About the Jump$tart Coalition

Jump$tart is a coalition of national partners and state affiliates that work collectively and collaboratively to advance financial literacy.

About Us

The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. With more than 100 national partner organizations from business, finance, education, academia, government, and more, as well as a network of independent, affiliated state coalitions across the country, we have the expertise, resources, reach, and commitment to advance financial literacy through collective and collaborative endeavors.

As the original promoter of April as national Financial Literacy Month, Jump$tart raises awareness about the importance of financial literacy for everyone, but our focus is on #FinancialSmartsForStudents. Bringing financial education to every public, private, and charter elementary, middle, and high school in the country is our goal; ensuring its effectiveness with reliable resources, relevant information, and unwavering support for educators, is our north star.

With our partners and affiliates, Jump$tart believes that financial education is a critical component of financial empowerment and that this is our contribution to the broader goal of a more equitable and inclusive world.


What is financial literacy?

Q. What is financial literacy?
While there is no single definition, Jump$tart uses one taken from the 2015 National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education, which is: “the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage one’s financial resources effectively for lifetime financial security.”

Q. What is the difference between financial literacy and financial capability? These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but most agree that financial capability encompasses financial literacy, as well as other influences on how a consumer manages money—including social and behavioral factors and access to financial services. Generally, financial education improves financial literacy or capability, which leads to financial empowerment and financial well-being.

Q. What is Financial Literacy Month (or national Financial Capability Month)?
Financial Literacy Month is a national observance held every April, which evolved from Financial Literacy for Youth Day, introduced by the National Endowment for Financial Education. Jump$tart was the first to promote it as Financial Literacy for Youth Month and later, simply, Financial Literacy Month. For more than two decades, Financial Literacy Month has been recognized by a resolution from the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  Many states and other entities also formally declare April as Financial Literacy Month. The objective of Financial Literacy Month is to raise awareness about and focus attention on the importance of financial literacy and the need for effective financial education.

Q. How many states require financial education for students?
Jump$tart Coalition national partner, the Council for Economic Education, publishes its Survey of the States every other year, which outlines state requirements in financial and economic education.

How can I get involved in the financial literacy effort?

Q. How can I get involved in the financial literacy effort?
If you represent a national organization, learn about becoming a Jump$tart Coalition National Partner.  Individuals and locally-focused entities should reach out to the Jump$tart-affiliated state coalition in your area.  Educators, join our Facebook Group for teachers and consider attending the Jump$tart National Educator Conference. Parents, grandparents, and other family members: you can help us ask for effective financial education at your child’s school as part of our Check Your School public engagement campaign.

Q. Does Jump$tart need volunteers?
We really appreciate the offer, but due to the nature of our work, the national Coalition doesn’t have the need for a lot of general volunteers.  But many of our State Coalitions and national Partners do!  Thank you for your interest in getting involved.

Q. How might I make a donation to support your work?
There are several ways to make a donation and each one gets a great big thank you from us!  If you represent a corporation or foundation interested in sponsoring a program or scholarship, please contact a member of our team directly.

Q. Do you need speakers for Jump$tart Coalition events?
Generally, Jump$tart events use presenters who are representatives of our national partner organizations; however, we’re happy to consider other ideas. If you do a presentation that you think might be suitable for our National Educator Conference, please contact our conference director and share the details.

Q. Do you need guest articles or blog posts for your website or social media?
No, Jump$tart does not use guest articles or posts, but we thank you for your interest and hope you will keep spreading the word about the financial literacy and financial education.

How can I get help?

Q. I’m having financial difficulties and don’t know where to turn. Can someone at Jump$tart advise me?
We’re sorry to hear that, but no. Jump$tart is a financial literacy advocate and does not offer advice or assistance. A number of our national partner organizations offer consumer assistance and we encourage you to visit their websites.

Q. I need to teach my kids about money, what do I do?
We’re pleased to say that, today, there are many places where you can get tools and ideas. Search the Jump$tart Clearinghouse for reliable financial education resources—including many that are suitable for use at home and many that are free. Join our Check Your School campaign for guidance on how to ask for financial education at your child’s school.

Q. Can you help me find a speaker for my meeting, class or event?
The Jump$tart Coalition does not operate a speakers’ bureau, so we can’t secure a speaker for you, but may be able to offer some direction. For classrooms and local events, the state coalition in your area may be able to help. For national events, consider someone from one of our national partner organizations. If you’re looking for a speaker from Jump$tart, please contact us by phone or e-mail. We never ask a speaking fee; but may require travel expense reimbursement depending on your location.

Q. Can someone at Jump$tart help me develop a financial education program?
As much as we’d love to say yes, this is probably not something we can do, mainly because we have a very small team and no one specifically assigned to do that sort of thing.  Individual team members are sometimes able to meet or offer guidance, but don’t often have the ability to play a significant role.

Can you tell me more about Jump$tart?

Q. Where is the Jump$tart Coalition located?
Our headquarters office is in Washington, DC (address below), but our de-centralized staff is scattered across the country. If you’re coming to visit us, please note that while our address is on Connecticut Avenue, the entrance to our building is on K Street, adjacent to the Farragut North Metro Station and about a block from Farragut West.

Q. Is there a Jump$tart near me?
The Jump$tart Coalition has affiliated state coalitions in most states, so chances are that we’re serving your area. Keep in mind, however, that our state coalitions are mostly grassroots, volunteer-operated organizations without their own physical locations.

Q. Where can I learn about job opportunities at Jump$tart?
We appreciate your interest, but the Jump$tart Coalition operates with a very small staff at the national level and with mostly volunteers at the state coalition level. Since job openings are infrequent, we post openings only as needed.

Q. How can I obtain the Jump$tart curriculum?
Jump$tart does not have a student curriculum of its own; rather, we support the programs and financial education resources offered by our partners and others, through the Jump$tart Clearinghouse. J$FFE Online is our free, digital learning program for adults — created for teachers, but available to everyone.

Q. Can I use the Jump$tart Coalition Financial Literacy Survey for my research?
Jump$tart is committed to helping researchers assess financial knowledge; however, the survey has not been used or updated in nearly a decade. As a result, we encourage researchers to look for more recently written or edited assessment tools that might be available for your use.

Q. Is Jump$tart involved with “Read for the Record” and early childhood education?
No—but we think they’re worthwhile pursuits. You might be looking for Jumpstart: Children First.


The mission of the Jump$tart Coalition is to advance financial literacy and financial equity, especially among our nation’s youth, through communication, collaboration, and support for effectiveness in financial education.


We envision a nation of financially capable youth. Every student in the U.S. receives a financial education that sufficiently prepares them for their adult lives.

Unique Proposition

Jump$tart focuses its efforts on preschool through college-age students, prioritizing those who are less advantaged, and achieves its goals collaboratively, harnessing the collective strength of diverse partners and affiliates and supporting the work they do individually.


The Jump$tart Coalition was founded 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.”

Due 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 Dec. 1-2, 1995, in Reston, VA; but, today, Jump$tart’s highest honor — the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award — bears his name. Mr. Odom remains a director emeritus of the Jump$tart National Board.

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.

In 1997, the Jump$tart Coalition was incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization with Randy Lively as its first president (later re-designated “chairman.”) Mr. Lively was a director emeritus of the Jump$tart National Board until his passing. Dara Duguay was Jump$tart’s first executive director, outlining her vision that the coalition be inclusive, not exclusive, and launching a full-scale public awareness effort. She led the organization until 2004.

A Look Back