In 2015, CFED and its partners committed to launch a Campaign for Every Kids Future that will help 1.4 million children receive a child savings account (CSAs) by 2020 on our path to one day ensuring every child has an account. To achieve this, CFED will provide technical assistance to local and state agencies in designing and supporting programs, case-making materials and other support to legislators to push through new childrens savings initiatives, support advocacy efforts of local organizations and leaders in the Assets and Opportunity Network (a network of advocates, practitioners, policymakers and others working to expand the reach and deepen the impact of asset-based strategies such as CSAs), and support programs in raising matching dollars through the 1:1 Fund on-line platform. To reach the goal, the Campaign will need to support successful programs in 25 cities or states across the country.
This Campaign cannot be successful without the program implementers, and account providers supporting these accounts on the ground. CFED and its partners believe that every child in the United States should have a childrens savings account in his/her name, for an asset-building purpose, with matches and/or incentives to help the account grow. In order to get there, CFED is simultaneously building a groundswell of large-scale local and state level, publicly-supported initiatives while also building support at the federal level for a national CSA program. With this strategy, 1.4 million children could have an account by 2020.
To reach these goals, we will conduct the following activities to gain the attention of potential local and state program implementers and support their program development and success in the long-term:
- Publish a comprehensive program design guide (2015)
- Produce 2-3 tools on program design and implementation for the field each year, such as tools for budgeting, tracking matches, or other resources that help program administrators design and run effective programs.
- Develop an advocacy toolkit and other resources for advocates (2015-2016).
- Produce and disseminate at least two policy briefs per year.
- Target six to eight cities or states annually for outreach on CSA advocacy.
- Support 2-3 on-line convenings per year.
- Hold two national conferences between 2015 and 2020 convening the field in-person.
- Put 2-3 new programs per year onto the 1;1 Fund platform to raise matching funds.
- Provide direct technical assistance to at least four new or existing programs per year.
- Conduct annual congressional briefings.
- Introduce CSA legislation at local, state, and federal level (on-going)
- Support rigorous program evaluations
We can track implementation progress by marking the number of large-scale, publicly-supported programs that are running as well as the number of accounts that have been opened. As of the end of 2014, there are 165,000 accounts that have been opened. Annual, year-end targets are as follows:
2015: 9 programs; 245,000 total accounts
2016: 12 programs; 375,000 total accounts
2017: 15 programs; 555,000 total accounts
2018: 18 programs; 790,000 total accounts
2019: 22 programs; 1,090,000 total accounts
2020: 25 programs; 1,420,000 total accounts
Over 1.3 million American childrenand more than half of minority childrenare born each year into families with negligible savings to invest in their futures. Less than 10 percent of low-income kids will finish college by their mid-20s. Research indicates that low- and moderate-income children with college savings of just $500 or less are three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate. Moreover, family ownership of assets can give children a transformative sense of possibility and hope for the future. If we want to ensure that more children achieve post-secondary educational success, we have to close this financial and aspirational gap -- Child Savings Accounts (CSAs) accomplish this.
CSAs are long-term asset-building accounts that are established for children as early as birth and are allowed to grow over their lifetime. Accounts are seeded with an initial deposit and are built over time by contributions from family, friends and the children themselves. Accounts are augmented by savings matches and/or other incentives and gain meaning as young accountholders and their families engage in age-appropriate financial education. At age 18, the savings in CSAs are used to purchase an assettypically tuition for higher education.
Cities and States Partners: We are looking for cities and states that want to ensure an educational opportunity for their citizens sign up to implement a childrens savings account program. CFED can help these communities design the program for maximum impact and connect them to program implementers and other researchers taking part in the Campaign for Every Kids Future.
Financial institutions: We also seek financial institutions interested in providing these critical accounts.
Media partners: Media coverage of the campaign and the value of providing an account for children in the ways it changes expectations about going to college and how it is changing the likelihood not only that children will enroll in but also succeed in college will be critical to creating a groundswell of support for these accounts.
Philanthropic and private funds: Finally, philanthropic and private sector support for matching dollars for children, for Program Implementers, and to support CFEDs program design support, will be critical.
Technology partners: Program implementers are seeking partnership with technology companies who can help scale these CSA programs and increase efficiencies.
For organizations that sign on to the Campaign for Every Kid's Future as program implementers, CFED will provide support in policy and program design, building local support, and in raising matching dollars through the 1:1 Fund