Lois A. Vitt, Founding DirectorFINANCIAL LITERACY
EDUCATION:Building Support for Sustainable Programs
Second Annual Financial Literacy Leadership Conference October
5, 2009, Washington, DC
What ISFS DoesEvaluates financial and investor education in all
societal sectors: youth, adult, corporate, military, community,
faith organizations.Benchmarks programs to identify and help
educators replicate best practices.Assesses whether the education
program works for all parties involved.Program
participantsEducators Funding organizationsPolicymakers
Seven Components of Successful Financial Education Programs
Unambiguous Mission and Goals*Targeted OutreachAdequate
ResourcesRelevant Curriculum*Commitment to Evaluation*Program
*Unambiguous Mission and Goals Debt elimination, money
Assessing risk tolerance, asset building, investing
Specific actions/behaviors: Spending vs. saving decisions
Homeownership, financing Increase 401(k) participation Retirement
High Touch - High Tech Curriculum is Most Effective Successful
content goes beyond financial factors:Employ a familiar frame of
reference Hands-on, realistic, problem solvingTeach how to access
resourcesEncourage shared feelings, beliefs, attitudesDiscuss
Source: Research grant funded by the National Endowment for
Financial Education (NEFE) 2007-2008.
Feelings in Poor Financial CircumstancesTrapped, cagedDepressed,
lacking motivationAngry and frustratedAfraid (to invest, to seek
help)Hopeless (things will never change)Out of controlSource: MARMC
Study, May 2007
Feelings when in financial control Stress-freeMore confident
Proud, happyBlessed with optionsEnjoy better personal
relationshipsSource: MARMC Study, May 2007
*Commitment to EvaluationRequires advance planning.
Reflects the goals of all parties:Program participants,
studentsEducators Sponsors and funding
Performance Measures: were participants satisfied with the
Effectiveness Measures: did the education make a difference in
the lives of participants?
Organizational Measures: have the sponsors and/or funding
organizations achieved their objectives?
Policy Measures: does the education satisfy the goals of
1. Performance Measures Program growth.Satisfaction measures:
Topics coveredQuality of instructionLearning activitiesTime and
convenienceLength of instructionFacilities
Performance Measurescontd. Gathered from participants on
post-educational evaluation forms.Are additive: they can be
accumulated from course to course.Can be compared.
2. Effectiveness Measures Cognitive changes: awareness,
knowledge, attitudes, and values.Behavioral changes we want are
actions: spend less, save more, eliminate debt, invest in 401(k),
make risk adjustments in portfolio mix.Objective changes are proof
of behavioral changes: increases and decreases in accounts,
portfolio mix, net worth.
Effectiveness Measurescontd. Changes in awareness, knowledge,
and attitudes can be ascertained from pre- and post-education
forms. Behavioral changes require follow up to learn whether
intentions were turned into action: debt elimination, saving,
investing, changes in portfolio?Objective increases and decreases
in financial accounts, portfolio mix, net worth. How will data be
3. Organizations Evaluation Goals Did the program fulfill the
goals of the education sponsoring organization?Have the objectives
of the funding organization (if different) been met as well?What
Evaluation Methods On-going, not one-time effortSubjective,
objective measures:Logic Modeling or Framework:
InputOutputImpact.Chaining short-term, intermediate-and long-term
outcomes.Trust your data sources and intuition.Have your work
reviewed by others.Find resources to help you plan your
4. Policy MeasuresMacro level economic indicators?Wealth loss,
home loss, job loss?Corporate sensitivity or legislation?Increasing
retirement readiness?Debt/saving rates of populations?Well-being
indicators?Research: what works, what doesnt?
I increased my savings $250 a month.
Yes, I changed I invest in my company 401(k) Plan now.
Now that I see where I need to be, then I can change my
investment strategy and add to plan contribution each pay
Does Financial Education Work?