Fund my Future program helps provide incentives to increase savings accounts
November 14, 2017
On October 27, state, county, and city representatives gathered at the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania to announce the countywide expansion of Fund My Future. The program incentivizes saving by giving participants the chance to win prizes as they make deposits into a child’s saving account.
Initially launched at Propel Charter Schools in 2013, the program has leveraged more than 20,000 bank deposits, totaling over $100,000 in savings. “We started off with just a dollar,” said Ms. Giles, a participant for the past three years. “Then it went to $5. Then it went to $10. And now when I checked her account the other day, she is up to $2,000.”
However, according to Ms. Toni Corinealdi, the Fund My Future Program Manager, “Fund My Future doesn’t just imbed the lifelong habit of saving. Fund My Future is also about building confidence in children.” By initiating conversations about long-term goals, the program instills hope in the future. A 2013 study by the Assets and Education Initiative shows that children with savings accounts are three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate, regardless of the amount saved.
The program also provides a fun and creative way to teach children about banking. “Financial literacy is a critical part of people being able to find success. If we can start at a young age and allow young people the opportunity to create a banking account, what we are giving them is a sound foundation in order to be able to establish credit and be able then to go further in life,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.
State Representative Ed Gainey added that getting children involved in banking “will expand their minds to think about financial portfolios that will help them in the long run.”
Fund My Future is broadly supported through its partnerships with schools, churches, family support centers, government organizations, libraries, and after school programs. “It’s hard to find another place in America where you have city council, the mayor, the county executive, your state leaders, your federal leaders, public, private, business, labor, all rowing in the same direction. And when you do, magic like this can happen,” said city councilman Dan Gilman.
Neighborhood Allies has been working with Propel Schools to expand their successful program countywide. Over the next year, Fund My Future will be giving out $15,000 in prizes, which is supported by local foundations. Anyone can enroll in Fund My Future on behalf of a child ages 0-18 in Allegheny County by simply linking an existing savings account from any financial institution or a 529 Plan. Visit http://www.fundmyfuturepgh.org to sign up!