The Times recently made a big splash for global microfinance with Nicholas Kristof’s piece earlier this week titled “You, Too, Can Be a Banker to the Poor” (only accessible to Times-Select subscribers), featuring an organization I mentioned in a previous post, Kiva. There’s an accompanying video segment titled D.I.Y. Foreign Aid, also featuring Kiva, that doesn’t require a Times-Select subscription. I’m sure the loans and contributions have been rolling in to Kiva like crazy this week; a good piece by a Times op-ed columnist has the power to drive a lot of action.
I was pleased to see today that the Times is not forgetting domestic poverty either. A piece titled “Can Poor People Be Taught to Save?” by guest columnist Rachel Louise Snyder, will be appearing in Sunday’s paper, the April 1 edition. Although it doesn’t focus on IDA accounts specifically, it does do a nice job of capturing what the asset development field is all about, and provides great exposure for an organization that strangely had not yet caught my eye, America Saves. They take a “network” approach to encouraging the habit of saving. I’ll certainly be following up with them to learn more about how we might introduce some of their “savings campaign” strategies into our community, which might be a nice complement to our fairly new Earned Income Tax Credit campaign (we’re not even calling it a campaign yet, but perhaps we’ll be ready to do so next year) and other asset development initiatives.
Perhaps Snyder’s piece will generate some major buzz about asset development the way that Kristof’s piece produced lots more buzz about microfinance and Kiva. We’ll see.