Financial Literacy Month
On March 9, 2004 Senate Resolution 316 was passed designating April 2004 as “Financial Literacy Month.” Senator Daniel Akaka [D-HI] sponsored the bills, which resolved to raise public awareness about the importance of financial education in the United States and the serious consequences associated with a lack of understanding about personal finances.
Each year the Senate votes on this resolution; in 2013 Senator Jack Read [D-RI] sponsored the initiative. The bill states “that the President issue a proclamation calling on the federal government, States, localities, schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, other entities, and the people of the United States to observe the month with appropriate programs and activities.”
To help other organizations fulfill the requirements of the bill, the NFEC provides tips for hosting an event and free personal finance resources. We commend those organizations that are promoting financial wellness, and encourage you to expand your program this year.
Tips to Hosting a Financial Literacy Month Event
Below you will find complimentary material and a guide to assists your efforts in hosting a financial literacy month event. These resources provide the insight you need to make your next financial literacy event a huge success.
Step 1: Choose a Target Audience. Knowing the audience you want to reach helps you decide how to plan your event. Are you passionate about sharing financial literacy with kids, teens, adults, or seniors?
Step 2: Set Goals. Goal-setting should be a two-phase process. First, list what you want your event to accomplish. Are you trying to help students understand credit or budgeting, or do you want them to leave with a complete financial education on all relevant topics? Second, create a plan to measure how well you’ve reached your goals. To measure your event’s success, use the pre- and post-tests provided in the Financial EduNation resource center.
Step 3: Event Design. Plan ways to create a unique educational experience and consider ways to make your event fun for the participants. Could you add music? Videos? Guest speakers? Celebrity appearances?
Step 4: Select Material. Consider your audience. What will appeal to them? If you have a chance, conduct an informal survey of the attendees to find out which topics will be of most interest to them. Then select the personal finance curriculum, material, games, and/or activities most closely aligned with the audience and your goals. Enjoy the material below complimentary.
Kids Financial Literacy Month Event
Teen Financial Literacy Month Event
Adult Financial Literacy Month Event
Step 5: Location. Locate a site for your event. A variety of community venues will allow you to host an event at low cost or free. High schools, colleges, places of worship, community centers, libraries, nonprofit centers, businesses, your home, or locations related to the financial education lessons you plan to cover are all excellent site choices.
Step 6: Locate Partners, Supporters and/or Funding. Partners can help us spread financial literacy awareness on a wider scale, reach more youth with our message, and also can help fund the event. The best solid partnerships are built when people work together to create win-win situations.
Step 7: Promote your Event. Too often, attendance at financial education events is quite low. You want to reach as many people as possible to maximize your event’s impact. Promote your event not only to attract attendees, but to raise awareness about financial literacy among like-minded individuals and potential partners. Get the message out through friends, media, social media, and other ways to build an audience.
Step 8: Preparation. Practice your presentation out loud several times until you feel comfortable teaching financial literacy lessons. Make sure you’re prepared and polished and ready to answer questions that arise. At the same time, remember that the experience should be fun for both you and the audience. The resulting event will bring rewards you haven’t even anticipated.
Step 9: Event. The next step is hosting the financial literacy event. Arrive early at the venue to set up and practice. Go through your presentation and test to make sure all your equipment is working properly. Include an ice-breaking activity at the beginning to get the participants involved in the event proceedings. Be sure to conduct a pre-test prior to instruction and a post-test afterward.
During the event, maintain focus on motivating, educating, engaging, and moving your audience to take positive action. Obtain a commitment from the audience to continue pursuing financial knowledge. Incorporate activities that will give them a solid financial foundation. Keeping these pointers in mind will help ensure your event’s success.
Step 10: Follow-up Education. Within the few days following your event, send out a follow-up email to all your participants. Thank them for their participation and recap one or two of the tips you covered in your presentation. Get their permission to email them continuing education tips. This will serve as a friendly reminder to continue pursuing their financial education.
With the “Great Recession” behind us (according to some) more people are now aware of the importance to having a good understanding of practical money management skills. Share these financial skill sets with members of your community during financial literacy month.