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Raise Texas

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Accomplishments of RAISE Texas

  • From 2002-2015, RAISE Texas sponsored and hosted eight annual statewide summits, twelve regional conferences, and two retreats to provide information on asset-building products, programs, and policies to individuals and organizations from around the state.
  • RAISE Texas launched the Child Support for College (CS4C) initiative which combines the efforts of RAISE Texas, three local nonprofit financial coaching entities (based in Austin, College Station/Bryan, and San Antonio) and the Texas Attorney General – Child Support Division (CSD) to encourage long-term economic success for families in the child support system by assisting custodial parents receiving child support through the Office of the Attorney General – Child Support Division in opening a college savings account to pay for their child’s future educational expenses and providing access to financial coaches. This project is the first of its kind in the country!
  • RAISE Texas was chosen as the Lead State Organization for CFED's new Assets & Opportunity Network.
  • The Smart Saver Texans Program launched in the Amarillo Independent School District on January 10th, 2013.  OpportunityTexas- partnering with the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin, Amarillo ISD, Happy State Bank and the Texas Council on Economic Education, with funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury- launched a pilot program to study the impact of in-school banking in conjunction with instruction on Texas’ new financial education standards with 4th graders in the Amarillo Independent School District.  OpportunityTexas is a joint-initiative of RAISE Texas and the Center for Public Policy Priorities.
  • RAISE Texas provided grants through the OpportunityTexas Innovation and Investment Fund. Grants were provided to organizations for project support to build client savings by incentivizing VITA site filers to save a portion of their tax refund by purchasing U.S. Savings Bonds. Grants have been provided in 2011-2015 to encourage Texans to save at tax time.
  • In November 2012, RAISE Texas released the "RAISE Texas IDA Toolkit" to assist organizations in developing, expanding, and implementing and Individual Development Account (IDA) Program in their communities.
  • In July 2010, RAISE Texas released a toolkit titled, How to Start a VITA Site in your Community: Bringing More Dollars into the Local Economy While Supporting Families, which provides the basic information of what VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites are, the basic steps for starting a VITA site and the key operational activities necessary to successfully operate a site.
  • In March 2010, RAISE Texas released a report titled, Increasing Economic Stability in Small Cities and Rural Communities, which discussed ways to support asset-building efforts in underserved small cities and rural markets in Texas by increasing access to financial mainstream products and programs.
  • Over the past six years, RAISE Texas has coordinated the work on four action campaigns (Matched Savings {IDAs and Children’s Savings Accounts}; Community Tax Centers and EITC; Alternative Small Dollar Consumer Loan Products and Policies; and Access to Education) that are now the focus of our current work for 2015-2016.
  • RAISE Texas has offered technical assistance to over 30 local groups to expand or create IDA programs in different parts of Texas. Each of the groups has had great success with their IDA programs.
  • RAISE Texas provided technical assistance and seed money to four small cities and rural communities to expand or create an asset-building product or program through a partnership with Bank of America and United Ways of Texas. All four programs have been successful in starting or expanding their asset-building activity.
  • RAISE Texas sent monthly e-newsletters to advocates around the state, which include important and timely asset-building news from around Texas and the country. These e-newsletters go to our entire database, which includes individuals and organizations from outside of Texas that appreciate learning about our state activities.
  • RAISE Texas was chosen to partner with CFED, a national leader on asset building, to develop our new website, which will serve as a template for other state coalitions looking to develop their own websites in the future.
  • RAISE Texas became the first independent 501(c)(3) state asset-building coalition in the country in 2008.
  • RAISE Texas was invited to provide presentations on a variety of asset-building topics at over 30 events and conferences throughout the country from 2008-current.
  • In 2007, RAISE Texas created an interactive database component on our website where individuals can type in their zip code and receive a list of all available asset-building resources and programs close to them. This includes IDA programs, VITA and EITC sites, homebuyer education classes, credit counseling, college financing, and more.
  • RAISE Texas promoted stated legislation that supports asset building by partnering with a number of nonprofit organizations. In fact, the RAISE Texas network was successful in placing language in the state legislation in 2007 on the creation of the new prepaid Texas 529 program (Texas Tuition Promise Fund) for a match and save provision, and our comments to the proposed rule making helped to improve the dynamics of the program.
  • In July 2004, RAISE Texas published, “Building Wealth for Individuals, Families, and Communities: Success Stories Across Texas,” a publication highlighting the exciting success stories of IDA participants that have reached their goals, and an explanation of why IDAs and asset development are important.
  • Since 2003, RAISE Texas has been known around the state as the place to go for information on Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) by providing technical assistance and organizational support.
  • In 2003, RAISE Texas successfully worked with the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) to convince the Texas Department of Human Services to make a policy change that would exempt IDA participants’ savings from asset tests for TANF, food stamps and Medicaid. This policy change became effective in May 2003.
  • RAISE Texas created a listserv in 2002, which is now a statewide database that includes over 900 organizations and individuals interested in helping to support the expansion of asset-building activities in Texas.

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