Webinar Transcript

Moderator: Anne Yeoman
April 19, 2011
3:22 pm CT

Coordinator: Welcome and thank you for standing by. At this time all participants are in listen-only mode. During the question and answer session please press star 1 on your touchtone phone. Today's call is being recorded, if anyone has objections you may disconnect at this time.

And I would like to go ahead and turn today's call over to Anne Yeoman, ma'am, you may begin.

Anne Yeoman: Thank you very, (Julie). And I wanted to welcome all of you. I don't know how many of you have been on our calls before but we certainly appreciate your interest in Assets for Independence and IDAs. Today's call is going to focus on developing resources particularly that nonfederal requirement for IDAs but also other kinds of partners.

So before we get started just want to do a couple things; one is I want to introduce my partner in crime, Emily Appel-Newby.

Emily Appel-Newby: Hey everyone.

Anne Yeoman: Emily works with the AFI Resource Center, as I do, and she has a great deal of experience both as a grantee and in terms of doing technical assistance and is part of our outreach team. I've been doing - working with grantees and doing outreach for, oh, I guess about nine years.

So let's do a little bit of housekeeping. If you registered for the call in advance you should have received the slides and you may want to have them handy to make some notes.

If you did not register for the call in advance or if for some reason or other you just have not yet received the slides you can send an email right now to Info - I-N-F-O@idaresources - I-D-A-R-E-S-O-U-R-C-E-S.org and someone there will - probably Emily will send you back the slides by, you know, return mail so to speak.

Or you can call our main line which is 1-866-778-6037 if you did not receive the slides and ask for them to be sent to you. I think using email will be a little more efficient because they can just attach it and shoot it right back.

During the call if you have any technical difficulties press star 0. And you want to have your documents handy. You may also want to have handy the Assets for Independence Notice of Funding Availability but we're not going to be focusing on the nitty-gritty details of that so much today. There is another overview call scheduled later and we'll go - at the very end of this presentation we'll also look at the calendar for the upcoming calls.

So what we're going to cover today is really, as I said, this is the agenda. We're going to be covering - so basically that nonfederal cash contribution requirement both what you do with that money, which is essentially part of working with the project reserve fund, and sources for getting that money and making the case for why someone should provide that nonfederal cash contribution to you.

And I will be using the term cash contribution so that we don't get confused with match which is typically - the match participant withdrawals for their asset purchases. I think that makes it a little clearer. Sometimes people use match for the nonfederal piece as well. I'm going to try to remember to say the nonfederal cash contribution.

After we talk about that we're going to talk a little bit about other kinds of partnerships that may support your project beyond the nonfederal cash contribution. Most projects do have key partners. And then we're going to give you a little bit of information on where you can find more information on the AFI Web site about fundraising resources, making the case, doing fundraising plans, that sort of thing.

Okay so let's start with the AFI guidelines about the reserve funds. And I should tell you that if I sound a little confused I'm flying blind - Emily and I are in different places and for some reason or another my connection is not working very well so I can't see the slides. So I assume she'll tell me if I'm off course.

Emily Appel-Newby: I will. But I'll try to keep…

Anne Yeoman: So another slide - just to remind everybody about the Assets for Independence guidelines for the reserve fund and what we're trying to show in this graphic is that your project reserve fund which is essentially your project budget has two sources; you have your federal grant, your AFI award, the orange box, and we have your nonfederal cash contribution and that nonfederal cash contribution needs to be in the same amount as your AFI request. Okay?

Those two sources of funds are deposited into your project reserve; nonfederal money goes in first followed by federal money. You don't need to deposit all of it initially; you can deposit $20,000, draw down $20,000 federal and so forth.

Once there is nonfederal and funds in that project reserve fund when you're expending that money you need to remember some guidelines for that; 85% - the dark blue there - 85% of the funds of the federal and nonfederal funds in the project reserve funds are used to match participant asset purchases.

The other 15% are split up for various general operating costs to provide financial education and for data collections. And we've given you the percentages there. (2% data collection; 13% Financial Education & Operating Costs)

Generally what really happens is that the operating costs and financial education and the data collection actually tend to be staff costs. Whoever is doing that for you, whoever is doing the data collection, who is actually doing your financial education, who's providing other support to your participants.

There's a lot more detail about this in our overview call but just to remind you. But we're going to primarily focus today on the frontend of this that federal and particularly nonfederal cash contribution.

Okay next slide. Again the amount of nonfederal cash contribution has to be equal to the federal amount that you are requesting and the expenditures are the same.

You will be spending this money 50/50. Every time you spend a federal dollar you'll be spending a nonfederal dollar as well from the project reserve fund. We will talk in a little bit later about a third source of funds that may support your project. You must in your Assets for Independence application document that you do have that nonfederal cash contribution committed, okay? Next slide.

However there's not a single form required for the way you need to document this commitment. But what you want to do is to assure the reviewers that indeed you do have access to or will have access to over the life of the project the same amount of nonfederal cash contribution that you have asked for in the federal dollars in your application.

So typically whether it's an MOU or a letter or some other document you're going to want to show what the amount is that's been committed to the AFI project. You're going to want to make clear when you're going to get it. So let's say someone gives you a $300,000 for your AFI project but they're going to give you $100,000 in 2012 and $100,000 in 2013 and $100,000 in 2014 then that would need to be clear.

And that has - that needs to be clear for two reasons; one is you need to know when you're going to have this money but you also - it goes back to how you're going to operate your project because you do need to have this money in the bank in order to enroll people.

So that is the next bullet that is you'll need to know when you'll have the money actually available to match participant savings and their asset purchase but also for - as operational pieces.

The commitment may be contingent on receiving the AFI award. So for example a regional foundation or a local corporation could say, you know, we're going to give XYZ organization $200,000 subject to their actual receiving an AFI award. That's fine; that's a sufficient commitment.

One thing you probably need to be careful about is in the narrative portion of your application there are several places where you will make reference to your nonfederal cash contributions and who it will come from, that sort of thing. That is not the same thing as having a commitment.

Just because you mention it in your narrative the reviewers are not likely to accept that as evidence of commitment. So you will probably need an MOU, a document, an award letter or something like that.

Okay next slide. Okay in this slide we're trying to make a distinction between what's in your project reserve fund and what you can use as nonfederal cash contribution and other sources of funds that may be important to operating your project but which are not necessarily part of the nonfederal cash contribution and which would not be in your project reserve fund. Okay?

So you have the dark blue bar on the right that's the project budget that includes that IDA match for participants, staff salaries, training, data collection, supplies, those things that are typically on a budget line.

So your AFI grant would supply some of that and your nonfederal cash would supply some of that so community foundations, earned income from your organization, state general funds, individual donors, many other sources that we'll talk about later that are not - that are nonfederal, can go into your project reserve fund and your project budget.

However you may also have many kinds of leveraged or in kind resources. So anything that's a pass-through from the states, you know, social service block grants, community service block grants, other kinds of funding that flows from the federal level through the states, extension program services or funds, local organizations that might be providing some services for you in kind, jurisdictions that might be providing in kind support.

That might be part of supporting your projects but would not be part of that nonfederal cash contribution. And on your budget forms what you would show on your request for funding you would only show your request, say your $300,000 and the $300,000 of your nonfederal cash contribution whether that comes from the state, yourself, your agency yourself can commit the money or part of it, other local sources, whatever.

