CAA Executive Leadership
Presentation on IDA Strategies
Capital Area Asset Building Corp.
July 21, 2005
n Discuss challenges that are common
among IDA practitioners
n Discuss ways to overcome these
challenges (or at least minimize them)
n Encourage creativity in program
design, partnership development, and
n IDAs are “cumbersome”
n IDA programs are labor and resource-
n IDA programs are expensive and
difficult to operate
n IDAs are not scaleable
“Stuck in the Model”
n Conventional wisdom often prevents
the development of new/better
methods of program delivery.
n In some ways, these critiques become
self-fulfilling. (We’re told that IDAs are
costly and cumbersome, so we take it
as a given and replicate the model.)
Keeping the Baby
(but not the bathwater)
n The combination of money management
training/counseling and financial incentives to
encourage saving is extremely powerful, and it has
a ripple effect (on individuals, families &
n Economic development strategies that have
quantifiable ($) impacts have broad appeal.
n IDAs/asset development stands out as an
antipoverty approach that has bipartisan appeal.
n Though particular funding sources are restrictive,
there are numerous ways to fund IDAs.
n Likewise, there are countless ways to deliver IDAs.
What does it take to debunk
n Creativity & flexibility
n Ability to see and develop mutually
beneficial partnerships (across sectors)
n Insistence on having the right tools and
resources to manage effectively
n Ability to set priorities and evaluate
n Commitment to evaluation and continuous
n Look beyond traditional funding sources
(AFIA, private foundations)
– 83% of charitable giving comes from
individuals. How can you reach them?
– Incorporate elements that will attract CRA and
private sector funding (e.g. retirement savings,
n Look beyond traditional asset uses
(transportation, day care, health care,
debt reduction) to meet needs of target
n Combining two programs to strengthen the
performance/outcomes of each.
1. IDAs and Habitat for Humanity in tough housing
2. Partnering with Citibank Bank at Work program to
reach new populations and introduce IDAs to
3. Partnering with credit counseling agency for post-
counseling referrals (to get clients who have paid
down debt and are in a better position to save.)
Getting the Necessary
Tools & Resources
n Data management software
n Online banking access
n Marketing materials (for IDA
recruitment and fundraising)
Setting Priorities &
n Do you have a demographic or geographic
n Are all asset goals equivalent?
n What are your numerical targets? How can you
n Does your target population fit within eligibility
guidelines for various funding sources?
n Do your priorities match your funders’
n Are there city or state initiatives that you can
link up with?
Commitment to Evaluation
& Continuous Improvement
n What’s working? What’s not? Can you
achieve similar results with fewer or less
n Create a formal process for evaluating
partnerships and outcomes (at least
n Be aware of changes in the environment;
look for liabilities and new opportunities.
n Be honest with your funders; don’t commit
to unrealistic goals.
Be a Change Agent!
If you believe in the effectiveness of
IDAs, don’t let conventional wisdom
hold you back. If your current
program model isn’t working,
change the model.
Capital Area Asset Building Corp.
1801 K St. NW, Suite M-100
Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 419-1440