Asset Funders Network Newsletter
In This Issue
Asset Building News and Information
Webinar Recap
Upcoming Events: Open to All
Quick Links
AFN Steering Committee

nda Feinstein

Walter and Elise Haas Fund

Annika Little

Bank of America

Steering Committee

Dana Pancrazi

F.B. Heron Foundation

Kilolo Kijakazi

Ford Foundation

Merle Lawrence

Levi Strauss Foundation  

Benita Melton

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Laura Sparks 

Citi Foundation 

K. Sujata

  Chicago Foundation for Women 

Beadsie Woo

 Annie E. Casey Foundation

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Happy Holidays from AFN!


AFN Announces Membership Structure Beginning in 2012


December 2011  


Since its founding in 2005, AFN has focused on bringing asset building grantmakers together and providing access to the information they need to promote economic mobility and financial security for low-income families. In 2012, AFN will begins its 6th year with a commitment to increase the number of asset-building grantmakers, serve as a resource for information on promising practices and a convener of content experts and funders, and develop a policy education infrastructure.  


AFN has been and continues to be generously supported by a core group of foundations committed to the vision of building a network whose impact will be greater than the sum of its parts. However to realize AFN's full potential, a membership structure has been developed to support our activities going forward. We look forward to having you and your institution join us as a member of AFN in 2012!  


AFN Membership Structure


A. Sponsorships - Grants budget may be any size.

$50,001+: Champion Sponsors

$25,001- $50,000: Sustaining Sponsors

$10,000 - $25,000: Supporting Sponsors


B. Institutional Membership - Based on institution's current-year grants budget.


*Standard Institutional Membership

$750: Current Grants Budget is less than $5 million

$1,000: Current Grants Budget is between $6 million to $10 million

$2,000: Current Grants Budget is between $11 million to $50 million

$3,500: Current Grants Budget is between $51 million and $99 million

$5,000: Current Grants Budget is between $100 million and $500 million

$10,000: Current Grants Budget is over $501 million


*AFN/Regional Chapter Institutional Membership: Dual Membership Discount

Dues paying institutional members of an AFN regional chapter receive a 50% discount on an AFN standard institutional membership for that corresponding 12month period; discount renews each year regional chapter institutional membership is continued.


C. Individual Membership

$300: Staff and trustees at foundations that prohibit institutional membership.

For more information and the list of benefits associated with each membership level, contact Siobhan Mulvey, AFN Membership and Admin Coordinator, at

AFN 2012 Grantmakers Meeting 


Paving the Road to Financial Security


Paving the Road 


March 20th and 21st, 2012 

Houston, TX  

Draft Meeting Agenda 


Come and join your fellow grantmakers and friends in a series of conversations on grantmaking strategies needed to help families rebuild financial security.
The 2012 AFN Grantmakers Meeting is shaping up to be one of our most exciting to date. Come and:   

  • Talk with Dr. Michael Sherraden, founding scholar of the asset building movement, as he reflects on the 20-year Anniversary of his book, "Assets and the Poor";
  • Welcome our new microenterprise grantmakers (formerly of the Microenterprise Funders Group) who have recently joined the AFN family;  
  • Discuss how to promote sustainable homeownership, measure the impact of our work, take our initiatives to scale, work with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and respond to the Occupy Movement;
  • Network and learn from colleagues to inform your grantmaking.

Mark your calendars!


Please note, this meeting is for grantmakers only - thank you!


Please watch for the official meeting invitation with registration information and final meeting agenda.  


For more information, please contact AFN Director, Rick Williams, at

Asset Building News and Information
Munipical Financial Empowerment: A Supervitamin for Public Programs

Press Release and Report
New York City Department of Consumer Affairs' Office of Financial Empowerment

December 7th, 2011

The Department of Consumer Affairs' (DCA) Office of Financial Empowerment released Municipal Financial Empowerment: A Supervitamin for Public Programs. The report is the first in a series that documents early signs of successful impact of integrating financial empowerment and asset building strategies into core social services such as workforce development, homelessness prevention, domestic violence interventions, adult education, welfare to work, community courts, and more.  The report outlines the theory, early successes, lessons learned, and longer term implications for better and less expensive outcomes in social services as a result of integrated financial empowerment "supervitamins."   
Living Longer on Less Series: Rising Economic Insecurity Among Senior Single Women 

Research and Policy Brief
Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University and Demos

October 2011

Nearly half (47%) of all senior single women in America do not have adequate retirement resources to meet even their most basic needs for the remainder of their lives, and this number is rising. This distressing statistic is among the findings from a report released today by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and Demos,Rising Economic Insecurity among Senior Single Women, the latest in the Living Longer on Less series.

This report finds that rising housing expenses, fixed and inadequate household budgets, and very low levels of retirement assets are contributing to rapidly rising economic insecurity among senior single women.