You're only going to show the federal request, the equivalent and nonfederal. Similarly on the 424(a), the non construction budget, you're only going to show that federal and the nonfederal cash contribution. In the portion of the application that asks you to explain the detailed budget and budget narrative that is the place where you would show any additional support that's in kind of leveraged support. And we actually have a template for you to work with on that.

Okay so let's talk a little bit about how to get the money, that's what everybody wants. So we're on developing partnerships here. And so as you know - I'm pretty sure - as most things in life getting money is all about relationships; it's all about who you know. It's all about your reputation and it's all about having a win/win; what do we have in common?

So if you already have a track record of being successful with other kinds of programs and projects with actually accomplishing what you say you're going to accomplish with funds that people have given you that gives you an advantage.

So let's look at the next slide, Emily, the Building Effective Partnerships. So start with the win/win. It's not just what you want it also what the donor wants. How will participating in and supporting an Assets for Independence individual account - development account program, a matched savings program with very low income households - how will that support your potential donor's goals? Okay?

So if it's a local or regional foundation if they have goals in terms of addressing poverty, if they have goals for addressing increasing the level of post-secondary education or for increasing say home ownership, whatever, that's a common goal that Assets for Independence can help with.

So basically Assets for Independence has an advantage in that it is very outcome-driven. This is not just about somebody gets financial education then they're referred to this, that and the other service and so forth; it's about do they get financial education? Do they demonstrate that they've actually learned something? And do they actually save - actually achieve the savings projected and then make the asset purchase?

It's not every program that can actually have the kind of outcomes that Assets for Independence can have. So your job is to show that the kinds you're going to have, the savings, the increased financial stability that comes from the savings and the financial education and the benefits of more home ownership, post secondary education, small business development, whatever, are going to be in common with your potential donors.

So next slide. This really is - this is - it's meant to kind of lighten this Webinar but it also is true. This is really not about begging. Assets for Independence because of those outcomes and because of the research that we have on the effectiveness of the program is not about, you know, this is a good idea; this is charity work, that sort of thing; that's not what this is about.

This is about a return on investment. Whenever you're talking to a potential donor whether it's a financial institution, and historically financial institutions have been the primary nonfederal sources of nonfederal cash contributions. Or you're talking to a foundation or an individual donor, a faith-based group that may want to support one or more individuals.

Basically the booster group was a group that holds private funds for community college, whoever you're talking to the point is there's actually an outcome here. And there is no risk really to the donor. If you don't achieve those outcomes they get most of their money back because you can only spend it or most of it on those participant asset purchases.

So if people don't - if you don't do what you say you're going to do the participants don't meet their savings goals and make their asset purchases they get their money back. So next slide, Building Relationships with Potential Partners.

Again is how does the entire community benefit? Let's say in a given city or county or whatever there's a lot of vacant housing or housing that's in foreclosure. If you had people who were ready and able to buy that would be a big stabilizing influence on that community.

If you have a Hope VI development and you need to have people who are not all going to go back to that development, they may go somewhere else, but even if they do they need to be able to buy then AFI can help out with that so it achieves those kind of goals.

If you have an area of a city where there's a larger plan to have - bring in more businesses AFI can help with that. If the local area has decided, you know, we're really way below par in terms of our labor force, our workforce board doesn't have enough money to do training. We can't really move people very far. They could partner with Assets for Independence, get a more educated labor force which in turn has a number of benefits in its own right.

So you really need to find out what do they want, what's in their mission, what do - and so how can financial education, the match savings and the actual asset purchase which in turn means home owners, business owners, more educated individuals, how does that help them advance their goal? So you're basically bringing them a tool to help them achieve their mission, okay?

So just sort of a quick little summary here, the benefits for the agency and the community is typically there are a number of neighborhood restoration goals, typically you have families that are not just treading water they actually progress in terms of getting a foot on the ladder in terms of financial stability.

And finally - I cannot say too often - the idea is that there are quantifiable outcomes, not just activities, but outcomes that you will be able to take back to a donor and say look, we've actually done this. And no risk. So the slide it says Outcomes, no risk, we know historically under Assets for Independence so far in the 10 years the program has been around about 80,000 people have saved $66.4 million. And actually this figure is now out of date; it's probably another couple million.

Thirty-thousand of those individuals have purchased assets. And remember many of those individuals are still in the savings process. Historically what's happened is our number of IDA accounts has been going up over time as more money - more people are enrolling, getting used but then it takes a year or two or three - excuse me - to actually spend that money.

There is also some additional - excuse me - there's some additional research both for Assets for Independence directly and for similar kinds of IDA programs and financial education.

So if you go to the Assets for Independence Web site which is www.idaresources.org, you will find there under the research and publications section you will find some reports on early research on Assets for Independence but you also will find links to some other reports from our existing grantees.

So if you are a potential new grantee you're not going to have a track record, right? However when you're talking to donors you can use the information that Assets for Independence has but also information from some of our grantees that have already begun to do post-purchase studies and the longer term impacts of doing this and you can draw on their studies.

But just a couple of things that we have seen - there have been two studies that came out last year; one from HUD and one that was from one of the Washington think tanks that basically showed that the individuals who had gone through an IDA program whether AFI or not and who had financial education and did a match savings process and so forth even though these are pretty low income households they did not for the most part become involved in the foreclosure crisis.

The percentage of Assets for Independence and IDA new homeowners who went into foreclosure was infinitesimal compared to what was going on nationally. We do have anecdotal information in addition to that from many of our grantees who have been doing this program for a decade and they are not seeing foreclosures either so we feel pretty confident about that.

Some of our grantees have a little more information about business being sustained and of course about educational achievements. The financial education and the skills that are developed there and the savings habits are at least as important as the IDA and the match savings itself, you know, the actual asset purchase.

So I think you can say to our funders they're not risking much. They might lose their 15% because you might use it on operations but they would get most of their money back if you don't actually have your participants succeed through is program. So I think it's - it is a business case; it's not a begging, it's a return on investment. And we're going to talk a little more about that.

So, Emily, I think you're going to pick up at this point, right?

Emily Appel-Newby: Right, yes, thanks so much. I'm going to go into some of the outcomes that we've seen for the specific assets that you can invest in and then also, you know, just talk more specifically about how you can address different groups of partners using the broad framework that Anne put out earlier and talk - and think through some of the messages that have been successful for other grantees so far in raising that nonfederal match.

So a lot of the - the majority of AFI projects are working on home ownership. And so when we talk to essential sources of nonfederal funders and partners about what we're looking to do, the change that we're looking to create both on the community and individual level when we talk about first time home ownership.

On the individual level it's like what we talked about - what Anne just mentioned with significantly lower foreclosures and bankruptcies for people who have engaged in - who were part of an IDA program to help but their first home compared to their peers who were not.

And then improved credit scores for IDA participants while having a minimum credit score or a maximum credit score there's no requirement around that in terms of joining the IDA program; a lot of the customers that were participants that we're working with in the IDA programs are going to have improved - impaired credit scores.

And so we're going to - and so that's part of what you do and that's part of the - that's part of the activities that have to be done in addition to just the savings support and can be tied into financial education and so that's a very easy - a very quantifiable way again that we can show outcomes of being involved in the AFI program.

