On Wednesday, December 2, AFN held a webinar on the release of Looking to the Future: The Children’s Saving Field Responds to COVID and Racial Equity. Conducted by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University and sponsored by AFN, this is the first field-wide empirical research on the effects of these challenges for CSAs.

Children’s savings accounts (CSAs) have become a popular and beneficial strategy to help more children and parents see postsecondary education as an attainable goal early in life. This moment – amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and racial equity movements – is reshaping the present realities of many CSA programs and future directions of the field.

We heard from authors Rebecca Loya, Madeline Smith-Gibbs, & Ofa Ejaife on how the CSA field has been actively working on meeting the challenges brought by the pandemic and the need for greater racial equity. We learned what is required from philanthropy to support the evolution of the field.

The discussion included:

  • How might the COVID-19 pandemic affect future funding for the CSA field?
  • How would CSA program managers like to respond to communities’ pandemic-related needs and enhance the racial equity of their programs?
  • What resources do CSA programs need to address communities’ evolving needs?
  • How can philanthropy support CSA programs now and over the long term?