Children's Savings Accounts

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Creating a community with a vibrant and diverse economy, a skilled workforce and shared prosperity does not happen overnight—it requires meaningful investments. Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman argues that investments made during a child’s early years offer the biggest bang for the buck, creating significant long-term benefits for both the child and society. Establishing Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) is one such investment and sends all children the message that they have the potential and the support needed for academic success and economic mobility, regardless of where they come from or their family’s finances.

Learn why CSAs are important to the future of our communities, evidence about the impact of CSAs and about innovative programming embracing identity-based motivation theory that seeks to address the limitations of traditional scholarship and financial aid programs.


Julie Garber, program director, Community Foundation of Wabash County

Julie Garber has been working with the Community Foundation for 4 years as the Program Director. Her main areas of focus are Scholarships and Grants, as well as working with the many Foundation committees.  She graduated from Manchester University, and since has attended graduate school at Indiana University, Bethany Theology Seminary in Oak Brook, Illinois, and the University of Chicago.  In her free time, she enjoys taking long walks around North Manchester with her dog, Ike, visiting her mother at Timbercrest, and traversing the outdoors at the many reservoirs in the local area.  Julie was excited to be working at the Foundation because of its interest in high impact programs for education.

Patty Grant, executive director, Community Foundation of Wabash County

Patty has served the Community Foundation since 1989, when she joined first as a member of the board. As Executive Director, Patty leads the Foundation’s team in design and development of the innovative Community Foundation Early Award Scholarship Program, which utilizes Indiana's CollegeChoice 529 Plan to build college going identities and assets for post-secondary education.  Leveraging the influence of Lilly Endowment's 6 phases of the GIFT Initiative, Patty's leadership supported the Foundation's asset growth from $15,000 in 1990 to approximately $53 million today. Patty served as project director for the first Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship program and the Community Alliance to Promote Education Initiative (CAPE), a $5 million spend-down initiative to advance educational attainment. 

Carl Rist, senior director, children's savings & senior advisor, asset building, Prosperity Now

Carl Rist has spent 25+ years at Prosperity Now (formerly the Corporation for Enterprise Development), working on a variety of strategies to expand economic opportunity and help lower-income households build wealth and financial security.  Presently, Mr. Rist is the Senior Director of Children’s Savings and a Senior Advisor on Asset Building.  In this capacity, Mr. Rist directs Prosperity Now’s efforts, including field building, public policy advocacy, and consulting services, to ensure that more than a million low-income children have access to children’s savings accounts (CSAs).  Prior to this, Mr. Rist launched and directed the 1:1 Fund, a fundraising and marketing tool created by Prosperity Now that makes it easy for children’s savings programs to raise matching funds from individual donors, large and small.  Full bio here >>


CMF Members: $35
Nonmembers: $50

Hosted by Indiana Philantrhopy Alliance and originally published April 11, 2018

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