Poverty Task Force awards $1M to expand Children's Savings Accounts access

 Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Poverty Task Force have awarded a $1 million grant to the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) to support the state’s efforts to expand access to Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs).

“This partnership will allow Michigan families to invest in their children’s financial future, build a more robust economy, and create pathways for Michigan families to help build wealth,” said Whitmer. 

“We are excited about this program that will help Michiganders save money. Together, we can continue uplifting and empowering our kids by saving for their futures, investing in public schools, and helping them get the skills they need to succeed.”

During the selection process, bidders were asked to support the state’s efforts to expand access to CSAs by establishing statewide infrastructure and promotion and leveraging philanthropic and corporate support to help seed accounts by providing technical assistance.

CEDAM is a nonprofit corporation and trade association with decades-long engagement with CSA programs in Michigan, and over 20 years of experience advancing Michigan’s community economic development.  

“Children’s Savings Account programs empower students and families, regardless of income, with the resources and tools needed to graduate from college or a skilled-trade program,” said CEDAM Executive Director Luke Forrest. “We are thrilled to be awarded funding to further expand CSA programming in Michigan and develop statewide infrastructure that streamlines inefficiencies, while still centering community-driven ownership of this work.”

“Children’s Savings Accounts create an excellent foundation to help Michigan families develop financial literacy and teach children how to save for their future,” said Kim Trent, Poverty Task Force lead and Deputy Director of Prosperity for the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). “CSA programs open opportunities for families to invest in their children’s futures and provide pathways for financial success.”

A Request for Proposals (RFP) has gone out seeking interested parties to support CSA programs by providing matching funds to CSAs. Two qualified organizations will serve both in an urban and a rural area, and the qualified entities will provide regional administration to a CSA pilot program. Submission information is available online at www.michigan.gov/PovertyTaskForce, and the deadline for submissions is February 25.

There will be a pre-bid webinar on Thursday, January 20. Interested parties must register to attend online and questions can be submitted prior to the webinar to LEO-PovertyTaskForce@michigan.gov.