On Friday, November 3, organizations from across the state of Michigan representing community foundations, nonprofits and local governments met to discuss the future of Children’s Saving Accounts (CSAs) in Michigan. CSAs are long-term savings or investment accounts that help children (ages 0-18) and their families, especially those from low-income families, build savings for the future. CSAs:
- Provide incentives to grow savings, such as initial deposits, savings matches or prize-linked savings and;
- are usually used for postsecondary education (e.g. college, vocational/technical schools), though other possible uses include homeownership and financing a small business.
Led by Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM), Barry Community Foundation and City of Lansing – Office of Financial Empowerment, the role of this consortium is to advance the field of CSAs in Michigan. The Consortium spent the day discussing how they can bring CSAs to their local communities, tackle asset building policy issues in Michigan and ways to support their local CSA efforts.
When asked why organizations were inspired to launch a CSA program, representatives mentioned that they feel CSAs are a tool to end generational poverty, give low-income families hope for their child’s future, combat the student loan crisis and create communities of caring.
A new report from Prosperity Now, Investing in Dreams, found the following CSA benefits:
The Michigan Children’s Savings Account (CSA) Consortium plans to host its next meeting in mid-February. Interested organizations that want to learn more or join the conversation happening right now about CSAs can contact Brian Rakovitis for additional information.