On the community level there's more neighborhood stability especially in the areas like we said that have been affected by foreclosures as people buy those houses which are primarily where, you know, maybe low income families are able to afford the house that they previously maybe couldn't have afforded.

So, you know, that's one way of looking at the housing - the economic downturn as this is an opportunity and a chance to be taken advantage of for our clients as this is the chance for them to buy maybe more house than they could otherwise have been able to buy realistically on their salary but because of depressed housing prices it's an opportunity.

And so as houses are re-bought by families and individuals that brings stability and appreciating housing prices. And then on the community level on the municipality level it means higher property taxes and transfer fees obviously so that's one thing that you'll want to talk about when you're talking to local funders - local government funders.

On the post-secondary education side - again on the individual side there's - if you have a higher degree then you're able to increase your earning power and purchase power. And then on the community side for the local government that means higher tax revenues from income tax from better paid workers.

And then on the side of the businesses they'll want to go to a place where, you know, particularly in rural towns if we know that there are - there's a well educated workforce; that is definitely a source of attraction for businesses and for people starting new businesses to know that they'll be able to find employees there.

And then this is - and then kind if similarly when we talk to educational institutions like community colleges or college foundations we can talk about how being part of the AFI program prepares their students in so many ways to be ready to not just go to college but to complete - successfully complete college especially those students who are having to work part time and go to school part time it's a lot to balance.

But if they're getting this match as the kind of extra help to pay their tuition and buy their books, take a piece away from what they have to pay out of pocket or take out loans for then they're more likely to complete school.

And so that's, you know, the benefit for individual students but then also the colleges like to know that their students are going to come in a little bit more financially savvy and with a little bit better idea of how they're going to pay for their two years or their four years at school and therefore have a plan and therefore be more likely to complete school.

For AFI IDA programs that are working with micro-enterprises obviously it's going to increase the local business startup and ownership. And that's definitely a measure of neighborhood vitality is the number of new businesses there especially those that are started by low income people may get extra support from the city.

And the reason why the city or the county or the state is going to support them is because obviously more businesses means more license and revenue and fee income for the municipality so that's an appeal. It's also an appeal because it is a source of jobs if they're able to grow to a place where they're able to hire more than just the individual entrepreneur.

But we definitely know - the SBA has said that small businesses are the source of job creation in the economy. And so this is an argument that you can make that supporting micro-enterprises is going to be supporting job development in your community.

For the individual families who own the businesses it's not only an asset that they're investing in but then also a way that they can hopefully increase their shorter term income.

And so going back to the - kind of the framework that Anne laid out earlier about making your case to potential partners you want to figure out how your goals with running the AFI IDA program fit with their goals in terms of serving their clients or investing in their community.

And so as part of the AFI application process you're going to think about what your goals are of this program because your goals are going to be specific to the community context and to the population that you're serving. And that's going to help give a raise on that to your IDA program.

So then, aside from the IDA accountholders, obviously and your existing partners, who else shares these goals for the accountholders and for the community? And then you can think about are the IDAs also community-development accounts in that people who are not interested necessarily in individual achievement and participation can be interested in the community level outcomes. And who else benefits from your success?

These could be stakeholders in the private sector so when we talk about homeownership it could be mortgage lenders or realtors - lots of times there's state or county associations that may be able to support your program. Education and training institutions - like I said when I talked about the colleges wanting to support IDA programs because they make sure that the students are financially savvy and have a plan for financing their college experience.

In the public sector there could be local governments, like I said, who like to see the job creation through small business, the higher income - the higher revenues through increased income earnings, increased income because of investment in the higher education or home transfer.

Or then CDCs who are also making investments in the similar neighborhoods but they, you know, for example one group that I was working with in DC when I was running an IDA program was I was working with both for-profit and nonprofit housing developers because they were patching together funds from tax credits and federal and community funding streams to build affordable housing.

But they wanted to make sure that they had a pipeline of buyers that were ready for those homes. So I was able to work with the housing developers because they had the goal of getting qualified families and buyers into these homes and I had the goal of getting homes for these qualified buyers.

And so in the case of the for-profit developers we were able to - they were able to support our programs. And in the case of the nonprofit developers it was a really good relationship because they already offered the asset-specific training that my homeownership savers had to go through.

And so that was kind of the tradeoff there is I was able to refer my clients no matter where they were intending to buy to go through that housing - that nonprofit housing developer's homeownership education classes.

So, let's see, we run through this list of sources of nonfederal funds. Anne mentioned the financial institutions and their foundations. And I'm not sure if she went into this but what we've seen from IDA programs across the country is that still is the strongest source of support for the nonfederal match.

But what I'm not sure if she mentioned was that we see stronger support from community banks who are trying to keep their place in that market and maybe can't afford the kind of marketing that, you know, a national bank that's, you know, coming in on that geographic market can afford.

But the way that they are trying to gain new banking customers and members is by bringing them in through partnership with community organizations. And so you can definitely tap into their desire to reach new members and to strengthen their existing relationship with the community.

Let's see state and local tax credits, you know, that's a pretty hard one - it's one that's kind of hard to push right now given the fiscal crisis that all local governments are in. But it's something that has been - I just want to throw it out there that it's something that has been established on the state level and on the city level in different areas that there will be tax credits for contributing match or operating funds to IDA programs.

Sponsoring organization funds that's - so if your, you know, board has a special interest, thinks that this is a good investment because the IDA product fits so well with the overall mission of your organization, you know, this could be something that you fundraise for just from your - just like you would for any of the programs that you run.

Let's see locally based corporations and employers - I guess what I would go back to there is thinking about how investing in IDAs brings a stronger workforce to the area and therefore that the corporations that have a large presence and really identify with the community that they're in would want to see this as a way that they are supporting their employees and the families of their employees and helping their families stay in the geographic area and build meaningful lives.

And there's a lot of, you know, employer assisted housing programs and so this is just one step past that, you know, to a bigger context for AFI projects for those three AFI goals.

The one - the two, I guess I should say, two sources of federal funds that can be used as nonfederal funds is community development block grants. And the reason why with those is because they are - they're granted first to the state and then they would be re-granted to you. So that's kind of as a pass-through the state they kind of lose their federal status and they become like state funds that have been allocated to your AFI IDA program.

The other one is there are a series of Native American funds like the Native American Community Development block grant and it's listed in the funding opportunity announcement the specific programs that are allowed - the specific federal programs that you're allowed to use funds, claim them as the nonfederal funds for their AFI match.

And so some of them are listed in the funding opportunity announcement but then otherwise it has to be specified as allowable in their role so they will specifically say that they have been, you know, given permission to - for their grantees to use this money as nonfederal match for - to draw down on federal funds.

So the federal home loan banks while those sound like they're a source of federal funding they're actually not. These are regional entities that are working on providing loan capital for home purchase. And so they are often a good place for an AFI IDA program to partner with, one, for a contribution of nonfederal funds.

And then also because they often provide mortgage loan products that are a little bit more favorable to the kind of populations that we're working with when we run IDA programs than you might otherwise get from other mortgage lenders.

And so in terms of - or they also have down payment assistance programs that your clients may be able to tap into. So definitely check out where the federal home loan bank is that serves your region and see if they have a history with IDAs and if this is an idea that intrigues them.

So now we're - I’m just going to go through a couple slides of just a few of those kinds of places that you might go to and why they would be interested in supporting AFI projects.

