Platforms for Prosperity

The 2014 Assets Learning Conference will explore Platforms for Prosperity that move individuals and families from poverty to economic success and financial security. These platforms include proven and emerging asset-building strategies that are integrated into the places where people already spend their time, conduct business and get information and assistance:

WHERE WE LIVE: This platform includes both neighborhoods and housing systems. There are multiple systems, institutions and organizations that provide services and seek to maintain and improve the quality of housing and neighborhood amenities. These include community development and affordable housing systems and organizations. They also include government agencies and voluntary community organizations. These affordable housing programs provide tools for building wealth through homeownership creation, stable rental housing and matched savings accounts 

This platform includes all Pre-K programs, K-12 schools, community and four-year colleges that promote asset-building strategies. It also includes skills training programs that connect people to the entire range of education-based platforms, and even places like libraries and other places that serve as portals for information and education in the community. A key strategy in this platform is Children’s Savings Accounts which involve children and parents in financial education and savings activities, to connect families to financial management and asset-building tools and products. 

WHERE WE WORK: This platform includes all places of employment, from large anchor institutions to small mom-and-pop businesses and self-employment. Some places of employment provide significant platforms that can be leveraged to help connect individuals to the types of financial information, advice, products and services that can help- build and protect long-term financial security. Other places of employment are focused on fostering the long-term economic security of low-wage workers through more stable employment and higher earnings. 

This platform includes all financial institutions providing strategies that promote asset building and meet the needs of their market. Financial institutions serve a significant number of low-income households and are beginning to view these households as a long-term business opportunity while recognizing that asset-building programs can play an important part in building the long-term financial capability of these households.

 This platform includes small business and microenterprise programs and services designed to serve the financial needs of businesses at every stage of development. Small businesses and microenterprises are an important part of the American dream and they create more economic development and self-sufficiency for some sectors of the low-income population including women, minorities and formerly incarcerated persons. 

 This platform includes health systems that link to asset-building services in new and innovative ways. This is an emerging and critical approach to asset building because chronic illness, poor health, and inadequate health insurance are three major obstacles keeping low and moderate-income families from building their financial security. While it is unclear whether poor health leads to financial insecurity or the reverse, the correlation between the lack of health insurance (and poor health) and poverty is unmistakable. 

WHERE WE GET SOCIAL SERVICES: This platform includes integrated asset building and direct service delivery that builds appropriate levels of financial capability across a range of social service providers. Integrated program and policy strategies that support the development of financial assets, positive family relationships, personal and community health and the connections that individuals and families have to each other and their communities are becoming more prevalent as a promising way to provide a comprehensive approach to family strengthening.

Platforms for Prosperity Contest

We’re highlighting these platforms through a “Platforms for Prosperity Contest,” which will celebrate organizations’ outstanding achievement in asset-building practice, policy or research. The winning organizations in each platform will be spotlighted at the ALC, receive a complimentary conference registration and a monetary prize of $10,000 which will be presented at the ALC Awards Dinner. For more information on the Contest, click here.