In 2014, NACEDA received a grant from the PNC Foundation to produce a descriptive assessment of the financial empowerment programs for 18 of NACEDA’s state and regional association members. The report published in April 2015 outlined a wide variety of programs, support, funding, and even terminology used to implement a category of work growing in popularity in the community development field.
The report was unique because state and regional associations were the unit of analysis, not on-the-ground organizations and service-providers. Not surprisingly, NACEDA’s member associations tended to interface with financial empowerment work through technical assistance, training, and advocacy, with only a handful providing direct services or loans to clients.
Below, I list a few interesting challenges the report puts forward, then follow up with some hopeful thoughts.