About Us

Who We Are: The Collaborative is a private, statewide nonprofit organization serving all of North Carolina.   We are the lead agency for the North Carolina Saves campaign and work at the statewide level and in communities to implement and promote strategies to build economic security for North Carolina families, especially those with low-to-moderate income.  We are funded by public and private sources.

The Collaborative’s Vision: Our vision is for North Carolinians in all 100 counties have access to financial education and savings opportunities as a strategy for attaining long-term economic self-sufficiency.

The Collaborative’s Mission: Our  mission is to promote programs and policies across North Carolina that build family economic security and individual financial capability.


In 1996 a group of diverse organizations and individuals came together to demonstrate Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), a new asset-building strategy.  This group included leading institutions in the state’s extensive community and economic development network as well as state government officials, affordable housing groups and community development financial institutions.

In 1997,  the new NC IDA Collaborative secured funding from the N.C General Assembly through the Department of Labor to administer a two-year demonstration of IDAs. In addition, the Division of Community Assistance allocated funds from the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for a homeownership IDA demonstration. Along with operating support from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and the Fannie Mae Foundation, NC IDA Collaborative worked to develop the demonstration program for the state and award grants for the first IDA program sites in North Carolina.

Since that time, The Collaborative has expanded both its network of partners and operating IDA programs. Program expansion has primarily been possible with additional funding secured through the federal Assets for Independence Act, the North Carolina Housing Finance agency, and significant in-kind support from program practitioners and other partners.

After six years of demonstration, the role of The Collaborative evolved from program development and public awareness to policy development, networking, fundraising and technical assistance. In 2002, as a state network supporting one the nation’s largest IDA programs with almost 700 active accounts and 25 program sites, NC IDA Collaborative established itself as a formal, non-profit organization.

With support from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, The Collaborative was able to hire an executive director in the fall of 2002 and apply for and receive its 501 (c) 3 designation in early 2003.

In 2005, we began our very successful biennial Conference, “Pathways to Prosperity”, convening asset development experts from across the nation in the Triangle every other year,

In 2007, we began the North Carolina Saves Campaign, providing financial education resources and encouragement on the web, with periodic newsletters to savers.

Between 2006-2009, with support from the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, we joined with other nonprofit partners to establish the North Carolina Assets Alliance (NCAA), to educate community members and policymakers on the importance of assets to economic security.

In 2009, in partnership with other NCAA members, we published “A Prosperity Grid for North Carolina: Connecting Households and Communities to Economic Opportunity”. Throughout 2010, in partnership with NCAA member agencies and with the support of Bank of America, we conducted a series of 9 community Economic Security Forums to provide public education and establish community dialogues.

In 2010 The Collaborative received a federal grant to place AmeriCorp VISTA members in 10 cities in North Carolina to focus on asset-based strategies.

See Our Impact for recent information.


How to Give

First - be educated about financial security. Read and learn from our FaceBook pages and websites: North Carolina Saves and NC Assets.

Next - share your time. We can use your talents to encourage others with their financial goals, to join your voices with others in speaking up for our families, and to help lead us into our future. Check out Get Involved/Volunteer for current listings.

Finally - make a contribution. Visit Get Involved/Donate Now.

Who Supports Us

Bank of America Foundation
Citi Foundation
City of Raleigh
Corporation for National and Community Service
C.S. Mott Foundation
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
First Carolina Bank
First Citizens Bank
Gateway Bank and Trust
JPMorgan Chase
Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
North Carolina Cooperative Extension
North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities
North Carolina Credit Union League
North Carolina Department of Commerce
North Carolina Department of Labor
North Carolina Electric Cooperatives
North Carolina Housing Finance Agency
North Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development
Prosperity Now
SunTrust Bank
UNC Center for Community Capital
UNC School of Social Work
Wells Fargo Foundation
Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Why Give

Your gift helps break the cycle of poverty in North Carolina and creates a state where all have the opportunity to move up the economic ladder. Income is important, but it is not enough. Individuals and households can build assets when financial education is available in communities across the state - we all need to know how to choose consumer friendly financial products and steer clear of high cost, predatory services. You can move more people toward economic security by investing in The Collaborative.

The Collaborative | North Carolina Rural Center at 4021 Carya Dr., Raleigh, NC 27610 | 919.212.4267 | website design by LeGa Design Group