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This toolkit guides you through the process of creating rules of thumb—simple, actionable messages that can guide consumers on a decision or action. This toolkit is for financial services providers and community organizations interested in: solving a consumer financial challenge, designing rules of thumb and measuring their impact on consumers, and learning a consumer-centric design approach. 


- CommonWealth

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This State Policy Blueprint aims to support the leadership of state lawmakers and advocates interested in creating a more inclusive path to prosperity—a path that addresses the challenges and institutional barriers facing low-income communities and communities of color. Undoubtedly, this list is not comprehensive, but rather, is designed to serve as a starting point for states looking to do more to invest in all their residents. - Prosperity Now

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This primer aims to identify the elements of advocacy, policy design and implementation practices that improve outcomes for people of color. This primer is a companion resource to a state policy "blueprint" which recommends select policies with the potential to address growing wealth and economic inequality.  - Prosperity Now

2016 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, the leading source for data on household financial security and policy solutions. - Prosperity Now

THE STATUS OF WORKING FAMILIES is a biennial report that analyzes the general state of Indiana’s economy as it relates to working families by examining data on poverty, labor force and wages, followed by working-family friendly policy options. -The Indiana Institute for Working Families

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a homeownership toolkit called "Owning A Home," to help buyers learn about loan options, compare interest rates, understand closing forms, and prepare for closing. It is an easy-to-use, interactive tool to assist in the strenuous process. 

ALICE was coined by United Way in 2009 after a pilot research project looked at the low-income population in affluent Morris County, one of the five founding communities which merged in 2011 to become United Way of Northern New Jersey. The original study focused primarily on data from 2007, largely before the effects of the economic downturn, known as the Great Recession, were widespread. - Association of United Ways

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A project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT is the premier source for data on child and family well-being in the United States. Access hundreds of indicators, download data and create reports and graphics on the KIDS COUNT Data center that support smart decisions about children and families.

Since its founding in 1974 by the federal housing policy expert, Cushing Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLiHC) has used data to document America's housing affordability crisis. As part of her original analysis, Cushing observed a fundamental mismatch between the wages people earn and the price of decent housing, what we now call Out of Reach. Today, housing is still out of reach for far too many, and the gap between what people earn and the price of decent housing continues to grow.

The 2016 Market Size Study is presented by CFSI and Core Innovation Capital and made possible by funding from Morgan Stanley and the Ford Foundation. It is the 6th annual market analysis and aims to illustrate the size of and the opportunity to address the needs of financially underserved consumers and identify significant trends driving marketplace evolution and growth. 

The study presents a snapshot of:

  • Interest and fees spent by underserved consumers to borrow, spend, save, and plan
  • Volume of consumers usage generating revenue
  • Current and projected revenue growth rates
  • Key trends driving market developments

The Indiana College Readiness Report released by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education shows tracks the status of Indiana High School students. Indicators include number of students who took the AP test, earned duel credit from an Indiana public college, Socioeconomic status, and more. 

Please visit for other resources regarding Indiana College Readiness

Released by Prosperity Now and Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP), this report focuses on the role that policy design can have on closing the country's unrelenting and unacceptable racial wealth divide. The report utilizes a new framework—The Racial Wealth AuditTM—launched jointly by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University (IASP) and Demos to show what impacts policy initiatives may have on narrowing or widening the racial wealth gap, one of the most pressing dynamics of inequality facing the United States today. Specifically, this report examines education policies that affect financial outcomes in relation to:

  • Children's Savings for College and Asset Development
  • Student Debt and College Affordability
  • Education and Employment Outcomes

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' Community Development Outlook Survey is an annual survey that monitors the economic factors affecting low- and moderate-income (LMI) people and communities in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. The survey is sent to a variety of community stakeholders; results represent the opinions of those organizations that respond, which may vary from survey to survey. Data received will be useful for strategic planning, community and economic development, and public policy dialogue. The survey was piloted in September 2011 as the Low- and Moderate-Income (LMI) Survey.

An infographic on key results of the survey can be found here.

2016 Community Development Outlook Survey

A Downpayment on the Divide: Steps to Ease Racial Inequality in Homeownership

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Released by Prosperity Now, this report explores the relationship between race and homeownership and recommends ways to leverage the wealth-building potential of homeownership to close the divide. 

One of the most significant advantages of homeownership is the financial security a home provides. Homeownership is a lucrative asset – indeed, homeownership is the most valuable asset a family owns – bringing with it enormous wealth-building potential. Given this, it is important to understand how correcting past mistakes and achieving greater racial equality in this space could narrow the racial wealth divide and most importantly, suggest ways to achieve this.

The report recommends policies that would protect the CFPB, ensure access to affordable mortgage credit for homebuyers of color, promote the increased use of alternative data in credit reporting and scoring, and boost enforcement activities to support fair lending and combat discriminatory practices. By taking these actions, it would be easier for consumers of color to access safe mortgage products.