By Dr. Tim Christy, Chief Operating Officer
Financial Beginnings is a national nonprofit providing accessible and no-cost financial education programming to schools and communities since 2005. What began as a local effort to improve financial literacy has grown to include K-12 and adults. Customized curricula meet or exceed state education standards, increasing equitable economic advancement and bolstering communities. As a volunteer-driven organization, Financial Beginnings provides students a unique opportunity to interact with—and learn from—financial professionals who bring lessons to life.
With a growing network of thousands of 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. We envision a world where individuals cease to see finances as a barrier and instead view them as a tool to realize their dreams.
Financial Beginnings delivers this impact-driven programming through state-specific affiliates, which are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. These local offices provide on-the-ground service and support to local schools and communities.
What We Offer
Financial Beginnings provides engaging educational programs that incorporate all aspects of personal finance to give individuals the foundation they need to make informed financial decisions. Programs are delivered via affiliate organizations, and prioritize low-to-moderate income (LMI) learners, collectively reaching more than 200 K-12 schools and colleges, and more than 100 community-based organizations annually. The network of 2,500 trained volunteers (and growing!) teach Financial Beginnings custom curricula in classrooms—and/or online—nationwide.
This pathway to financial literacy is offered for free to educators, community partners and students, divided into six programs based on where learners are at in their financial journey:
- Financial Footings – elementary school: Covers basics such as needs vs. wants and identifying coins and dollars.
- Financial Framings – middle school: Helps individuals frame personal financial decisions within the local and global communities.
- Financial Foundations – high school: Provides details about key financial concepts, such as budgeting, credit, investing, and liability.
- Pathways – high school & postsecondary: Helps learners transition from high school to postsecondary education through informed, proactive decisions.
- SAFE – postsecondary: Offers lessons to help learners gain strategies to reduce debt and address financial barriers to graduating.
- Forward – adults: Works to empower the economically vulnerable to mitigate debt and establish savings, and increase financial stability.
Developing this knowledge and helping translate it into sound financial behaviors expands life opportunities such as higher education, home ownership, and secure retirement.
Find us in the Jump$tart Clearinghouse!
Our curricula was previously offered in classrooms and on our website, but recent months presented a unique challenge that we’ve met with new opportunities for online learning; expanded access to our materials; and partnerships.
- Greater Access to Our Materials: We have a revamped Document Downloads page complete with a search function to find materials by groupings: Programs, Learner Levels, Type of Resource, and Roles. All materials include detailed descriptions, making it easier for presenters, teachers, and others to locate and download the items they need.
- Learning Management System: This year we launched our new Learning Management System (LMS), offering the fundamentals of key financial concepts. We developed this proprietary LMS to allow for e-learning. Educators can either offer the lessons to learners through free self-enrollment, or they can set up a no-cost account with Financial Beginnings to enroll and manage class lessons and progress. Engaging activities and refreshed visuals in all 10 new Financial Foundations modules were specially developed for middle and high school learners. Learners can explore the basics of credit and consumer fraud—among other topics—in a flexible, self-paced format. Learners work toward certificates of completion, which can be used to track progress in the coursework. Once enrolled, an account remains active for 12 months. Try the lessons yourself, then email LMSinfo@financialbeginnings.org to learn how you can set up an account to manage the lessons for your individual class(es).
- Redeveloped Financial Foundations: Over the past year, we took the opportunity to retool the content, look, and feel of our flagship high school programming, and it has launched this school year.
The instruction time remains the same, as do the five keystone personal finance topics of Budgeting, Credit, Spending, Investing, and Protection (insurance)—though there is less lecture time and more participatory activities. For each of the five topics, level one modules include foundational elements to establish concepts. Level two modules build on these elements with specific strategies that learners can adopt in their own lives. Our program modules can be delivered a la carte, and we include PowerPoint presentation decks, student workbooks, and educator outlines. See the new Foundations.
- Virtual Learning: In response to the heightened need for online instruction, we developed modules for online/webinar delivery. Slide decks, custom illustrations, interactive activities, slide notes, and sample scripts are included, helping presenters deliver the modules remotely. Check out all our webinars and virtual resources.
- Expanded Partnerships: Corporations, organizations, and agencies have the opportunity to become nationwide sponsors of Financial Beginnings curriculum and initiatives, helping to further financial education by increasing equitable opportunities.
- Explore Financial Beginnings affiliates
- Review our custom materials
- See our no-cost materials offered in Spanish
- Visit our website https://www.financialbeginnings.org/
- Like and follow our Facebook page
- Follow @finbeg on Twitter
- Follow us on LinkedIn
- Check out our YouTube Channel
- Follow us on Instagram
We’re following @finbeg to see the latest in empowering people to take control of their financial futures through financial literacy #FinLit #FinancialEducation
We’ll be represented at the Jump$tart National Educator Conference November 6-8, 2021, in Washington DC. Stop by our table in the Exhibit Hall to meet and talk with Financial Beginnings Program Manager Karrissa Jyles.
Reach out to us at: email@example.com
Dr. Tim Christy, Chief Operating Officer
Connect With Jump$tart
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- Ohio Kids Must Pass Fin Lit to Graduate in New Bill
- Personal Finance Should Start as Early as Possible
We are looking for impact stories for a special Jump$tart project. If you have a story about how Jump$tart has made a difference in your organization, your classroom, or your personal life, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jump$tart and CEE Release New Standards for Personal Financial Education. More here.