Interested in Creating a CSA Program? Here’s How to Get Started
In December, the Los Angeles City Council approved a contract with Prosperity Now to help develop a Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program for the nation’s second-most populous city. The program, when fully implemented, will open a savings account for every first-grade student in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Over the course of the year, we will provide high-touch technical assistance (TA) to LA, including facilitating stakeholder meetings, conducting research, developing program materials and holding regular check-ins with key partners. While we wish we could offer this level of TA to all aspiring CSA programs, we are limited by time and resources. However, if you’re thinking about starting a CSA program in your community, we have plenty of tools and resources available to help guide you through initial planning and design.
To get you started, here are some typical questions and the available resources for addressing them:
I’ve heard of CSAs, but I don’t know much about them. Where should I start?
Investing in Dreams: A Blueprint for Designing Children’s Savings Account Programs: Prosperity Now’s CSA design guide, is a step-by-step manual that helps walk you through each of the major CSA program components. There are also links to fillable worksheets as well as online tools, such as a budget calculator, to help design a program from scratch.
How do I find out if there are other CSA programs located in my area?
CSA Directory: The CSA directory contains a map of CSA programs across the country. Organizations that are interested in CSAs may find it helpful to look up programs in their state or surrounding area. Contact information and basic program details are listed when you select a program on the map.
I’d like to make the case to potential funders. Where can I go for research on CSAs?
Fact File: Scholarly Research on CSAs: This fact file provides key findings of CSA research as well as the corresponding reports and peer-reviewed articles that support the findings.
I want to talk with policymakers about creating a CSA program in my city or state. What are some talking points I share with them?
State and Local CSA Overview: This document provides basic information on how CSAs work, describes their potential impact on children and families and offers information on how to launch a city or state level program.
How can I continue to receive regular information on CSAs?
Join the Campaign for Every Kid’s Future: The Campaign helps CSA supporters and advocates stay informed of the latest developments in the CSA field through a bimonthly newsletter containing the latest news clips, reports, webinars and event listings. The website also includes resources and sample documents from programs, researchers and advocates across the CSA field.
We hope that these resources are helpful to you. If you have additional questions after reviewing the documents, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prosperity Now is committed to helping the CSA field continue to expand and grow in the coming years.