Make a Difference in Your Community with a CSA
A Community Savings Account (CSA) can be an incredible asset for your community. A CSA enables communities to address needs in economic development, health, infrastructure, education, culture, and human services.
At SDCF, we want every CSA to be a success and make positive impacts within their communities. If you’re considering starting a CSA in your community, consider whether your community is ready. Here are a few ways to tell if a CSA is right for your community.
Find Out if a CSA Is Right for Your Community
Does your community believe in a CSA concept?
Simply put, a community savings account requires community support. If you are the only one willing to give your time and commitment, a donor advised fund or designated fund might be more appropriate. That being said, chances are good that if you believe a CSA will help your community grow and prosper, others agree with you. You will often find community members who want the best for their community and are willing to help out. Ask around.
Take a look at our current CSA list to get an idea of South Dakota communities that rely on this type of fund.
Do you have a group of 5–7 leaders who are willing to serve on the board of directors?
Every CSA has a board of directors to raise and distribute funds. These should be well-respected and trusted individuals with strong ties to the community and diverse backgrounds and experiences. There is no formal requirement, but 5 to 7 members works well for most communities.
There is no formal requirement, but 5 to 7 members works well for most communities. SDCF has CSA resources such as forms and guides available to help CSA leaders understand their fund’s finances, grants and more.
Do you have ideas for how the CSA funds will be used?
Having a clear vision for ways that the CSA can help the community now, will help build momentum to establish your fund. More people will be willing to give when they hear about the good things that will be funded.
Get ideas and find answers to CSA frequently asked questions for help on starting a fund.
Next Steps for Starting a CSA
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, a CSA could be perfect for your community needs.
Contact us and we’ll schedule a visit with your group of leaders to answer any questions and help you make an informed decision. If the CSA is approved, we’ll then draw up an agreement that formally establishes your CSA. It will also outline the responsibilities of both parties and detail how earnings will be paid to the fund and distributions will be made from the fund.
There may be other SDCF funds available to offer challenge grants to start a CSA in your community.