Single women are especially vulnerable to economic insecurity in retirement due to the limited lifetime asset building capacity many women face, driven by the persistent wage gap, high levels of part-time work and ineligibility for retirement benefits, as well as extended periods out of the labor force due to family care-giving duties. Social Security is especially vital to the economic security of women. Policies that strengthen Social Security for vulnerable populations in conjunction with job creation and asset building opportunities across the life-course can help reverse the rising economic insecurity of today's senior single women.

Download full brief.
Learn more about the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and Demos.
Assets for Independence Announces Grant Application Deadlines and Webinar Series for Prospective Grantees

December 2011

The Assets for Independence (AFI) Resource Center invites all non-profit organizations, qualified state and local governments, community development credit unions, community development financial institutions, and other community-based organizations to apply for AFI grants this year.  The next round of AFI application due dates are: January 25th, 2012, March 26, 2012, and May 25, 2012.  
The AFI program provides funding to eligible organizations to provide Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and related supportive services for qualified individuals in their area. Each participant opens an account and receives matched funding from the federal government and another source. The funds can be used for furthering education, purchasing a home, or starting a business.  To date, nearly 80,000 families participating in AFI-funded projects across the nation have used their IDA savings to acquire a long-term asset and are on their way to long-term economic success.  In addition to the IDAs, typical grantees also provide participants with money management training, assistance resolving credit and debit issues, and other supports.
Webinar Series for Prospective AFI Grantees
The AFI Resource Center hosts a series of webinars featuring an overview of the AFI program and application process; suggestions for developing strong projects; and strategies for building partnerships with community organizations for bigger impact.  You will also have the opportunity to participate in interactive question and answer calls to receive answers regarding your specific project design questions.
Register online now to participate in these interactive calls to learn more about AFI application requirements and procedures.

*Tuesday, January 10, 2:00 p.m. Eastern: AFI Program Overview and Grant Application Process
*Thursday, January 19, 2:00 p.m. Eastern: AFI Questions and Answers
*Tuesday, February 14, 2:00 p.m. Eastern: Tips for Developing Resources and Partners for AFI Projects
*Tuesday, February 28, 2:00 p.m. Eastern: AFI Program Overview and Grant Application Process

To register and learn more about the webinar series visit the AFI Calendar of Events online:

Contact the AFI Resource Center for technical support with your application at: or 1-866-778-6037. 

Visit the Resource Center website at: for more information on the Assets for Independence program, Individual Development Accounts, and other asset building strategies. 
Webinar Recap

Assets and Opportunity Scorecard: new data on strength of state policies; ideas for a 2012 agenda 


CFED Webinar

November 17th, 2011 


On November 17, about 200 advocates, service providers, funders, financial institutions, academics and government agencies across the country joined us for a webinar on the new Assets & Opportunity Scorecard policy data and just-released guide, With a Stroke of a Pen: Two Dozen Low-cost, Politically Viable State Policy Ideas to Increase Financial Security and Opportunity in Tough Fiscal Times.

The webinar covered three topics:

  • The strength of 12 policies that help families build and protect assets in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Trends and policy highlights from the 2011 legislative session.
  • A number of "stroke-of-the-pen" policy options that states can pursue during tough budget times.

Three speakers presented and answered questions during the webinar: Jennifer Brooks (Director, State & Local Policy), LeElaine Comer (Senior Manager, State & Local Policy) and Kasey Wiedrich (Senior Program Manager, Applied Research).  


Download webinar recording and presentation slides.  

Learn more about CFED. 

Upcoming Events - Open to All 


National Academy of Social Insurance's 24th Annual Policy Research Conference 


Social Insurance in a Market Economy: Obstacles and Opportunities

January 26th-27th, 2012

Washington, DC


Social Insurance in a Market Economy: Obstacles and Opportunities 

conference will be an interdisciplinary gathering of several hundred policy analysts and researchers, congressional staff, labor union representatives, advocates, industry leaders, federal employees and other individuals working in the field of social insurance. You will hear the latest developments in the social insurance field from a range of policy, research, advocacy, and business leaders.


Find out more and register. 

Learn more about NASI. 

Child and Youth Finance International Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony

Reshaping the Future of Finance

April 3rd and 4th, 2012
RAI Convention Center
Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Child & Youth Finance International Summit and Awards Ceremony is the first event to bring together children, youth and senior level representatives from across various sectors on the topic of financial inclusion and ChildFinance education for children and youth. During a special Children and Youth Meeting on April 2, 2012, children and youth will meet to voice their opinions for shaping the ChildFinance Movement. At the Summit they will bring their recommendation they will have the chance to engage directly with policy-makers on a level footing to share their views on ChildFinance.

At the Summit, thought leaders and international experts from across various sectors will come together to address the financial issues that most deeply affect the lives of children and young people. Meeting participants will share commitments, efforts and innovations in bringing ChildFinance to 100 million children in 100 countries by 2015. The Summit will also feature an awards ceremony to recognize achievements and efforts in financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, financial education and global promotion of the topic.
Rick Williams
Asset Funders Network Director