Local foundations and faith-based organizations that also funding - they have a strong interest in both the fact that AFI is all about self sufficiency, that it's not about, you know, it's a hand-up not a hand-out.

That it's really teaching people skills that they're going to be able to use for the rest of their lives and also the fact the family impact that it has that parents learning how to save and invest is something that they can - a skill that's easily transferrable to their - to children.

They like that it reinforces other community building programs in their neighborhoods in that, you know, like - let's see, finding new owners for foreclosed homes, that kind of thing if there's - if that's something that they're already supporting then this is part of creating the pipeline of buyers or if a local foundation is already supporting a micro-enterprise development program they will like this as a source of equity support for their - for the people in their program.

And then also the fact that it's, you know, AFI projects like no one can run an AFI project by themselves unless you're maybe one of those financial institutions but most everyone needs partners in order to get all the pieces and components of an IDA program out.

For example the - one of the local foundations that funded the IDA program that I ran in Washington DC they gave me a grant with the explicit explanation that it could only use those match funding to enroll people who had been referred to my IDA program from their other grantees.

And so that was, you know, that was the trigger; it definitely motivated me because if I wanted to be able to enroll people with that money I had to get out and be talking to other grantees about, okay, who are you working with and, you know, do they have home education or small business as their goals?

And it definitely got us grantees more talking to each other and more understanding of what each other does. So that's an example of how it can help local foundations meet multiple levels of their goals both in terms of investing money and investing in the strength of organizations.

So to financial institutions I talked about community reputation and holding onto a customer base and increasing a customer base through acquiring new customers. But then the other thing that we would point out here is that it's not just a source of new savings and checking account customers it's also a source of new mortgage loans and consumer loans is a reason why a lot of financial institutions will be interested.

Then also the larger banks can receive Community Reinvestment Act credit for investing match and operating dollars in your cash contribution and operating money in your IDA program.

And I talked a little bit about local businesses also that have - that play a part in helping your savers establish their home or establish their small business. These are going to be groups that are - have a shared goal in trying to help people invest in these assets and so they're going to have a financial stake in seeing more of these investments happen.

I think an interesting direction that a couple programs are going but is still - still relatively unexplored concept is using IDAs as an employer benefit. It's, like I said, it can be seen as a way to help both he employees and the families of employees help them stay in the geographic area.

And it can reduce employee turnover, for example, if the employee wants to - knows they want to buy a home but they can't afford a home in the geographic that will allow them to stay at the company if this assistance is provided and allows them to stay then they're going to be, you know, a lot more likely to stay at that company.

So for local governments - and this was a nut that I was trying to crack the entire time that I was running an IDA program - and like I said it's not easy right now but there are so many good reasons for local governments, so state, county and city governments, to support IDA programs that it's, you know, you just have to find the right point of entry and try to make your - make the case with a lot of these arguments.

You know, I think that the biggest one that we're talking about now when states and cities are talking about balancing their budget is there's a lot of pressure on the people writing the budgets to not leave any federal money on the table.

And so if they - so that's an argument you can make is that if you don't invest in this IDA program then there is federal money that we could be applying for that we are not going to be able to apply for because we don't have sufficient nonfederal funds and that can be motivating.

Then you can also talk about the return on investment for every $1 that they invest in the IDA programs they can see tax revenue from rising property values, higher earnings from more higher educated citizens that brings a greater income tax base and also the business fees.

Then they can also talk about the - you can also talk about the preventative measures that an IDA puts in place because the financial education and match saving aspect in connection to the safe mortgage products for home buyers will reduce the potential of future foreclosures and that's a way of saving money down the line for localities.

So if they're ready to hear that message then these are some good messages to use and hopefully as we're - as things are turning around we'll have more and more chances to use these messages with local governments.

So I'm going to take a stop now here for a second and see if we have any questions. And I don't see any in the online Q&A so I’m going to address one that was brought up when people registered someone had a question about does the AFI IDA program allow for youth-specific programs?

And the answer to that is that there is no age limit on how old you have to be to open up an IDA account. But what you have to keep in mind is that within the course of your five-year project all the - you need to recruit the participants, they need to finish their - reach their savings goals and they need to complete their education and then invest in those assets.

So it's, you know, at maximum it's going to be, you know, four and a half years. So you have to make sure that you're enrolling people in a timeline that they will have enough time to complete those requirements and still be able to use the funds by the end of the project period. Some of them - the AFI projects set a faster timeline - expected timeline for participants from up to - from two years to up to three years.

Someone else asked if a 501(c)3 can qualify for this program. In fact they do. The other groups that qualify besides 501(c)3s are community development financial institutions, community development credit unions and state and local governments and also tribal governments. And those groups all need to partner with a 501(c)3 to - for implementation of the project so definitely this is targeted to 501(c)3s.

Local housing IDA sits, that was another question is how they could raise money saying that lenders and units of local government aren't as willing as they were before to support it. And that's definitely true. I would suggest looking at some of the - maybe some of the other corporate entities besides lenders in the area so could we look at developers?

Could you look at home furnishing supply, you know, home supply stores who might be able, you know, there's probably not going to be as large of pots of money but it might be something here and there that you can pull together for a few more open slots.

Anne Yeoman: Emily?

Emily Appel-Newby: Yes.

Anne Yeoman: Let's give (Julie) a chance to tell people how to dial in their questions just to be sure they all know.

Coordinator: Thank you.

Emily Appel-Newby: Yes.

Coordinator: If you would like to ask a question over the phone please press star 1, please unmute your phone and record your name clearly when prompted; your name is required to introduce your question. Again if you would like to ask a question over the phone please press star 1. To withdraw your question press star 2. One moment please to see if we have any questions over the phone.

Anne Yeoman: And while we're waiting I just wanted to add a couple comments to some things that Emily said that have to do with the source of the nonfederal funds is that the federal home loan banks the way that works is that it's the member bank who applies.

So your relationship would be with your local financial institution and that financial institution is a member of one of the - I think it's 12 or so federal home loan banks. And then the member would apply to the bank saying, you know, we want $50,000, whatever it is, to use to match an AFI IDA. So you would not be doing the application; the bank would at that point. Just to make sure everybody understands that.

Also in some cases people run into a lack of local knowledge about using those community development block grant funds and we do have the HUD memo that we can share with you if you happen to run into that. So that, you know, if somebody says you can't do that and we have a memo from HUD that says yes you can. Okay.

And my last point is on the financial institutions another thing to remember there if you have a grant you're talking about a lot of cash that's going to sit in that financial institution for a fairly long time so you need to have your project reserve fund money, federal and nonfederal, some of it anyway, in the bank at least in step with the number of people that you're enrolling.

And once that money is deposited it's going to stay there until participants finish their savings and start to make their asset purchases. So this is a major draw in terms of the liquidity for the financial institution.

So, (Julie), do we have any questions?

Coordinator: Yes we do. The first question comes from (Brian Jaffe), your line is open.

(Brian Jaffe): Hi. Can we deposit the nonfederal funds as our participants give them to us? In other words in our case it's a savings program that would take place over a one to two year period and they're going to be putting in let's say $100 a month. Can we tell our nonfederal partner they can put in their funds at the same rate?

Emily Appel-Newby: So the way that it - no the short answer is no. You need to have the cash in-hand from the nonfederal source before you can draw down on the federal AFI funding. So there needs to at least be a chunk in the bank before you can draw down on the federal funds.

