Essays on People, Place & Purpose

Investing in What Works for America's Communities

What Works Wednesdays

by Admin

Since the release of Investing in What Works for America’s Communities, hundreds of readers from across the United States and other countries have written in to “Tell Us What Works” in the fight against poverty. We are encouraged by what we’ve heard from you and hope sharing these ideas sparks dialogue about what works to provide opportunity for all Americans. We hope you’ll contribute your ideas and tell us what works for your community.

Effective and genuine community development starts with a vision crafted by the community, facilitated by a community-based organization that represents and is accountable to the community, with financial and other resources from a variety of partners who respect the community. That’s the model we’re working with at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group – and, slowly but surely, we’re making progress toward a neighborhood-wide, comprehensive revitalization.
-Sean, St. Louis, MO


I work for Partners In Community Building, Inc. (PICB), which focuses on education in financial literacy. As a HUD certified counseling agency, we teach our clients important skills, such as: budgeting, managing money, investing, saving and the biggest pitfall is planning. We are part of a credit builders coalition in Chicago that has been given tools to assist the consumer. We are also part of the Bank on Chicago programs, which gives second chances for people to join banks and become educated on the process. We are in talks currently to expand our program to reach the youth with mobile banking.
-Bobbi, Chicago, IL


What works? Funding structures that support the bottom of the pyramid works. Companies that balance financial reporting with impact reporting works. Channeling funding into housing and sustainable food, which has a ripple effect across numerous sectors and communities works. The power of people and collaboration works!
-Shyam, Dublin, CA


With diminishing federal funds and an increase in need, we are looking at an entirely new structure to operate within the public sector. New financing models, better data collection, and a “boots on the ground” approach are just a part of where we are focusing our efforts. This book has not only enlightened my understanding, but has been a tool as we discuss the issues, understanding our market and local economy, and plan for the future.
-Michael, Salt Lake City, UT


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About The Project

Investing in What Works for America’s Communities is a joint project of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund.

To request a copy of the book and join our email list, Contact Us.

The views expressed in this book and on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Reserve System, or the Low Income Investment Fund.

Tell Us What Works

The ideas in Investing in What Works for America’s Communities are just a start. We want to hear about what’s working in your community. Tell us about innovative ideas for addressing poverty and share examples of people and places that inspire you. We want to share these ideas and spark conversation about how to create opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. Tell Us What Works

Funding for this project was generously provided to the Low Income Investment Fund by the Citi Foundation.