Most people agree, the financial capability of individuals directly relates to the strength of our country as a whole. Ben Bernanke, the current Federal Reserve Chairman, had this to say about the importance of financial literacy in the country, “we are reminded of how critically important it is for individuals to become financially literate at an early age”.
Although the recent recession put people in challenging financial positions the one positive thing that has arisen from the problems is that there is more financial literacy funding available. This includes an increase in financial literacy grants
sponsorships and funding through collaborative efforts. Every man, woman and child needs to learn about money at some point in their life. Most pick up financial skills through trial and error but today there are organizations helping to provide money skills to people across the country.
The recent focus on the economy has highlighted stories of people living in a financial struggle. With this added attention there has been an increased awareness about the need to expand financial literacy programs
To accommodate the expansion there has been a boost in financial literacy funding sources.
It is important that your organization focuses on maximizing financial literacy funding; this is especially important when you receive a financial literacy grant. Many organizations waste a lot of time and money when they receive funding for financial education because they recreate products and services that are already on the market. It is recommended that you locate financial education resources that are already on the market and proven to be effective. Doing so you are able to maximize the reach of your program and make a larger impact in your community. This will also make future grant application be stronger when applying for funding next year.
As many wait for financial literacy funding to make it through the grant pipeline others are pursuing alternative methods of finding financial education programs. One that has become increasingly popular is the relationships formed between corporations and nonprofit organizations (including schools).
Hosting financial education workshops
can be a great way to raise attention and attract the interest of the community and potential sponsors. If you are hosting a typical financial literacy class begin thinking of ways that you can turn that class into a unique experience for the participants and sponsors.
The NFEC has also noted that many organizations focus their attention on developing financial education resources but forget about the instructors. The educators make a tremendous impact on the effectiveness of the program so ensure that a portion of your financial literacy funding goes to training the trainer programs.
Educating people on money skills is different than any other subject taught because there are so many emotions tied to money. When providing financial education instruction it is important that the material is delivered in a way your audience relates to. Ensuring your trainers are skilled in teaching kids about money is an important part of having a successful financial education program.
Another idea that will help stretch your financial literacy funding dollar further is to ensure your presentation matches the group you are working with. For instance you will teach kids about money differently than you would teach seniors about money. Your financial education program should match the taste and style of your group. Doing so will ensure the participants will retain the information thereby stretching your financial literacy funding dollars.
An important factor to consider when you seek financial literacy funding is the reach and frequency of your message. How many people are you serving and how often are you reaching them? The conclusion may be obvious – you will likely receive more financial literacy funding by reaching more people, increasing your frequency and if your financial education program is working.
Successful financial literacy funding initiatives deliver a true ROI (return on investment). The return on investment doesn’t always have to be financial. It can take the form of media coverage, community goodwill and building relationships. When seeking financial literacy funding always consider how you can support the donor and over-deliver on your promise.
Fortunately with the expansion in the financial education services industry many groups have stepped up to provide support for these programs and have increased their financial literacy funding options. This opportunity can help your organization build sustainable financial education programs that can serve people for many years to come.
Whether you are receiving financial literacy grants or other financial literacy funding opportunities the goal should be the same – to truly impact as many people as possible and get them to take positive action on what they have learned.