Free Financial Literacy Program Rises Far Above Average

College students celebrating Free Financial Literacy

What does financial literacy mean to you? According to the National Financial Educators Council, the term can be defined as “possessing the skills and knowledge on financial matters to confidently take effective action that best fulfills an individual’s personal, family, and global community goals.” Having designed and sponsored more than a thousand free financial literacy programs, the NFEC has learned which characteristics ensure program success.

To build a framework for evaluating a personal financial literacy program, the NFEC has coined the phrase “campaign approach.” Under the campaign approach a successful program must include three essential pieces: Education, Awareness, and Sustainability. Unfortunately, most programs fail to meet these criteria.

The average financial education program is one-dimensional, boring, and poorly attended; ignores larger objectives; and lacks ongoing funding. In contrast, the NFEC promotes financial literacy online, in classrooms and workshops, and at high-profile celebrity events using strategies that engage target communities in the process. Thus the NFEC campaigns are far-reaching, appealing, well-attended, and sustainable—producing results well above the average.

Taking the campaign approach to financial literacy education involves garnering community support and goodwill. Reaching the widest possible audience requires effective media relations and promotional efforts, making sure the message gets out strongly and frequently. And the programs created by this national financial literacy foundation—the NFEC—employ fun, engaging instructional techniques that excite participants and motivate them to take action toward financial freedom.

Sustainability to continue presenting these free financial literacy materials is created in part by conducting measures of program success. When the campaign demonstrates a positive impact on people’s knowledge, the sponsors can leverage that achievement to gain ongoing funding and support to continue the campaign well into the future. The campaign approach really works, and the NFEC offers consultation to ensure success.

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