FUNd My Future, a Children's Savings Account (CSA) program started by Propel charter schools in Pittsburgh, is now available to students throughout Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located. This program aims to enable children and their families to take practical steps that transform aspirations into reality and build confidence in the future as part of a citywide savings movement.
Research shows that children from financially vulnerable families who have as little as $500 saved for college are three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate than children without any college savings.
Commonwealth first became involved in FUNd My Future in 2014, when we assisted Propel charter schools in developing their program – including prize design, marketing materials for families, legal barriers, and more. Following the success of that program, we again partnered with Propel, the CIty of Pittsburgh, and various community organizations to expand the program across all of Allegheny County.
In order to ensure success of the program, we helped the stakeholders involved to understand what types of roles and actions were necessary to run a successful CSA program and suggested who should play these roles in Pittsburgh. We also conducted extensive research into financial institutions and bank products in the city in order to recommend bank partners, and recommended a program infrastructure. We then brainstormed with them and recommended different ways to bolster engagement through small-dollar, instant savings within the program; plan launch events, marketing, and engagement strategies of the program; and helped design the prize structure and prize type given their budget.