1. Recruit 14 talented low- to moderate-income artists in Berkshire County to open new individual development accounts (IDAs) as part of my Assets for Artists program.
2. Check in with all my savers by email or telephone every month without fail, and keep providing strong encouragement and assistance.
3. Help launch national asset-building intermediary, SaveTogether.org, to raise funds from individual donors online.
4. Persuade my representatives in Congress and President-elect Obama to support CFED’s asset-building agenda for the next session of congress.
5. Experiment with providing modest levels of matched savings for retirement accounts for Berkshire County artists, incentivizing more of them to take advantage of the underutilized Savers’ Credit.
6. Finish reading Abt Associates’ national evaluations of the Assets for Independence program run by the federal Office of Community Services (they full PDFs are a lot to take in, but I’m finding loads of tangible advice and useful statistics).
7. Explore possibilities for setting up a program in Berkshire County to match college savings by low-income families utilizing 529 plans — I’ve heard Rachel Page at Boston’s Compass Working Capital speak on several occasions about Compass’s innovative work in this area (spurring families to save even with small amounts of match), and I’d like to try something out here in the Berkshires.
I like to keep my to-do lists to 7 items or less — more than that becomes unmanageable. And these 7 items should keep me busy for the first few months of the year, at least.