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CAA Executive Leadership Workshop. Presentation on IDA Strategies Colleen Dailey Capital Area Asset Building Corp. July 21, 2005. Goals. Discuss challenges that are common among IDA practitioners Discuss ways to overcome these challenges (or at least minimize them)

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caa executive leadership workshop

CAA Executive Leadership Workshop

Presentation on IDA Strategies

Colleen Dailey

Capital Area Asset Building Corp.

July 21, 2005

  • Discuss challenges that are common among IDA practitioners
  • Discuss ways to overcome these challenges (or at least minimize them)
  • Encourage creativity in program design, partnership development, and fundraising
conventional wisdom
Conventional Wisdom
  • IDAs are “cumbersome”
  • IDA programs are labor and resource-intensive
  • IDA programs are expensive and difficult to operate
  • IDAs are not scaleable
  • Etc.
stuck in the model
“Stuck in the Model”
  • Conventional wisdom often prevents the development of new/better methods of program delivery.
  • 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
Keeping the Baby (but not the bathwater)
  • 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 & communities)
  • Economic development strategies that have quantifiable ($) impacts have broad appeal.
  • IDAs/asset development stands out as an antipoverty approach that has bipartisan appeal.
  • Though particular funding sources are restrictive, there are numerous ways to fund IDAs.
  • Likewise, there are countless ways to deliver IDAs.
what does it take to debunk conventional wisdom
What does it take to debunk conventional wisdom?
  • Creativity & flexibility
  • Ability to see and develop mutually beneficial partnerships (across sectors)
  • Insistence on having the right tools and resources to manage effectively
  • Ability to set priorities and evaluate tradeoffs
  • Commitment to evaluation and continuous improvement
  • 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, investor education)
  • Look beyond traditional asset uses (transportation, day care, health care, debt reduction) to meet needs of target population.
  • Combining two programs to strengthen the performance/outcomes of each.


  • IDAs and Habitat for Humanity in tough housing markets.
  • Partnering with Citibank Bank at Work program to reach new populations and introduce IDAs to employers.
  • 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
Getting the Necessary Tools & Resources
  • Staff
  • Training
  • Data management software
  • Online banking access
  • Marketing materials (for IDA recruitment and fundraising)
setting priorities evaluating tradeoffs
Setting Priorities & Evaluating Tradeoffs
  • Do you have a demographic or geographic focus?
  • Are all asset goals equivalent?
  • What are your numerical targets? How can you achieve them?
  • Does your target population fit within eligibility guidelines for various funding sources?
  • Do your priorities match your funders’ priorities?
  • Are there city or state initiatives that you can link up with?
commitment to evaluation continuous improvement
Commitment to Evaluation & Continuous Improvement
  • What’s working? What’s not? Can you achieve similar results with fewer or less costly inputs?
  • Create a formal process for evaluating partnerships and outcomes (at least annually.)
  • Be aware of changes in the environment; look for liabilities and new opportunities.
  • Be honest with your funders; don’t commit to unrealistic goals.
be a change agent
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.

contact information
Contact Information

Colleen Dailey

Executive Director

Capital Area Asset Building Corp.

1801 K St. NW, Suite M-100

Washington, DC 20006

Tel. (202) 419-1440