Asset building programs help people to learn, plan, grow their personal savings, and safely invest in life-changing assets. In some cases, these strategies complement and/or build upon public programs that stabilize incomes and reduce expenses for the working poor; employment assistance, subsidized housing, daycare subsidies and micro-business income.
Matched Savings Programs
Building a bridge from today’s realities to tomorrow’s opportunities.
The Midas Collaborative designs matched savings programs that combine incentives, support and access to help people build assets, where low-wage workers and microentrepreneurs invest in their futures. Multiple matched savings programs are operating in partnership with member organizations in Massachusetts. Program participants commit to save a fixed sum monthly in a dedicated savings account for one to two years. Midas matches their savings with a 1:1 to 4:1 ratio so they can purchase a life-changing asset. Assets purchased include first homes, higher education, small businesses, and more. For lower income participants transitioning into stable employment and housing, we offer asset matches for purchases that reward personal goals and maintaining modest savings, leading to investment in vehicles, computers, rainy day funds, or other assets that enhance income and stability.
National research has shown that matched savings programs – previously called Individual Development Account (IDA) Programs – increase savings and protect homeowners from foreclosure. Studies also show that children of parents who save have better academic and social outcomes.
Midas has helped over 1500 low and moderate income matched savings participants in Massachusetts. Our low and moderate income savers are located across the state and are saving, learning, and planning for their new assets. Of the over 1500 that have enrolled at our member sites, $2.047 million has been saved, earning a combined match of over $2.738 million. Investors have attended almost 17,000 hours of financial and asset training to build their financial capacities. The 791 recent graduates' investments into homes, education, small businesses, and other assets has resulted in over $44 million (value of assets) into the Massachusetts economy. Midas programs have higher retention and graduation rates than the national averages for matched savings programs. Midas graduates are more engaged with their communities and Midas advocacy activities as a result of the program. An independent program evaluation was completed in March 2011.
These programs are managed in an efficient collaborative network model which provides for quality management, lower administrative costs, and economies of scale while providing community-specific program designs and lower barriers to entry for new programs.
- Midas (central) provides assistance in design and implementation, training for staff, back-office fiscal management assistance, customized policies and procedures, match funding, savings account management, data collection, and evaluation.
- Midas members assess the needs of their communities and work with Midas to design an appropriate program structure. Members then provide direct service to matched savings investors; recruitment, training, and counseling or coaching.
Invest in College Success
In 2014, Midas launched Invest in College Success (ICS), an innovative public-private partnership designed to help community college students make informed decisions on how to manage college costs and, in doing so, increase their likelihood of continuing higher education year-to-year and completing a college degree. Elements of the pilot included financial education classes, virtual college affordability advising, basic and advanced financial coaching, and savings match incentives.
Over 1000 students have participated in ICS over two years, creating a support network for students while building financial capability and assets while pursuing their educational dreams. Partners in the two year pilot included Bunker Hill, Northern Essex and Springfield Technical community colleges, uAspire and evaluator The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is conducting the final evaluation report.
|"Saving for my education through Midas has been important to me because it was the first opportunity since a piggy bank to save a percentage of my income and watch it accrue over a longer period of time. The savings allowed me to take more classes and worry less about paying for school." Michael C., ICS Matched Savings Graduate at Bunker Hill Community College.|