And then also you need to - and then the reason why that impacts your question is that you do actually need to have the funds in the bank before you can enroll participants - before you can enroll savers so that you have - you can actually keep your word that if they save they will actually be able to receive that match and meet the other program guidelines that they will actually receive that match.

You don't want to get into a situation where…

(Brian Jaffe): Let me explain the program…

((Crosstalk))

Emily Appel-Newby: …you don't have the money behind it to follow through on that commitment.

(Brian Jaffe): Let me explain the program that we would envision a little more if I may?

Emily Appel-Newby: Okay.

(Brian Jaffe): We're an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. People waiting to become partner families pay a fee that's going to take care of their insurance and some of their down payment for one to two years while their home is being built. We would not be drawing any federal funds until we were ready to close on that home so the money would be in the bank it would just come in small increments.

Emily Appel-Newby: Oh okay, so let's see. I think that the - I think the principal of what I said still holds true though that, you know, at least six months before the person is ready to actually - to go to closing on their home is when you'll need to be able to draw down the money because the process, you know, it always takes longer than you think it's going to to get all the pieces together for, you know, actually getting the money to hit the accounts both on the nonfederal and the federal side.

And you don't, you know, especially when it's something like closing you don't want to run the risk of not actually having those funds in hand because obviously that would throw everything off. So it does need to be - and Anne, can you add to this, is that actually in the legislation that you need to have the funds?

Anne Yeoman: No but let's back up a step. I just want to understand so your participants are saving in some fashion.

(Brian Jaffe): Yes.

Anne Yeoman: And then you have what's going to be your nonfederal from whatever source.

(Brian Jaffe): Yes.

Anne Yeoman: And so what you're proposing is that your participants open their IDAs, again they're saving, but not have that federal and nonfederal in your reserve fund until pretty close to the time they're going to make their purchase?

(Brian Jaffe): That's right.

Anne Yeoman: And is this because the nonfederal funder basically wants to hold onto their money?

(Brian Jaffe): I'm anticipating that they might.

Anne Yeoman: Well they might. They might. But I wouldn't give up. So here's the problem, that is not in our - it's not in our original legislation that the nonfederal and federal to match our participant savings has to be in the bank at the time they open their account.

What happened was that in the early years of the program we had a number of grantees who were overly confident so they opened IDAs and in some cases were not able to come up with that federal and nonfederal when the participants had actually done what they were supposed to do in terms of their savings. This is a very messy situation. So on a kind of rules side of things Assets for Independence decided much safer for everybody if that money is in the bank when they open their IDA.

(Brian Jaffe): Okay.

Anne Yeoman: Technically…

(Brian Jaffe): I have a second question.

Anne Yeoman: Okay but let me finish this.

(Brian Jaffe): Oh I'm sorry.

Anne Yeoman: Because this may work for you or it may not; it could be a lot more accounting but it might work for you. Technically if you have someone open their IDA and they deposit $100 - and let's say you're doing a 2 to 1 match so they're going to get $200, $100 federal and $100 nonfederal.

(Brian Jaffe): All right.

Anne Yeoman: When they open that $100 - they deposit that $100 you need to have that $200 in the bank.

(Brian Jaffe): Okay.

Anne Yeoman: The next month when they open - when they deposit another $100 you need another $200 in the bank.

(Brian Jaffe): Right.

Anne Yeoman: So you could theoretically do it that way and strictly speaking be within our guidelines and the legislation but it's a lot of stuff to keep track of. It also means…

Emily Appel-Newby: Right and also that means your funder, your nonfederal funder, sending you a check once a month which I don't think that they probably want to deal with.

Anne Yeoman: Yes. And also it means you'd lose the benefit of accruing interest.

(Brian Jaffe): Well it seems to me that the incentive to the nonfederal funder or the appeal is that if a person drops out of the program then they stop their payments rather than lose their investment…

Anne Yeoman: Or you could reallocate that money to someone else.

(Brian Jaffe): Right and we would do that.

Anne Yeoman: So their money is still not at risk.

Emily Appel-Newby: Right. Could you put into you memorandum of understanding or the, you know, the grant letter an understanding of how funds will be treated if the person that it was originally intended for, you know, allocated to, drops out of the program that you will be the custodian of these funds, which is, you know, how we see you as being custodians of AFI funds for, you know, up to five years.

But it's based on your nonfederal funder, to allocate those to qualified individuals and then to award them - grant them to qualified individuals who have completed all the requirements and to reallocate them as necessary and then to return them at the end of the grant period if they are unspent at the end. Could you write into a memorandum of understanding a clear description of that agreement?

(Brian Jaffe): Oh yes. We really have it already.

Emily Appel-Newby: Yes.

Anne Yeoman: Okay.

(Brian Jaffe): We are, you know, we're 90% of the way towards your program. I mean, just the Habitat program is very consistent with…

Anne Yeoman: Right.

(Brian Jaffe): …your objectives.

Anne Yeoman: Yes. Yes it is.

Emily Appel-Newby: So I guess the only other thing I'd say is if this is a, you know, if it's a leap of faith for them - thing for them - for the funder - maybe start small, you know, start with only the grant - only the funds for a couple of participants and enroll those getting started and then…

(Brian Jaffe): Thank you.

Emily Appel-Newby: …you know, you can earn their faith kind of thing. Did you have a second question?

(Brian Jaffe): Yes I did. You said something about the cost of training? We have access to a lot of training that Habitat International gives us. Is that allowable as nonfederal match?

Emily Appel-Newby: No it's a nonfederal cash contribution so those in kind sources would not count for that.

(Brian Jaffe): Okay.

Emily Appel-Newby: But luckily that'll reduce your cost of operating the program.

(Brian Jaffe): Okay.

((Crosstalk))

Anne Yeoman: Yes, one of the things that - there was a slight change in the AFI legislation I think in 2001 so that if - let's say that 5.5% that's supposed to be spent on financial education - if you have another source for that you don't have to pay for it; you can use the 5.5% on other program costs.

(Brian Jaffe): Okay.

Anne Yeoman: So it gives you a little more breathing room in terms of operations.

(Brian Jaffe): Okay. Thank you. That answers my questions.

Emily Appel-Newby: Okay.

Coordinator: The next question comes from (Vicky Murray), your line is open.

(Vicky Murray): Hello. I have a follow up question to the prior discussion. And with regard to the interest generated or accrued on the federal and nonfederal matching funds what are the usage requirements of those? I would imagine that it would be - those would be dollars that could be either allocated to match or to administrative costs relative to the program?

I have to apologize, I haven't read at this level of detail the budgetary requirements but it's a question that came to mind during the prior conversation.

Anne Yeoman: Right. The interest on 85% of the - essentially your participant match funds, federal and nonfederal, the first preference is that it goes to the participants relative to the amount that they've saved. The interest on the 15% of federal and nonfederal the program can use for any legitimate program costs.

(Vicky Murray): Got you.

Anne Yeoman: Okay? The interest on - the interest on either side never counts as part of the nonfederal cash contribution nor does it count as part of the matching funds to the participants, it's just on top.

(Vicky Murray): Okay.

Anne Yeoman: Okay?

(Vicky Murray): Got you, thank you. And then two - one other quick question if I might, would you mind revisiting the description of the sponsoring organization funds example you gave earlier?

