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About the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy

The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy® is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. It is a coalition—an organization of organizations that share an interest in advancing financial literacy among students in pre-kindergarten through college. Today, Jump$tart is a partnership of about 150 national organizations and entities from the corporate, non-profit, academic, government and other sectors. Many of these coalition partners are “household names.” Generally, these partner organizations conduct and/or support financial education or offer financial education tools and materials for youth and others. View our Partner List.

In addition to the national coalition, Jump$tart consists of a network of 49 affiliated state coalitions and their local partners. Each state coalition is an independently governed and operated non-profit organization with its own leadership and bylaws, united with the national Jump$tart Coalition through an affiliation agreement and a desire to advance Jump$tart’s mission of financial smarts for students, locally. Most of Jump$tart’s state coalitions use the Jump$tart name and brand, although a few do not. Jump$tart is proud that its state coalitions are operated almost exclusively by volunteers (a few of the state coalitions have a single paid employee or contract administrator). View the map of our state coalitions and link to their individual websites or web pages.


Randy Lively
Randy Lively speaks at 2007 annual awards dinner.

The Jump$tart Coalition was founded late in 1995, based on an idea credited to William E. Odom, who was, at the time, Chairman and CEO of the Ford Motor Credit Corporation. The first meeting, organized by H. Randy Lively, then President and CEO of the American Financial Services Association, was intended to "develop a strategic plan for improving the quality and extent of curriculum modules for personal finance education in the nation’s schools, grades K-12.” The formation of a coalition was one of the action items that emerged from this meeting.

Bill OdomDue to a family emergency, Bill Odom missed the first meeting of what was then called the “Partnership in Personal Finance and Consumer Credit Consortium,” held on December 1 and 2, 1995, at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia. But, today, Jump$tart’s highest honor—the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award—bears his name. Mr. Odom remains a Director Emeritus of Jump$tart’s National Board.

Bill Odom pictured at the 2007 Jump$tart Coalition Annual Awards Dinner.

By the end of 1996, the organization had evolved into the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. The logo and tagline “Financial Smarts for Students” was created with input from a focus group of students at Bladensburg High School in Maryland. Significantly, during this time, Dr. Lewis Mandell developed the financial literacy survey that would become one of Jump$tart’s hallmark endeavors and the guidelines that would evolve into the National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education were introduced. Randy Lively continued to lead the organization informally, supported by his own staff.

By 1997, the Jump$tart Coalition was officially established as a non-profit organization with Randy Lively as its first president (later re-designated “chairman.”) Dara Duguay was hired that year as Jump$tart’s first executive director, outlining her vision that the coalition be inclusive, not exclusive and launching a full-scale public awareness effort. Jump$tart’s operation is housed within the American Financial Services Association, through an administrative agreement.

The First Permanent Members of Jump$tart’s Board were:

  • American Financial Services Association Consumer Credit Education Foundation
  • Consumer Banker’s Association
  • Cooperative Extension System of the USDA
  • Federal Reserve Board
  • Insurance Education Foundation
  • International Credit Association
  • Junior Achievement, Inc.
  • Mortgage Bankers Association of America
  • National Council on Economic Education
  • National Endowment for Financial Education
  • National Foundation for Consumer Credit
  • National Institute for Consumer Education
  • Securities Industry Foundation for Economic Education
  • Classroom Edition of the Wall Street Journal

Jump$tart Today

Laura Levine, who took over as executive director from Dara Duguay in 2004 and was subsequently named president and chief executive officer, and David Casserly, vice president and chief operating officer, continue to work from AFSA’s headquarters office in Washington, DC. Over the years, Jump$tart’s national “team” grew to include six contract consultants, based across the U.S. To contact and learn more about the national staff and consultants, click here. While Jump$tart continues to operate through an administrative agreement with AFSA, it has become increasingly independent and raises its operating funds through partner dues, an annual fundraising event, and a variety of grants and sponsorships—much of which also comes from the Jump$tart partners. Jump$tart is very proud that its affiliated state coalitions are not expected to generate revenue for the national operation and that it provides some technology, marketing, and consulting support to its state coalitions at no cost to them.


2012 Executive CommitteeAt a strategic planning session in 2006, the national Jump$tart Board adopted revised mission, vision, and unique proposition statements. The intent was not to change Jump$tart’s purpose, but to clarify and fine-tune it. To see the full statements, click here. In 2008, Neil Milner, President and CEO of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, was elected to replace Randy Lively as chairman of Jump$tart. In 2012, Ted Beck, President and CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education, succeeded Neil Milner as the Jump$tart Chairman. View the full roster of Board Members and officers.

2014 Executive Committee of the Jump$tart Coalition Board (l-r) Ted Beck, Chairman; Loretta Abrams, Vice Chair; Laura Levine, President and CEO; Maxine Sweet, Secretary; and, Mike Staten, Treasurer.