State Asset Building Initiatives

The Institute

The Institute (formerly named the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development) aims to strengthen the asset base of diverse populations through policy, education, and opportunity.  The nonprofit’s four core programs include:  1) Women Business Development, which helps women launch, operate, and grow successful enterprises; 2) Construction Business Diversity, which includes matchmaking and other services to diversify the construction industry; 3) Transportation Business Diversity, which boosts the capacity of small and disadvantaged businesses interested in bidding on federally funded transportation projects; and 4) Public Allies, which offers young adults paid apprenticeships designed to help them grow into community leaders. Since its formation in 1986, the nonprofit is credited with serving over 10,000 clients and helping people access financial and contract awards totaling $700 million.

Land Loss Prevention Project

Established in 1982 by the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers to help curb the epidemic losses of black-owned land in the state, the Land Loss Prevention Project (LPP) now provides legal support and assistance to all of North Carolina’s financially distressed and limited resourced farmers and landowners.  Through LPP’s SmartGrowth Business Center, the nonprofit also offers consultation and legal assistance to help farmers meet their business goals and area residents who are considering agricultural entrepreneurship.

Reinvestment Partners

Established in 1986 as a project of North Carolina Legal Services, Reinvestment Partners (formerly named the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina) works to foster healthy and just communities by empowering people, improving places, and influencing policy. To do so, the nonprofit has three core focuses:  1) Local services, through which it provides housing counseling and free tax preparation services to thousands of families on an annual basis; 2) Community development, a program credited with financing North Carolina’s first manufactured housing community land trust; and 3) Policy advocacy and research.
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Center for Responsible Lending

Based in Durham, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) aims to ensure that the financial marketplace is fair and inclusive for all responsible borrowers regardless of their income.  To do so, the nonprofit conducts research on the extent and impact of predatory lending and develops and promotes policy solutions designed to reform lending practices at the state and federal level.  Launched in Durham in 1999, the nonprofit now works with state coalitions across the country and has offices in Washington, D.C. and Oakland, California.

Finance Project/Information Resource Center

Founded in 1994, the Finance Project provides research, consulting, technical assistance, and training to assist in the development of policies, programs, and financing strategies for community development efforts. Its website contains links to publications on a wide range of community wealth building initiatives.

CFED Assets and Opportunity Scorecard

The Assets and Opportunity Scorecard measures how easy or difficult state policy makes it for families across the United States to achieve self-sufficiency. The scorecard focuses on two areas: first, a family's ability to build assets that can be used to invest for the future, send children to college, and weather unexpected financial storms; and second, safety nets and safeguards that provide financial security in the event of a job loss, medical emergency, or other family emergency.

Asset Funders Network

AFN, founded in 2005, helps foundations identify how to direct resources so that asset policy and products are accessible to people with limited resources or otherwise unable to build sufficient financial reserves to withstand emergencies and plan for their future. The website contains conference presentations and other materials on community wealth building.

Annie E. Casey Foundation: Family Economic Success initiative

Annie E. Casey's Family Economic Success initiative helps low-income working families build their financial futures in strong neighborhoods by integrating three key components: job and skills training, family asset building, and community wealth building. The website includes a wide range of publications on these issues.

Asset Coalition Toolkit for States

Asset Coalition Toolkit for the States (ACTS) is an independent, information-sharing website where state coalitions can exchange knowledge and strategies in the asset-building field. Sponsored by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law’s Community Investment Unit with support from the Levi Strauss Foundation and the Friedman Family Foundation, ACTS provides a forum that fosters innovation through a wealth of resources.

Hidden in Plain Sight

Lillian Woo, F. William Schweke and Dave Bucholz