Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dear Councilman Phillips,

Thank you for attending the King County Democratic Convention on Sunday. It was good to see you, and good to talk with you.

You asked me to send you more information about the Veterans Family Fund (VFF) CD program. You will recall my simple description of these CD's as inviting people to invest in their own future while providing a steady revenue to the Veterans Family Fund, a non-profit organization that helps the families of our service members in times of need. Half of the interest earned by the CD's is sent back to build the balance, and half of the interest is sent upon maturity to the charity.

These CD's are available at a growing number of state registered banks around the state. The program started in Vancouver with the Bank of Clark County. You can read more about how it started here:

The VFF has a goal of having people in Washington State open CD's with a value of $300 Million Dollars over the first year, which would be met by having 100,000 people opening a CD with a value of $1,000. Some banks have the minimum opening balance as low as $100. This level of savings would provide a steady income of $6 Million per year to the charity.

I can think of a lot of charities that could use a steady income of $6 Million. And that is why I wanted to speak to you about the potential. I have been thinking and blogging about just such an idea for several years, but never had time or connections to pursue it myself. The reason that I brought this up on Sunday is because I see the potential to use a similar funding source for other charities as well. It's this type of system that I think would provide a more complete safety net than any of our current options.

With the King County Council trying to recover from a $20 Million deficit this year and a $60 Million deficit next year, having steady revenue streams available at the same time that people are taking responsibility for their future by investing in their future would be the best of both worlds. Please take a closer look at the program, contact the banks who have branches in King County, and see what kind of ideas you can come up with to increase the number of ways that people can both secure their own financial foundation while at the same time helping the necessary social service organizations develop their own financial foundation to help us all.

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