing systems treat program administration holistically through this lens. 

As inflation and the cost of living continue to rise, Americans rely on the social safety net more than ever – especially our most vulnerable communities. But administrative barriers to these programs have left billions of funds unused and exacerbated generational inequalities in the process. Access to these funds can determine if a family has enough food on the table, safe drinking water, or a roof over their head. In some cases, it’s life or death.  

In just one year as Beam, we’ve already begun to witness the impact of our end-to-end technology platform: 

  • Overall funding: $122 million
  • Overall applications: 39,716 applications submitted
  • Overall individuals supported: 43,554 
  • Average speed of application completion: 5 minutes, 35 seconds
  • Average speed from application to claiming payment: 22 hours, 2 minutes
  • Number of states operated in: 16

As we celebrate these milestones, let’s take a look back at the impact we made in 2022, and where we’re headed in 2023. 

Government Partnerships

Entering 2022, Beam had yet to launch its government-facing platform. We ended the year with $26 million distributed and served 121,000 individuals through our government partners.

Now, we’re in discussion with more than 60 local and state governments across the country, and we expect our government partnerships to triple in 2023. This means greater accessibility to rental and broader housing assistance, small business supports, child care subsidies, food assistance, guaranteed income style payments, and more. 

Our 2022 work included a partnership with the City of Baltimore for its Water4All water utility subsidies program. Our partnership is helping to address the city’s aging water systems, ensuring disproportionately-impacted Black residents have access to safe drinking water. 

(Still) Supporting Students

But we didn’t pause our work to support postsecondary students. It only deepened through our core mission, and we expanded our focus with initiatives geared toward specific underinvested populations, including student parents, transfer students, and K-12 students on the path to postsecondary.

For example, we allocated $143,400 of funding for 258 transfer students at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Students who received the emergency aid continued college at a rate of 220 percent greater than students who did not receive the aid. 

Looking Ahead To 2023

People shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to receive the funds they need to survive and thrive. This means our work at Beam is just getting started. 

The demand for digital government services is only getting stronger, and easy-to-use platforms will soon become the new norm when residents interact with governments, institutions, and philanthropies to access public benefits. 

We’re eager to deepen our efforts and expand our platform to address more nuanced and sophisticated elements of equity-minded social services. 

In the government space, this may look like community outreach initiatives, prioritization frameworks that center equity and impact, and interoperability across programs. In education, this may look like creating digital one-stops and comprehensive onboarding applications to ensure students can access various programs, like emergency aid, without having to apply to different applications across disparate departments. 

We need a social safety net that works for the people, and digital services are central to actualizing this mission. In 2023, we look forward to signing new partnerships, dismantling long-standing disparities, and ensuring the equitable and fast delivery of critical public benefits to our most vulnerable populations. Now let’s get to work.   

You can read our full impact report here.

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