Our March 2017 newsletter includes:

  • A brief on 2Gen Efforts from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County
  • A new platform, sponsored by the MetLife Foundation, developed by New America: the Mapping Financial Opportunity (MFO)
  • A report, sponsored by Citi, regarding the Menino Survey of Mayors
  • A recording of the AFN brief “Health and Wealth Connection: Opportunities for Investment Across the Life Course”
  • The introduction of a new mapping tool, produced by Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce (GIST)
  • A report, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase: “Emergency Savings: Building Pathways to Financial Health and Economic Opportunity”
  • Introduction of the The Peer City Identification Tool (PCIT) developed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • An update from the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility (TAEM), led by CFED and PolicyLink, regarding the issue of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • A report on the Gender Wealth Gap, produced by the National League of Cities (NLC)
  • A state by state analysis of immigrant tax contributions
  • and of course a letter from Joe Antolin, AFN Executive Director


“Instead of seeking universal eligibility, however, we should pursue universal goals. … [and] recognize the need for a variety of strategies or means to move families and communities in different situations toward this outcome.”
– Tom Shapiro, Toxic Inequality

Over the life course, health outcomes are achieved in the United States in ways that reflect a person’s and household’s financial security, disposable income and wealth. AFN’s most recent brief, “The Health and Wealth Connection: Opportunities for Investment Across the Life Course”, explores this concept. Make sure to catch one of AFN’s local convenings across the country to discuss alignment and the integration of efforts moving across sectors in partnership. In the end, AFN believes this approach, to support low and moderate-income households and strengthen communities to build wealth and health, holds real promise.


This strategic investment model is one of the key findings and recommendations made by Tom Shapiro in his newest book, Toxic Inequality: How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide and Threatens Our Future. In “Toxic Inequality”, Tom reports on the financial circumstances of the same 200 families over 20 years reflecting the systemic challenges faced by households of color and low and moderate-income households trying to be upwardly mobile. “Toxic Inequality” makes the link of the wealth- building advantage from intentionally racist policies of the past, and the ways current policies do not level the playing field.

What’s AFN’s approach to this call for equity and universal goals? It is reflected in our mission and in the plans developed by our members: embed a deliberate focus on equitable opportunity and prosperity for low and moderate-income households across all strategies.

Achieving this universal goal requires that we close the racial and gender wealth gaps. And to do so, involves short-term efforts and long-term asset building that align different targeted efforts to equitably achieve the universal goal.

Moving to this goal isn’t advocating for a free for all, go your own way, or boutique approach; rather, it is about declaring leadership as philanthropy and partnering to change the future trajectory for our children. This is why strategic philanthropy around the health/wealth connection is critically important.

AFN members are leading the way. I believe many more of you are prepared to join us to make equity the pathway for everybody. I look forward to seeing many of you in Indianapolis and hope to continue to have many more of you engage and inform our sessions and content!

Joseph A. Antolín
Executive Director
Asset Funders Network