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The unequal distribution of wealth in this country keeps those with the most access to financial resources on top, and those shut off doomed to barely get by. The top one percent of Americans holds 39 percent of the nation’s wealth, while the bottom 90 percent only holds 23 percent.
Prosperity Now has been shouting about this injustice for almost 40 years. The organization, formerly known as the Corporation for Enterprise Development, has been picking up steam as wealth inequality has exploded into an issue of national importance.
Things like the coordination and support of a 1,600-member community tax preparation network can transform the financial security of a household. Located in community centers, schools and libraries across the country, this network of volunteers helps low-income families file their taxes and apply for money-savers like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, all for free. Prosperity Now mobilized this group of preparers to restore funding for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program in the most recent Congress – a significant feat.
When you believe the main thing distinguishing the wealthy from the poor is not ability but opportunity, you find ways to meet people where they are. That’s why Prosperity Now is also trying to build relationships with corporate social responsibility leaders – to work with institutions that serve significant portions of low-income Americans, particularly those of color.
Philanthropy still comprises roughly two-thirds of Prosperity Now’s funding. The rest is government contracts with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department, but contract renewal isn’t guaranteed. Foundations and individual donors are the ones who drive the resources for Prosperity Now’s work.
Read the full article about Prosperity Now by Troy Price at National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.