Social development, economic security, and general welfare are not determined at a particular moment in time; rather, they unfold over time. This means we need to complement policies aimed at alleviating immediate hardship with ones that create meaningful opportunities for families to move forward in their lives. Yet public policy often fails to provide sufficient pathways for households with low incomes and few resources to accumulate the savings and assets necessary to support the social and economic development of children, families, and communities.
The power of assets is not just that they can be deployed productively or tapped to weather unexpected events, but they have behavioral effects that can change the manner in which people think about and plan for the future. The mission of the Asset Building program is to significantly broaden access to economic resources through increased savings and asset ownership, thereby providing families with enhanced economic security, a direct stake in the commonwealth, and the means to pursue their aspirations.
The Program incubates promising policy proposals and serves as a leading voice on innovative public policies to enable low- and middle-income families in the U.S and around the world to accumulate savings, access wealth-building financial services, develop financial capability, and build and protect productive assets across the life course. We aim to provide context and meaning to the assets perspective and ensure that this perspective is strategically and constructively inserted into a wide array of social policy discussions. Through informed analysis, expert commentary, innovative policy development, and promotion of an elevated public discussion, we are building a policy culture that unambiguously supports increased saving, financial security, and breaks.
The Asset Building Program has received generous support from the following organizations: The Ford Foundation, The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Citi Foundation, and The Mastercard Foundation.