Emily Appel-Newby: Yes, I was just - by the sponsoring organization I was thinking of the grantee organization.

(Vicky Murray): Oh okay.

Emily Appel-Newby: And so that was the case where they were using their…

(Vicky Murray): Earned income…

Emily Appel-Newby: …their capital, yes.

(Vicky Murray): Got you, okay. Great, thank you.

Coordinator: The next question comes from (Mange Akaabuli), your line is open.

(Mange Akaabuli): Thank you. We are this faith-based 501(c)3 organization. We have no experience in AFI but we would like to start but we need help. So how can we go about getting the help we need?

Emily Appel-Newby: Well that's a great - I'm glad that you asked and I'm going to pull up a slide here at the end of the presentation about the AFI Resource Center. And that's where I - I'm Emily; I'm staff with the AFI Resource Center. And we are here to answer questions from potential applicants who are putting together projects and putting together an application…

(Mange Akaabuli): Okay.

Emily Appel-Newby: …about the program design, about the components and then also the technical aspects of the application. And we can be reached at the 1-800 number - the 866-778-6037 or by email at gro.secruoseradi|ofni#gro.secruoseradi|ofni. And then also go ahead and check out the Web site, idaresources.org.

(Mange Akaabuli): Okay.

Emily Appel-Newby: If you want like a really - from the basics understanding of what it takes to put together an AFI project and how to - and how to apply for the AFI program I would suggest that you attend the next webinar that we're having actually which is going to be on Tuesday, May 3.

And that is an AFI program overview and grant application process where we're going to talk about the required components of an IDA program and it's kind of the - if this Webinar series is a two-part series today's Webinar is number two and the program overview is number one.

So what I would suggest is that you attend the program overview webinar in two weeks and then and then after you have that kind of basic level of knowledge and you've taken a look around on the Web site and explored that a little bit on your own go ahead and send an email or give a call to the AFI Resource Center with any specific questions that you have and we can work with you on answering those specific questions.

(Mange Akaabuli): All right, thank you.

Anne Yeoman: I'd like to add one thing to that. Do you already have - oh are you already working with a population that basically fits the AFI profile, that is basically low income households?

(Mange Akaabuli): Yes.

Anne Yeoman: Okay you might have a fair - more experience than you think. You certainly should follow Emily's suggestions and, you know, read up on all this stuff, look at the NOFO, look at all the materials on the Web site, talk to the Resource Center.

But there's - Assets for Independence because we are a demonstration program is very interested in getting more and more different types of organizations involved.

(Mange Akaabuli): Okay.

Anne Yeoman: We need to learn better how this works in different environments. So we're - not having done an IDA program or an AFI IDA program is not necessarily any kind of handicap in terms of an application.

So if you were to do an application you would also - you would not be talking about your experience as AFI you'd be talking about your experience in providing programming and services and getting the outcomes that you plan for in other kinds of programs.

(Mange Akaabuli): All right.

Anne Yeoman: Because many of the, you know, program management is program management in a lot of ways. There's some peculiarities about the reserve funds and that sort of thing and the matches but a lot of the work is kind of in common.

So, you know, assume that you're going to be able to draw on your previous experience when you start reading all this stuff.

(Mange Akaabuli): Okay. Thank you very much.

Emily Appel-Newby: (Julie), do we have anymore questions?

Coordinator: I show no further questions.

Emily Appel-Newby: Okay, I’m just going to take the time to answer one that's been submitted online. Someone asked what I meant when I said giving back unspent funds. And that is referring to literally if you applied for an AFI grant of, you know, $1 million and you were only able to distribute $900,000 of matched funds - well I guess, you know, $1.8 million of match funds because you have the nonfederal contribution with it - at the end of the five year grant period you would return to OCS the unspent match and operating funds and proportionate amount of operating funds.

So the $100,000 to the - to AFI and $100,000 to your nonfederal funder. So that's what Anne was talking about when she said it was a, you know, no-risk investment for the nonfederal funders in that if you are not able to bring enough participants through to asset purchase they get their money back. So that's what that means there.

Anne, do you want to go through the second part of the presentation?

Anne Yeoman: Okay I thought - that's okay we can start that. Okay so we've spent a lot of time on the nonfederal funding and it is really critical. But there are also some other pieces of your program for which you might want to have good partners.

Assets for Independence and IDA programs in general are not really designed to stand alone. They're almost always embedded in a larger context. And there are certain sorts of relationships that are unique to IDA programs and Assts for Independence.

One obvious one is the financial relationship - institution that has to hold these funds and help you manage them according to the guidelines. But there are others such as being able to provide financial education, being able to provide appropriate asset training and that sort of thing.

So if we look at the partner roles beyond funding, as I said, the first and every AFI grantee is going to have a financial institution that is either federally insured or credit - National Credit Union Administration recognized and if that's not a possibility a state-insured to hold the project reserve fund and to hold those IDA accounts, okay?

But you also may use partners for example to help you recruit, to do marketing and outreach, help you recruit eligible and able and ready participants. You may use partners to provide financial education and asset training for example you may, for example, have some general skills in financial education but you may not be a HUD-certified home ownership training center.

And AFI does not require that you be a certified home ownership training center but someone who goes through home ownership training in one of those centers maybe eligible in your jurisdiction for additional down payment assistance or better terms on a mortgage or something else. That would be something to look at.

If you're planning on offering a business IDA having a small business center as a partner or some organization that's experienced in micro-enterprise can be very helpful because our legislation requires that before the matching expenditures can be made it does have to - the things that the money is going to be spent on do have to be included in an approved business plan and that means the plan approved by somebody who has experience in small business and so forth.

Very often grantees, you know, I'm sorry, very often participants need assistance with credit counseling and credit repair. You may or may not be able to do that yourself; you may need to partner with someone else.

So just real quickly we're going to - I'm going to quickly skim through some of the types of partners that you might find appropriate according to asset purchases but you may also think about partners that have to do with supportive services.

So for example in today's environment you might want to have a good partnership with your workforce center or some other organization that specializes in employment. If your participant gets their hours cut or loses their job you want to be able to have them get back to work, not lose their momentum on their savings and their asset goal; one example.

Something else that comes up frequently is medical issues, if you have partners that will help you help your participants deal with medical issues that might come up. All kinds of - life happens as we all know so having a broad array of partners.

And there's a good deal of discussion about this in a document that we call the Project Builder that's available to help you develop your design that's also on the Web site.

Okay so for home ownership some of the obvious partners would be mortgage lenders. They're probably going to be most helpful to you in terms of advising you on your policies.

For example some programs that do home ownership will not allow someone to enroll and have home ownership as their asset purchase if their credit is so far in the dumps that there's not really much likelihood that they can be improved sufficiently to have a decent mortgage by the time they're ready for asset purchase.

Or the mortgage lender could give you advice on other sources of purchase, for example. Public housing authorities are good sources of participants particularly if you hook up with their family self sufficiency program or with their Hope VI projects or other kinds of redevelopment projects so they're looking for people who can actually become home owners.

Neighborhood revitalization we've mentioned before; many jurisdictions have sort of quasi-public benefit programs or even jurisdiction itself managing the revitalization of a neighborhood that has a high level of interest in businesses, home owners, whatever locating there.

