Building Financial Strength

Nonprofits currently providing individual or classroom-based financial literacy education are encouraged to review our report Building Financial Strength in Rural Communities. This report highlights the effectiveness of approaching financial education from a facilitated peer support group model. Although this study was conducted with a rural focus, its findings are equally applicable to urban settings:

  • Financial Management Workshop attendance is excellent
  • Participants learn financial literacy concept fundamentals such as budgeting and cash flow in real time
  • Behavior changes such as an increase in savings activities and decreases in nonessential spending occur naturally and are sustained over time

Nonprofits participating in this new approach saved resources in the form of staff time and increased program effectiveness over the longer term, because:

  • Financial literacy classes typically are difficult to fill and attendance is sporadic
  • 1:1 case management for individual program participants facing finance related crisis is time and resource intensive
  • Providing programs designed to increase assets for program participants without financial management skills results in less effective outcomes.

Your Money Your Goals Toolkit

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created a toolkit called Your Money Your Goals to assist nonprofit staff working with consumers on issues related to money management.

The broader field of Financial Literacy Education has evolved over time. Government entities such as the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation (FDIC), some for-profit as well as nonprofit entities have all designed financial literacy educational materials. The materials in and of themselves have a wide range of teaching applications for practitioners to choose from.

The Center for Economic Integrity utilizes financial education materials ~ content ~ developed by the CFPB. Much of the content can be adapted to meet the needs of program participants and it can be interchangeable with other financial literacy educational content from any number of different sources. The CFPB Your Money Your Goals Toolkit also has specialized training for nonprofit staff available for download in English and in Spanish.

What makes the Financial Capabilities Peer Support Group Workshops successful isn’t a specific financial literacy curriculum or set of easy to follow lesson materials; it is the facilitated peer support group approach that makes this eight-week workshop series so successful.

Peer Support Group Workshop

The Financial Capabilities Peer Support Group Workshop is designed for case managers and asset development program staff and volunteers. The concept of a facilitated peer support group model is not new and has been utilized in a wide variety of fields including health, wellness and prevention.

Thanks to generous funding support from the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment¬†nonprofit organizations are welcome to download the FREE Facilitator’s Guide in English or in Spanish.

Group Facilitators 101 Training

It is strongly recommended that staff and volunteers charged with the responsibility of implementing the facilitated peer support group approach to financial capability at the programatic level, attend a group facilitators 101 training. This is a two-day training provided by the Center for Economic Integrity staff designed to give nonprofit agency staff and volunteers basic peer support group facilitation skills. You can make a request for this training by CONTACTING us.