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National Initiatives

Asset Building Strategies offers research, planning and technical assistance to support foundations, advocates and practitioners to understand emerging trends and advance national asset-building initiatives.


  • Closing the Women's Wealth Gap—AARP, Friedman Family Foundation, JPMorgan Chase and Co., Walter and Elise Haas Fund

    Heather is the founder and director of the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative, a national effort to advance policies and strategies to build wealth for low-income women and women of color.  The initiative is supported by AARP, the Friedman Family Foundation, and the Walter and Elise Haas Fund. JPMorgan Chase and Co. supports the initiative’s national meetings.

  • Building Wealth through Tax Reform/Opportunities for Grantmakers—Asset Funders Network

    Authored national brief, Building Wealth through Tax Reform — Opportunities for Grantmakers, highlighting opportunities for national, state and local grantmakers to support equitable tax reform, published by the Asset Funders Network in April 2016.

  • Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility—CFED, PolicyLink and the Asset Funders Network

    Heather McCulloch was the founding director of the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility, a national coalition working to advance federal policies that expand savings and investment opportunities for lower-income households through reform of the U.S. tax code. The initiative was launched in 2013 by the Asset Funders Network and is currently co-chaired by the national organizations CFED and PolicyLink.

  • Ford Foundation Grantee Support—PolicyLink

    Since 2010, Heather McCulloch has served as the chief consultant to the financial security team of the national nonprofit PolicyLink, supporting a cohort of Ford Foundation Building Economic Security Over a Lifetime initiative grantees. The project has supported grantees to advance state and federal policies that build the financial security of lower-income households and households of color.

  • National Dialogue on the Disparate Impact of Foreclosure in Communities of Color—Annie E. Casey Foundation

    In the summer of 2011, the Annie E. Casey Foundation initiated a national discussion among foundations, civil rights leaders, state and national advocacy organizations, financial institutions and others to address the disparate impact of foreclosure in communities of color.  Heather McCulloch served as the primary consultant to the initiative and supported a team of leaders to develop a national policy agenda to address the growing crisis.  In 2013, Heather supported the successful transition of the Dialogue to the Neighborhood Funders Group, Working Group on Housing Justice and Community Transformation.


  • Continuum of Asset Building Opportunities—Walter and Elise Haas Fund

    As part of the report, “Building Assets While Building Communities: Expanding Savings and Investment Opportunities for Low Income Bay Area Families,”  for the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, Heather McCulloch developed a visual of the “continuum” of asset-building opportunities  underway in communities across the country. The continuum has since been widely disseminated and used by asset-building practitioners across the country as a way to describe the expanding menu of strategies available to local communities.

  • Expanding Asset Building Opportunities through Shared Ownership—Annie E. Casey Foundation

    In January of 2008, Heather McCulloch of Asset Building Strategies and Beadsie Woo of the Annie E. Casey Foundation began a collaborative effort to catalyze a national dialogue about ways to expand asset-building opportunities through shared ownership. The resulting framing paper, “Expanding Asset Building through Shared Ownership,” was used to frame a national discussion co-hosted by the Casey Foundation and the Asset Funders Network in December 2008 and national conversations throughout 2009.

  • Promoting Economic Security for Working Families—Fannie Mae Foundation

    The national report, “Promoting Economic Security for Working Families: State Asset Building Initiatives,”  by Heather McCulloch was published by the Fannie Mae Foundation. The report highlights key features, goals and policy priorities of asset policy initiatives emerging in states across the country.

    Ms. McCulloch has presented the report findings to state and national audiences including the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governor’s Associationcongressional caucuses  on women’s issues and financial literacy, the Council on Foundations  and the Asset Funders Network . The findings have been featured in national publications including Community Investments, published by the Federal Reserve of San Francisco, and Housing Facts and Findings, published by the Fannie Mae Foundation.