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Shira Markoff, Associate Director, Children's Savings

Areas of Expertise: Children’s Savings Accounts, IDAs, Integrated Service Delivery

Shira Markoff is Associate Director for Children’s Savings. She manages CFED’s work to support the creation, design and operational success of Children’s Savings Account (CSA) programs through providing technical assistance to programs, engaging in advocacy at the state and local levels and developing tools and resources for the field. Previously, Shira served as Associate Director on CFED’s Savings & Financial Capability team, for which she oversaw a portfolio of children’s and adult’s savings programs and managed programs that integrate asset-building strategies within other large systems, such as TANF, Head Start and other social services.

Shira has more than 10 years of experience working on asset-building and financial capability programs. Prior to joining CFED, she worked as a Program Manager for Seedco managing a portfolio of six government and private grant programs, totaling over $2.2 million annually. She worked with community-based organizations across New York City to implement programs that assisted low- and moderate-income taxpayers in receiving the EITC and other tax credits and helped families access government benefits, such as SNAP and Medicaid. Shira also served two years as an Americorps VISTA at New Jersey Community Development Corporation, where she helped to implement and manage an IDA program.

Shira holds a Master of Public Policy degree from American University and a B.A. in history from Rutgers University.

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Most Recent Blog Posts

May 15, 2017

What Appeals to Parents About Children’s Savings Accounts? Findings from a Survey of Low-Income Parents

To enhance the field’s understanding of parent perceptions of CSAs further, CFED conducted survey research with low-income parents of young children to assess whether a $100 incentive increases the appeal of CSAs.

Mar 27, 2017

CSAs as Part of a Comprehensive Child Development Strategy

Since the CSA field is still relatively young and rapidly growing, we have a golden opportunity to explore design options that put CSAs squarely into a suite of interventions that help children develop into successful adults.

Jan 27, 2017

How Executive Action Can Help Expand Children’s Savings Programs

While some CSA programs have developed workarounds, for other would-be programs, the challenge of finding a financial services provider willing to work with them to create an appropriate savings vehicle is too big to overcome.

Nov 7, 2016

The State of the Children’s Savings Field: A Look Behind the Numbers

Our recent report, "A Growing Movement: The State of the Children’s Savings Field 2016," offers a snapshot of the growing field of CSAs. However, for my fellow data wonks and CSA aficionados, this blog offers a deeper dive into the survey results.

Jul 13, 2016

Free College and CSAs – The Perfect Pair

Presidential candidates should include CSAs in their plans to tackle college costs.

Apr 19, 2016

Leaders of the Pack: The Campaign for Every Kid’s Future Names Steering Committee Members

Partners are essential to making the Campaign for Every Kid's Future thrive.

Mar 24, 2016

New Legislation Expands Educational Opportunity with Right-Side Up Reforms

Big news for all advocates fighting to expand opportunity, boost children’s savings and turn upside-down tax programs right-side up!

Mar 24, 2016

CSAs: Coming Soon to a City or State Near You!

As part of the Campaign for Every Kid’s Future, CFED has set out an audacious goal of connecting 1.4 million children with a Children’s Savings Account (CSA) by 2020. Achieving this goal will require big, bold new programs in states and large cities.

Dec 8, 2015

How to Build a Successful Children’s Savings Account Program

Children’s Savings Account (CSA) programs are a powerful tool for building children’s aspirations and investing in their futures. But how do you get one off the ground?

Nov 20, 2015

USAccounts Act Would Create CSAs for All Kids!

This proposal is a critical step toward making access to savings—and higher education—are reality for all kids.

Oct 12, 2015

What We Can Learn from Cuyahoga County

The closure of the children’s savings account (CSA) program in Cuyahoga County, Ohio affords us the opportunity to learn more about how to get it right when it comes to designing and implementing CSA programs.

Sep 30, 2015

A Step-by-Step Guide to Designing Children’s Savings Account Programs

Children’s Savings Accounts (CSA) programs are a powerful tool for growing college savings and building students’ aspirations for their future. CFED's new interactive guide can help organizations, cities, counties and states design successful CSA programs.

Sep 11, 2015

Can This Children’s Savings Program Get More West Virginians to Go to College?

West Virginia joins several other states— including Nevada, Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut—that have statewide, universally-available Children’s Savings Account (CSA) programs.

Apr 20, 2015

Financial Capability: It’s Not Just for Adults

We focus on children and youth (ages 0-21) because building financial capability early in life can make a significant difference in adulthood.

Jan 14, 2015

Growing the Children’s Savings Movement: A Look Back at 2014 and a Sneak Peek at 2015

The energy and momentum of the children’s savings movement continues to build!

Jun 16, 2014

Parents Might Be Able To Do It Alone—But They Shouldn’t have to

Having Father’s Day this past weekend, its an opportune moment to think about all the fathers and mothers of modest means across the country

May 20, 2014

The 2014 Children’s Savings Conference: A Reflection

It’s not often that a conference opens with an invitation to engage in a frank conversation about the tough issues facing a field.

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