The Arizona Community Foundation partners with Arizona nonprofits to aid working families in building and sustaining financial health through the Arizona Family Economic Success program.
Support grows across the state
Arizona Family Economic Success began in 2003 in the Arizona-Mexico border region through partnerships with our Affiliates in Yuma and Cochise County as well as banks, grassroots advocates, faith-based groups, local community development organizations, state agencies and other community foundations. Then known as “A Campaign for Working Families,” the program has since expanded across Arizona, thanks to support from J.P. Morgan Chase, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Meridian Bank and Assets for Financial Independence.
The program operates through three essential tools:
- VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance): programs that train volunteers to assist qualifying families in filing their income tax returns, free of charge.
- Earned Income Tax Credit: VITA volunteers help tax fliers claim the EITC, a benefit for working people who have low to moderate income that reduces or refunds owed taxes. These dollars can assist individuals and families in building assets for the future and bring local money back into the economy.
- Individual Development Accounts: we fund matching contributions to these savings accounts that provide an incentive to work, save and build assets as a means to reach economic self-sufficiency. Through our partnerships, the program now includes Individual Development Accounts for children to save for college and for low-income community college students to assist with higher education costs.
ACF is a national leader in supporting nonprofits providing financial literacy programs in economically distressed communities. We were one of five organizations nationally to receive funding from the Corporation for National & Community Service in 2010 to identify 13 nonprofits providing financial literacy services and help them develop and implement a shared system for measuring their efforts. Known as Project SAM (Shared Asset Measurement), the program recently completed and all participants benefited. The video below explains Project SAM in greater detail.