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The Inclusive Economy

CFED Launches Ambitious New Strategic Plan Designed to Build an Opportunity Economy

By Leigh Tivol on 01/07/2016 @ 04:00 PM

Tags: News

I stand for the square deal. But when I say that I am for the square deal, I mean not merely that I stand for fair play under the present rules of the game, but that I stand for having those rules changed so as to work for a more substantial equality of opportunity...

– President Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

CFED is pleased to share our new Strategic Plan, Building an Opportunity Economy: Reducing Wealth Inequality and Expanding Prosperity for All Americans. Over the next three years, we will embark on a renewed effort to open the door to an opportunity economy for all—where each of us can contribute and build a more prosperous future for ourselves, our communities and our country.

CFED began its strategic planning process with a commitment to question everything—from our theory of business to our theory of change—because we understood that the stakes and opportunities have never been greater. Too many low- and moderate-income Americans, particularly in communities of color, suffered significant losses of wealth and income during the recession, and have not been made whole by the overall economic recovery. Measures of economic mobility, asset poverty and educational attainment demonstrate either minimal gains or ongoing decline within these communities. And the powerful market, regulatory, political and societal forces that exacerbate barriers to economic inclusion are forces upon which CFED alone has only limited influence.

However, these challenges have also opened up important new paths forward. In recent years, issues of economic inequality have captured the attention of national policymakers and candidates in unprecedented ways. We recognize that we must capitalize on this window of opportunity to create lasting change, and we believe that this strategic plan reflects that urgency.

In the course of our planning process, CFED has:

  • Revised our mission statement to better describe our work while also affirming our commitment to achieve systemic change through public policy and market interventions and by leveraging large-scale public and private systems. We also codified CFED’s connection to organizations on the ground as an essential part of creating systems change through grass-tops advocacy at all levels of government and through learning and idea exchange.
  • Organized our major program goals around the specific actions called out in our mission statement: scaling solutions, driving policy change and mobilizing community leaders.
  • Redoubled our efforts to bridge the deeply unjust racial wealth divide. In the next three years, we will grapple with the drivers of racial wealth inequality, build capacity and deepen engagement with asset-development and racial equity organizations, expand investment and advance best practices.
  • Committed to developing and advancing a unified “generous brand”—an identity with which stakeholders in our field and beyond can relate with—to advance our own goals and those of our diverse range of partners.
  • Set important internal capacity goals that will ensure that we have the systems, infrastructure, and human and financial capital to achieve our mission.

This plan is the most ambitious and comprehensive that we have ever attempted. We are confident that we have the partners, supporters, staff and leadership necessary to realize our goals, as long as we stay focused on our priorities and align our resources to their highest and best uses. We are committed to executing this plan to the best of our abilities, and will rely on all of our stakeholders to hold us to the promise of an opportunity economy that works for all.

We look forward to your questions, reactions and feedback, and your ideas for opportunities to collaborate.

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