Mission & History
RAISE Texas' mission is to advance policies and programs that foster financial success and economic stability for all Texans.
History of RAISE Texas
In late 2001, discussion began on the potential of creating a statewide individual development account (IDA) network in Texas. A survey was sent out to existing and emerging IDA programs asking them to describe their program and list the most important activities in creating a statewide IDA network. All of the respondents felt the need for this type of network and felt it should conduct trainings, provide technical assistance, and find ways to increase funding for local IDA program.
In early 2002, a proposal was submitted to a foundation to fund the creation of the Texas IDA Network (TIDAN). The lead partner was Covenant Community Capital Corporation (Covenant), a community development financial institution (CDFI) based in Houston that had just begun a local IDA program. Over the next two years, TIDAN hosted conferences on IDAs, conducted site visits to assess the needs and goals of local IDA programs, and put together a listserv as a vehicle for information exchange among participants. By the second conference in 2003, TIDAN was recognized around the state as the place to go for information on IDAs.
In 2004, the Network began working with the Center for Public Policy Priorities, United Way of Texas, AARP-Texas, Children's Defense Fund-Texas, and other key groups to work on state asset policy. These initial meetings lead the Texas IDA Network to discuss changing its name to the Texas Asset Building Coalition (TABC). In late 2005, the name change occurred to reflect the increased activities of our members working on asset-building products and programs which expanded upon their IDA work.
In November 2005, to build on momentum from the previous legislative session, TABC held a summit. The summit was entitled RAISE Texas, where RAISE stands for Resources, Assets, Investments, Savings, Education. Over 55 key stakeholders attended the meeting and engaged in a dialog to develop initial recommendations for new or expanded public policy activity and programs in support of asset development. These recommendations were followed up with seven regional RAISE Texas meetings to engage local asset-building stakeholders and gather their recommendations. Through these regional meetings and the initial asset-building summit, a RAISE Texas action agenda was developed.
On September 19, 2007 a retreat to build TABC and develop our structure and programmatic ideas for 2008 was held in Austin. At the retreat, a recommendation was made to form an independent nonprofit statewide organization to move our agenda forward. On December 18, 2007 the Texas Asset Building Coalition was officially changed to RAISE Texas and was incorporated in the state of Texas.
On April 29-30, 2008 a RAISE Texas Action Summit was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch, and co-sponsored by the Alliance for Economic Inclusion. The summit resulted in four action campaigns (Matched Savings, Community Tax Centers, Alternative Small Dollar Consumer Loans, and Home Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention). Our work for 2008 and now 2009 is proceeding based on these campaigns.
In July 2008, RAISE Texas received its 501(c)(3) status and has continued to build and grow asset-building activities across Texas. On November 16-17, 2009, RAISE Texas held a summit at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas to continue moving our action campaigns (Matched Savings Accounts, Community Tax Centers, Alternative Small Dollar Consumer Loans, and Access to Education) forward. In 2010, RAISE Texas sponsored four regional meetings around the state to expand asset-building activities in underserved markets. RAISE Texas also established a partnership with the Office of the Consumer Credit Commissioner, who spoke at our annual statewide summit at the end of the year.
In 2010, RAISE Texas, in partnership with Center for Public Policy Priorities, launched OpportunityTexas, a campaign to fuel economic mobility for lower income Texans through education, savings and financial capability.
In 2011, RAISE Texas partnered with the Texas Attorney General's Office- Child Support Division to put together the Child Support for College Initiative (CS4C). Launched in February 2012, CS4C encourages long-term economic success for families in the child support system by assisting custodial parents receiving child support 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!