Affordable housing developers who have housing - housing ready - or will have housing ready to sell. They need appropriate buyers so sometimes that can happen. However be careful about, you know, look closely at those kinds of relationships; you don't want to get a situation where the affordable - quote, unquote - affordable housing lender is actually going to require a purchase with a loan that's not let's say a prime kind of mortgage.

Sweat equity partners we have on the call, someone from Habitat for Humanity. That's actually a great partner for many of our grantees because those participants are getting financial education, they are having time to plan what they're doing, they are working on other issues in addition to investing sweat equity in their home.

Employers, we've mentioned before, employee retention and productivity are big issues. They may have an interest in home ownership. Some of the may be willing to put up kind of home ownership assistance money and various kinds of nonprofit partners that again have an interest in home ownership.

In the area of small business or micro-enterprise obviously whatever your local Small Business Administration rep and the organizations that are involved with them in terms of small business loans which may be more than the small business development centers. There's a whole group of nonprofits that actually manage small loans on behalf of the Small Business Administration. So get to know your local SBA people and what their networks are.

The small business you develop may also be a good candidate for another kind of loan or other support. Again many jurisdictions have offices of economic development, Department of Labor is interested in self employment as well as your typical sort of, you know, paycheck earner, wage earner.

Workforce development agencies sometimes focus on self employment as well as other kinds of employment and may in fact be coordinated with a local small business development center.

Business incubators - very often this goes along with neighborhood revitalization where you'll have a site where small businesses can share office space or share other kinds of resources, get help with business planning and implementation, getting off the ground.

Those typically are either associated with - jurisdictional public agencies who are supporting them in particular areas and neighborhoods or with educational institutions.

The organizations that are your micro-lenders, the community development finance institutions who have an interest in this. We actually have several grantees that are themselves micro-lenders as well as being involved with IDAs.

SCORE, the Service Core Retired Executives, affiliated with Small Business Administration but is a separate 501 itself, can provide mentoring, coaching. And incidentally they have a huge amount of stuff online about small business development and templates for business plans and that sort of thing.

Again credit unions and banks particularly local or regional banks may have staff who can help you with business development or advise you. I've mentioned CDFIs, and again various kinds of nonprofits.

Now education IDAs the first thing to know is that the biggest single issue - and Emily has mentioned this - the biggest single issue for educational institutions is retention.

A large part of their ratings and a large - whether it's in their workforce because they are rated on their workforce or in terms of the more traditional kind of collegiate rating they're accreditation and all that is driven by their retention so how many students that enter as a freshman actually complete within five years or six years or whatever depending on which measure you're using.

For older students retention is - well all students actually but particularly for older students retention is a major issue. So students who have additional resources to support their education, who have the financial skills, as Emily has mentioned, can be very valuable to colleges and universities, community colleges, financial institutions - I'm sorry - sorry, want to backtrack here.

Remember that post-secondary education and training for Assets for Independence includes vocational training. it does not require that someone get a degree or even actually a certification although typically that's the case.

So being very tuned into what's going on in terms of vocational planning, career planning, kind of an intersection between that and workforce is important.

But your financial aid offices and your student life people and of course people who like most national foundations or other employers perhaps who have an interest in students completing - filling certain kinds of niches in the business world for skills and services have an interest in both - potentially putting out money but also providing services.

One thing I want to focus on here is scholarship funds. This is an issue both in terms of finding nonfederal match and in terms of good partners. Many community colleges, most universities public and private, even a few vocational schools although it's not as common do have their own private scholarship funds that may be used as nonfederal cash contributions.

This is an area that is just beginning to be developed in a lot of places. We have a couple grantees that have done a lot of this particularly with the community college system that has its own separate foundation and has historically put up money for several grants for individuals to match with their IDAs to be used to go through school.

So that whole issue of using institutional scholarship funds is something that you should look at both in terms of other resources for your participants but also as potential nonfederal cash contribution.

Whatever your relationship with your other partners - whatever the services are that they're providing for you whether it's recruitment and referral or employment services or helping with career planning or business plans it's a good idea - and certainly in terms of the review of an application - it's a good idea to have some kind of MOU or some kind of written document that basically fills out who's doing what.

This - again just general clarity in terms of operating your project is helpful but inevitably over the five years of your IDA project either you will have staff turnover or they will have staff turnover and everybody needs something to refer to to say by the way what did we agree on.

This is particularly important for the financial institutions. And we do have templates for financial institution agreements. Because they are going to have to provide you with certain kinds of information so that you can manage your - both your reserve fund and the actual individual development account so it' a very good idea to spell out what they're going to do for you preferably at no cost with no charge for these accounts which is usually the case.

So in that case it's particularly important. But with any kind of partner it would be very helpful to have some kind of agreement that lays out who's going to do what, when they're going to do it, when information has to be exchanged, in what form. Are you going to provide training to the partner? Are they going to provide training for your staff? What they're going to - and so forth, so forth. So any number of things can come up.

So this is the second place in the call where we're going to pause for questions so, (Julie), if you can remind people.

Coordinator: Thank you. As a reminder if you would like to ask a question over the phone please press star 1. Okay. And if you'd like to ask a question over the phone please press star 1. One moment to see if we have any questions over the phone.

Anne Yeoman: Okay, people are getting tired. All right so we can pick up here. And I think that - since I can't see the slides probably it's going to be best for Emily to handle these next few slides that really have to do with the IDA Resource Center, where to find information on our fundraising information that's on that Web site and introduce you to some of our sources, kind of give you a little bit of an overview.

And again I don't want to - do want to encourage you at any time to call the AFI Resource Center or send us an email. So, Emily, since I can't see those I think that it'd be better if you do this, is that okay?

Emily Appel-Newby: Yes, definitely, definitely. So the main Web site that we have for potential applicants and also for grantees is at idaresources.org and you can see the full length up there on the screen right now.

And it covers a range of different aspects of managing your IDA program and also designing an IDA program. And so kind of there you'll see in the middle under topics and tools managing your IDA - your AFI project so that's a lot of the forms you need to communicate and report back to AFI and then financial education, fundraising, we talk about networks - network projects, the AFI squared data management system.

And so that's where you can find, okay, these are the quick topics that grantees and applicants often want to hear about, announcements are on the left side so you can hear about webinars.

You know, the webinars aren't just for while you're applying they're also after you're a grantee you - we have webinars about, you know, like how to use the data system, how to do the reporting. We have best practices in delivering financial education so the kind of the grantee support continues after you've been awarded the grant.

And then down on the right hand side you'll see there's a specific - a couple specific populations that AFI is particularly interested in funding applications for projects that serve - that are going to focus on a couple specific target populations; domestic violence survivors, father and families in the child support system, families with young children so families involved in the Head Start agencies, people with disabilities, Native Americans and - am I missing any, Anne?

Anne Yeoman: Let's see, noncustodial parents.

Emily Appel-Newby: Yes, I said child support…

Anne Yeoman: I'm sorry…

((Crosstalk))

Emily Appel-Newby: Okay so I think that I covered those then.

Anne Yeoman: Okay.

Emily Appel-Newby: So those are the kind of populations that AFI is - and so this - and we're also interested in getting existing AFI projects to better reach out and partner with organizations that are serving those populations. So that's what's kind of here in this part of the Web site is how you can reach out to - what kinds of organizations you can reach out to and how - what messages with - that resonate most with them in order to motivate them to become partners with you.

And then the fundraising section is one of those sections down the middle, one of the squares in the middle, and it's - a lot of the information that we have included on this call plus also more.

