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Lois A. Vitt, Founding Director FINANCIAL LITERACY EDUCATION: Building Support for Sustainable Programs Second Annual Financial Literacy Leadership Conference October 5, 2009, Washington, DC

Lois A. Vitt, Founding Director FINANCIAL LITERACY EDUCATION: Building Support for Sustainable Programs Second Annual Financial Literacy Leadership Conference

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  • 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 AccessibilityDynamic Partnering

  • *Unambiguous Mission and Goals Debt elimination, money management, saving

    Assessing risk tolerance, asset building, investing

    Consumer/investor protection

    Specific actions/behaviors: Spending vs. saving decisions Homeownership, financing Increase 401(k) participation Retirement planning

  • 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 contexts

  • 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 organizationsPolicymakers

    Is measurable.

  • Program Measures

    Performance Measures: were participants satisfied with the program?

    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 policymakers?

  • 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 gathered?

  • 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 about policy?

  • 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 evaluation.

  • 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 period.

    Does Financial Education Work?

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