Who We Are
Financial Beginnings is a national nonprofit that has provided no-cost financial education programming to schools and communities in need since 2005. What started as a local effort to improve financial literacy in area high schools, has grown to include curricula for all ages and grades. Customized curricula meet or exceed state education standards, increasing equitable economic advancement and bolstering communities that value financial education. As a volunteer-driven organization, Financial Beginnings provides students a unique opportunity to interact with and learn from financial professionals who bring curricula and lessons to life.
Over the last 15 years, Financial Beginnings has delivered its programs to more than 225,000 youth and adults, partnering with close to 1,000 schools, community groups, and government agencies. With a growing network of 2,200 volunteers from across all sectors of the financial industry, Financial Beginnings brings together professionals, students, educators, and community members to improve individuals’ financial knowledge and capabilities.
Financial Beginnings delivers its impact-driven programming through the establishment of state-specific affiliates. These local offices provide on-the-ground service and support to local schools and communities in need. Financial Beginnings in turn provides new affiliates full operational, technological, and developmental support so local staff can focus on direct service needs.
What We Offer
Financial Beginnings provides engaging, age-appropriate financial education programming for K-12 students, postsecondary students, and high-risk and economically vulnerable populations. All programs are no-cost to partner or participant. All curricula and supplemental materials are also available via free downloads.
- Financial Footings (elementary school): All the basics of personal finance are covered including needs vs. wants, identifying coins and dollars, and the fundamentals of budgeting.
- Financial Framings (middle school): Helps individuals frame personal financial decisions within the local and global economies.
- Financial Foundations (high school): Provides detailed introductions to key financial concepts spanning budgeting, credit, investing, risk management, and more.
- Pathways (high school & postsecondary): Helps students successfully transition from high school to postsecondary education (and beyond) through informed and proactive financial decisions.
- SAFE (postsecondary): Combines group lessons and one-on-one coaching to help postsecondary students of all ages gain actionable strategies to reduce debt and address financial barriers to graduating.
- Forward (adults): Combines group learning and individualized coaching to empower economically vulnerable adults to mitigate debt, establish savings, and increase financial stability.
In addition to continually tested and refined curricula, Financial Beginnings provides financial professionals and organizations volunteer opportunities to connect with local communities and meet Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) responsibilities. Volunteers receive the training and support needed to effectively deliver programming, as well as an online portal that allows them to easily identify, track, and sign up for optimal volunteering opportunities.
Financial Beginnings also offers:
- Several opportunities for corporations, organizations, and agencies to nationally sponsor curriculum, programming, and new Financial Beginnings initiatives and offerings. Generous visibility and marketing benefits are offered in addition to helping make possible the financial education of youth and adults.
- Licensing of Financial Beginnings programming customized to meet the needs of organizations and groups served. Licensing packages include all participant handouts, presentation slides, presenter guides, and online training for presenters.
- Opportunity and support to launch a Financial Beginnings state affiliate. Matching funds and full-service support are provided to help team leaders build sustainable models that serve the needs of their communities.
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Financial Beginnings Curricula Materials
Financial Beginnings’ most widely used program, Financial Foundations, is currently being redesigned to better connect with students, more effectively align with national standards, and more deeply engage participants. Increasing the number of program modules from five to 10, the redesign will expand students’ financial education learning. Piloting will commence in Fall 2020, with an expected launch of the newly developed curriculum in Winter 2021.
On-Demand Virtual Lessons
In response to the need for virtual/online learning opportunities brought on by COVID-19 related school closures and social distancing measures, Financial Beginnings now offers educators many of its programs via on-demand videos. These online modular units are designed so educators can continue to easily incorporate financial education into their students’ distance-learning plans. This effort also provides volunteers an alternative way to deliver programming while abiding by recently imposed school district and social distancing requirements.
A new video series titled, “Your Life, Your Money” was launched during Financial Literacy Month 2020 that features weekly discussions surrounding key personal finance topics. Financial Beginnings CEO/Founder, Dr. Melody Bell chats with finance professionals while presenting various lessons taken from high school and adult programming.
Throughout the summer, Financial Beginnings plans to convert its Foundations and Pathways programs into online courses and lessons in time for back-to-school this fall. Educators will be able to incorporate these online programs into their existing lesson plans, either in full or in part. Recorded presentations will be included with this online delivery, offering financial professionals and organizations opportunities to volunteer virtually.
Connect With Financial Beginnings
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Follow @finbeg for financial education resources, research, tips, and updates that will help you empower both youth and adults to take control of their financial futures.
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