One piece that I really like is messaging about asset building and about the ways that it strengthens families and communities so a lot of the same message but just even more on the data side and messages that you can use with different entities so this is a little snapshot of the fundraising section of the AFI IDA Resources Web site.

So then in the fundraising section there are four specific sections for building your fundraising strategy, fundraising and resource development plan - so putting together a plan which is a good thing to have in place, you know, it's not something you're required to submit with your application but it's a good thing to know what you're going to do when you apply so that you can explain how we have this nonfederal commitment and we continue - we plan to continue to support the program in these ways.

Planning your fundraising strategy, evaluating your individual donor program; that's something a lot of nonprofits struggle with, and ten important things you can know about fundraising so kind of an introduction to fundraising and there's a direct link right there.

We talk about cultivating funders and so that's what I was referring to a little bit before about the messaging that you can use with different stakeholders and so framing your arguments and what messages would matter with them — the thank you note, a very important part of it and then communicating with financial partners because they're obviously something that no IDA project can do without.

And then beyond the nonfederal cash contribution we talk about suggestions for leveraged sources for also supporting your AFI IDA product - project. And so we have examples of where other IDA programs have looked for that and have - and what kind of support that they have received.

So then again this is the - the Webinars that we had scheduled for spring and the beginning of summer in 2011 so again I'll point out that in two weeks on May 3 the AFI program overview to really go through how to put together an AFI project and to go - and we'll go through the application process in a lot more detail, that would be a good thing.

And then if anyone is planning on applying by the - for the May 25 deadline on Tuesday, May 17 we're going to have a Q&A call for prospective grantees and so that is just - we will have no PowerPoint, no webinar but it'll just be a chance for you to ask those burning questions that you have and hear what other people's burning questions as they put together the - put the finishing touches on their AFI application.

So again I'll go ahead and put up the information about the contact information for the AFI Resource Center. And that's myself or others who know about running an AFI program and can help you design the project and can help you work through, okay, what is the size of the match, when do I need to do the draw downs and that kind of stuff as well as the application.

I've mentioned the next funding deadline is May 25 and the one after that will be January 25 in early 2012. So if you're not able to pull it together for May 25 there is one coming up after that that will allow you - give you all the time you need to put those partnerships in place and raise that nonfederal cash contribution.

Anne Yeoman: Okay so (Julie), do we have any questions?

Coordinator: I do have a question.

Anne Yeoman: Okay.

Coordinator: (Tanik Jensen), your line is open.

(Tanik Jensen): Good evening, how you all doing?

Anne Yeoman: Hello.

Emily Appel-Newby: Hey, great.

(Tanik Jensen): My question was based on how you deposit the nonfederal and the federal match. We're anticipating using our United Way funds that we currently get for our IDA program as our match for this grant. The way that the funds come to us now are monthly and we deposit them into a reserve account until individual meets their match requirement and ready to make a purchase.

So does that mean I have to draw down the federal portion of that match simultaneously while we receive those funds from United Way and then they sit in the account until the person is ready to purchase or do I wait until the time of purchase?

Emily Appel-Newby: No that's the idea is that you would pull down the funds both from the nonfederal source and from the federal AFI source before you enroll someone in the program. So yes it is…

(Tanik Jensen): So before they're enrolled in the program?

Emily Appel-Newby: Right, before they're enrolled in the program. Right, so if you draw down enough match to enroll 20 people and then you go out and enroll 20 people.

Anne Yeoman: You want to draw down your federal money as soon as you can. There's no point in leaving it sitting there. And you really should have it in the bank to cover your promised match anyway.

(Tanik Jensen): Okay.

Anne Yeoman: So if you've got 20 - like Emily says if you've got $20,000 from United Way go ahead and draw down $20,000 on the federal and if six months later you've got another $20,000 from United Way go ahead and draw down another $20,000 of your federal.

Emily Appel-Newby: And, I mean, the other reason why - like there's no reason to put it off, one, just because the interest is, you know, something that you can allocate to your savers and to help benefit them even more.

There's also the operating funds; you don't get to start counting the operating funds towards your, you know, you can't use it to pay your employees or pay for your expenses until you've drawn it down.

(Tanik Jensen): Okay so currently with the program we have the IDA participant deposit their monthly - we require them to deposit their monthly savings into a savings account. And then once they - we've gone over all the credit stuff and they've been approved for financing we issue the check for the closing attorney as far as their match - their funds are to match those towards their down payment assistance.

Emily Appel-Newby: Right, both of those. Yes, you combine it.

(Tanik Jensen): Okay.

Emily Appel-Newby: Put both their savings and the match towards the deposit - down payment.

(Tanik Jensen): Okay.

Anne Yeoman: And when you issue the check for the purchase - when they're ready to purchase your check from your reserve fund is going to be half of those dollars are going to be your nonfederal and half of those dollars are going to be federal.

(Tanik Jensen): Correct.

Anne Yeoman: Okay. Any more questions?

Coordinator: The next question comes from (Vicky Murray), your line is open.

(Vicky Murray): Thanks again…

((Crosstalk))

(Vicky Murray): Hello, thanks again to all of you for another great webinar; these are just so very helpful. And the last slide with the next round of application deadlines raises a question in terms of the potential allocation for 2012 grants. Is it to soon to tell what those might look like in terms of federal dollars?

Emily Appel-Newby: All I can tell you at this point is that we have $15 million, you know, committed for 2011 and so I'm expecting a equal amount next year.

(Vicky Murray): Okay.

Anne Yeoman: You know, to be fair none of us knows exactly what's going to happen but historically Assets for Independence has had bipartisan support. Now whether or not, you know, like I said anything could happen. But we have no particular reason to anticipate a budget cut. That doesn't mean it couldn't happen.

(Vicky Murray): Right.

Anne Yeoman: But at the moment we have no indication that that would be the case.

(Vicky Murray): Okay. And then with regard to the May funds that might be available I know it's dependant upon the outcome of the March round. Any - and you guys, I realize, are in the process of reviewing those as we speak. Might there be an announcement of the balance available for the May round?

Emily Appel-Newby: There won't be an announcement but I can tell you that, you know, we did not have $15 million worth of applications…

(Vicky Murray): Okay.

Emily Appel-Newby: …during the March round. So it actually worked out perfectly; we had about $7.5 million worth of funds applied for which may or may not be allocated.

(Vicky Murray): Okay. Thank you.

Coordinator: And right now I’m showing no further questions.

Anne Yeoman: Okay. Well we appreciate your being with us and it's clear that people are thinking very carefully about this. That's a good thing. What typically happens is as soon as you hang up you'll think of something that you should have asked. So by all means contact us at that AFI Resource Center phone number of send us an email. And I expect folks we'll get back to you if not the same day the next day.

So really do appreciate your joining us and thanks to Emily for pinch-hitting since I couldn't see the screen. I really appreciate it. And we look forward to seeing some applications from you. It's - at the very least seeing you at our next call.

Emily Appel-Newby: Yes, it was great. I look forward to getting some calls and talking to some people about the ideas that they have. That's one of my favorite parts of this.

Anne Yeoman: Okay thank you. Thank you Emily. Thank you, (Julie).

Coordinator: Thank you. Thank you so much for participating on today's conference call. You may disconnect your lines at this time. Thank you and have a great day.

END