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As I reflect on where we are, the racial and gender wealth gaps reflect the legacy of laws often forgotten. The racist, misogynist, and immigrant scapegoating has found a new disturbing energy. And that energy will either slow progress toward equity and prosperity or it will create a sense of urgency to innovate and move forward. While thankfully, the hate is being rejected by many, the heightened fears are concerning.
How did we get here? 


Planning for AFN's 2019 Conference, Accelerating Ideas Into Action Conference in San Antonio, Texas, is well underway. Our energized planning committee  made up of members from across the country are leveraging your feedback from this summer's call for conference ideas to build a conference that  offers the session topics you want in a manner in which you want them delivered.  

Expanding Common Ground  is the consistent drumbeat you will hear throughout the conference.  We feel "expanding common ground" captures the notion that when it comes to almost every salient topic, but especially around the economy and racial equity, common ground can seem hard to find. But when it comes to asset building, common ground is attainable.

Mark your calendar. Don't miss the opportunity to network with the industry's top professionals and hear directly from the experts who have their hand on the pulse of ground-breaking research and are willing to share the strategies which are producing real results. 

Conference registration and more details will follow in the coming months.

Sponsorship:  Annika Little at;
General Inquiries:  Julie Morris at 


AFN'S Upcoming Connect and Learn Events

  • November 27, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (ET), Washington, DC:  in partnership with the  Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce (GIST), Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, Funders' Committee for Civic Participation, Neighborhood Funders Group's Funders for a Just Economy, and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees. 

  • December 5, 2018, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. (ET), New York, NY; Funder Exchange; Registration details in the coming months; Contact: Leah Mayor at


Great Lakes Midwest Region

Indiana Philanthropy Alliance Announces New President

Claudia Cummings, has been named Indiana Philanthropy Alliance's (IPA) next president and chief executive officer, effective January 1, 2019. Cummings brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to IPA. Cummings succeeds Marissa Manlov, who announced her retirement after 12 years at the organization.  READ MORE


Central Indiana Community Foundation Expands Vision to Include All

The Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), recently announced its new strategic vision that will help make Central Indiana a more equitable community where every individual has the opportunity to reach their full potential, no matter their place, race or identity. 

CLICK HERE to hear CICF's President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Payne's conversation on the outlook of the foundation


Indiana United Way's Study on Financial Hardship Helps Explain "Why?"

Indiana United Way just released an updated ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report, a study of financial hardship. The report outlines new measures, based on present-day income levels and expenses, that quantify the number of working people struggling financially in Indiana, and why.  READ MORE

Mid South Region

Coming Soon: Bank On Arkansas+ New Initiative To Expand Banking Access To Underserved Arkansans

Bank On Arkansas+, a special project of the  Arkansas Asset Funders Network , in partnership with financial institutions, large corporations, and community nonprofits in Arkansas will launch next month an initiative  to promote "safer" bank accounts that are free or low-cost and have no to low opening deposit requirements and no overdraft fees for Arkansans.  LEARN MORE
South Region

Report Shows Fines and Fees Drive Alabama's Racial Wealth Divide, Make Alabamians More Vulnerable

Alabama Appleseed just released a new report finds that many Alabamians sacrificed rent, food, medicine, and other basic necessities - and in some cases, resorting to crime - to pay down unnecessarily burdensome court costs, fines, and fees. READ the full report
Texas Region

Houston Immigrants Fear the 2020 Census

Bloomberg reported last week that Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner gathered with company CEOs, university professors, police officers, politicians and local judges to discuss a $6 billion problem they all have in common: the 2020 census. City officials and business leaders are worried about people like 21-year-old Ana Espinoza, a U.S. citizen by birth who lives with undocumented relatives.  READ MORE
New Census Data Paints A Dim Picture on Poverty

Most recently, U.S. News published, The Range of Poverty in America, on new data from the U.S. Census Bureaur that unveils  that growing up poor adversely affects children's health, their intellectual, and social development. It lowers earnings in adulthood, and reduces future tax revenues for the government while increasing government social spending. READ MORE
The Neighborhood You Grew Up Can Affect Your Future

The U.S. Census Bureau just released new research and a mapping interface that provides neighborhood-level information on children's outcomes in adulthood. The  Opportunity Atlas, a new interactive mapping tool that shows today's affluence and poverty back to the neighborhoods where people grew up. Parents incomes, race, and gender further shape results.

Explore the Opportunity Atlas to see where and for whom opportunity has been missing, CLICK HERE
Latest Results on CSAs Programs in the U.S.

Family Engagement Strategies in Children Savings Accounts (CSAs), a brief from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, outlines  the importance of engaging families to enroll in saving account programs, to save more consistently, and the future of family engagement with increased use of technology, mobile alerts, and innovate product designs to drive better engagement with children's savings accounts by families.  DOWNLOAD the full brief to learn more.
Job Growth Up, Wages Down 

The New York Times reports that the wage growth is down regardless of demographic or industry. Asset building is harder with less disposable income. READ MORE
Bezos To Start A $2 Billon Charitable Fund to Build Preschools and Help Homeless Families

The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will create a $2 billion charitable fund called the Bezos Day One Fund, to open new preschools in low-income communities and to help homeless families.  LEARN MORE
Prosperity Now's Financial Coaching Program Design Guide

Prosperity Now's new  "Financial Coaching Program Design Guide: A Participant-Centered Approach"  highlights the strengths and limitations of financial coaching, offers designs tools, showcases promising models and practices, and includes resources from the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF)  and other partners across the U.S. 

DOWNLOAD a PDF copy of the Coaching Guide!  For questions about the Coaching Guide, please contact Hiba Haroon at
Impact of Financial Coaching in the Workplace

Asset Funders Network (AFN) and the University of Wisconsin Center for Financial Security just released a report on how embedding financial coaching services into the workplace provides an effective model for expanding the scale to promote greater financial health for employees. This new research includes innovative approaches employers believe increase recruitment and retention while impacting employee financial well-being.
New Data: Federal Programs To Support Well Being Cut Poverty Nearly In Half Over Last 50 Years

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) utilized the federal government's
Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) and calculated that the poverty rate has fallen by nearly half since 1967, largely due to the growing effectiveness of economic security programs such as Social Security, food assistance, and tax credits for working families.  READ MORE
Threats to Medicare and Social Security in the Spotlight of This Midterm Elections 

The 2018 midterm elections are fast approaching and the threat of future cuts to Medicare and Social Security is being highlighted by senior advocacy groups as a defining issue in this election. READ MORE
Neighborhood Trust Selected as National Technical Assistance Provider

Neighborhood Trust, a nonprofit social enterprise and national leader in financial counseling, was chosen by the  Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund  (CFE Fund) to be the technical assistance and training provider to some of its partner cities in the U.S. offering free financial counseling . The CFE Fund is a nonprofit that partners with cities nationwide to improve the financial stability of their low-income residents.  LEARN MORE