Key Takeaway

A critical component of CityStart success was deep municipal commitment to the process. City partners obviously knew their local context best, and were responsible for ensuring the blueprint aligned with community needs and administration priorities.

This brief, Navigating From a Good Idea to Public Financial Empowerment Commitments, outlines the experiences of the past two CityStart cohorts in moving from general interest in financial empowerment to concrete commitments to municipally-led efforts. The CFE Fund’s CityStart engagement supports local leaders in convening stakeholders, identifying local challenges and opportunities, aligning with Mayoral or municipal priorities, and then strategically planning for successful government programming. Using the experience of 17 cities who have participated already in CityStart, this Brief can provide city governments and key stakeholders interested in getting started with financial empowerment work with an understanding of how the CityStart engagement can facilitate the success of that process locally.

Additional Takeaways

The CityStart initiative works best when it is housed in a department that has experience in leading collaborative work both internally across city government and with external, multi-sector partners.

Successful partners connected their financial empowerment blueprints to existing initiatives or strategic plans. The CityStart process helped identify how resident financial stability could be woven into broader efforts, and transformed general anti-poverty platforms into detailed action plans.

Many city partners successfully used CityStart as a catalyst to leverage funding opportunities to support blueprint plans and build on the momentum established by the CityStart process.

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