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By Jaidyn Crookston | August 02, 2022 | 13 Minute Read

14 Event Ideas: How Your Institution Can Help People of All Ages Become Financially Literate

Financial literacy event ideas for banks and credit unions

Having a solid financial education is critical in today’s world. Without it, it’s easy to get into bad debt and make poor financial decisions that could negatively impact someone their entire life. While the country is getting better about offering this financial education (Michigan just became the 14th state to mandate personal finance education in schools), there’s still a lot of work to be done, especially with older generations.


Your financial institution is in a good position to help. As the go-to financial resource in your community, you have the opportunity to educate people about financial topics and help them prepare for the future. That’s where your financial literacy program comes in.


Financial literacy programs often focus on one age group, whether it’s children, students, adults, or senior citizens. But to have a real impact in your community, you should branch out (pun intended) and teach all age groups.


Here are some ideas for doing just that.


Financial literacy event ideas for children and students


It’s extremely important to give children and students a good financial education. The more kids learn about finances now, the better off they’ll be when it’s time for them to start saving, building credit, purchasing homes, and more.


But it can be challenging to keep children and students engaged in your financial literacy program’s curriculum. Here are some fun event ideas that are sure to keep kids engaged and give them a good financial foundation for their future.


Sponsor a farmers market booth for kids


Planters Bank recently held a really cool event for kids. After taking a “Business Basics Class” where they learned about running a business and dealing with finances, kids were able to run a booth at a local farmer’s market. They sold homemade artwork, baked goods, jewelry, and more. This event was a huge success, and Planters Bank plans to hold this event again in the future.


Why not try something similar? Teach kids how to run a business and handle finances, and then give them some real-world experience. Sounds like something those kids will remember forever and that will benefit both them and your communities.


Pay kids to read


It’s always best to kill two birds with one stone, so why not get kids to love reading while also teaching them to save and handle money?


Bankers Trust does just that with its “Read to Save” program. This past year, 4th grade students in the area received a financial incentive for every book they read. Bank employees taught these kids about saving and money management. At the end of the year, each classroom had a celebration and gave a “top reader” award to the students who read the most books that year.


Establish a scholarship program


What if high school seniors were able to go through a financial literacy course and then apply for scholarships? Students would love that!


NebraskaLand Bank’s NebraskaLand University program has six courses designed to teach students about budgeting, savings, credit, loans, careers in banking, wealth development, identity theft protection, and more. The bank has donated more than $75,000 in academic scholarships since the program began in 2004. Can anyone say “future bankers?”


Create Tiktok videos


Who says financial institutions can’t be fun and relatable? Kohler Credit Union sure doesn’t. Kohler CU’s Tiktok account has over 1,000 followers and thousands of likes and shares. The credit union uses this platform to break down different financial topics into bite-sized videos. These videos are fun, educational, and easy to understand.


What would happen if your bank or credit union started a Tiktok account and used it to teach your community about financial topics? Probably something pretty great.


Organize a mock shark tank


You know the TV show “Shark Tank” where entrepreneurs present their ideas in hopes of some funding and a partner? StonehamBank does something similar with its mock shark tank program. Local high school students team up to create a business or product and present it to the "sharks," who are members of the bank’s senior management team. These students make a slide presentation, videos, financial statements, and a business plan for their products. This annual program has had a lot of good feedback from students and the community, and StonehamBank employees love how they’re able to get students started on the process of building a business while learning about the financial side that comes with it.


StonehamBank's mock shark tank

StonehamBank’s mock shark tank


Play fun games 


Bank of Eastern Oregon has found a great way to engage young children while teaching them to be financially responsible. Bank employees recently spent a month visiting 30 different elementary classrooms teaching children to save. They played a game called “Is this a silly place to save your money?” Kids loved it and learned several ways to save and determine what’s worth saving up for. This is sure to help them in the future! (Wait, you shouldn’t hide all your money under your mattress?)


Financial literacy event ideas for adults


Worldwide, only 1 in 3 adults understand basic financial concepts. One reason for this is because many adults never had the opportunity to learn about financial topics while growing up. If you never learn basic financial skills as a child, how are you supposed to learn them as an adult? Your institution can help.


Hold a home buyers education seminar


Focus Federal Credit Union recently held a one-day home buyers education seminar for new home buyers. They had such a great response that they plan to continue offering it. New home buyers often don’t know what they’re getting into or understand the financial aspect of owning a home. By teaching them how to handle mortgages, general upkeep, insurance, and more, you can help these customers feel comfortable with and excited about their big purchase. You may even bring more business to your financial institution.  


Offer one-on-one financial counseling


One-on-one financial counseling is an extremely effective strategy. As the go-to financial educator in your community, offering these services is a great way to connect with community members, grow your business, and teach others about financial topics. Visions Federal Credit Union regularly offers a program called "Wallet Wellness." There are a few different pieces to this program, including one-on-one financial counseling, on-site presentations for schools, organizations, or businesses, virtual webinars, and prerecorded financial wellness videos. 


Visit a local domestic abuse or women’s shelter


One way to get involved in your community is by visiting the local domestic abuse and women’s shelters. Many of these women are financially illiterate, and this is a great time to help change that. The more these women know about financial planning, credit scores, managing debt, etc., the more prepared they’ll be to confidently take effective action and get their lives back on track. Once a month throughout the year, Northeast Bank visits a local women’s shelter and provides a variety of financial literacy trainings, including lunch and learns and snacks for the women and children staying there.


Northeast Bank employees teaching a financial literacy class

Northeast Bank employees teaching a financial literacy class


Have a Budget Night activity


Luana Savings Bank has a robust financial literacy program that focuses on teaching customers about credit reports and how they work. During the bank’s Budget Night activity, participants learn about credit report monitoring, ordering a report, how to correct errors on the report, developing a savings plan, and improving or rebuilding credit. By removing a potential barrier to credit offerings in its community, Luana Savings Bank is having a big impact!


Financial literacy event ideas for senior citizens


People don’t automatically become financially literate once they reach a certain age. In fact, the older someone is, the more likely they are to be in large amounts of debt, and the less likely they are to get out of it. Here are some ways your institution can help.


Give senior citizens a helping hand 


As people age, it often becomes harder for them to take care of simple tasks, including paying bills and budgeting their retirement money. StonehamBank has a wonderful program where friendly bank employees give senior citizens a hand paying bills and managing their finances. Imagine how grateful the senior citizens in your community might be if they were able to easily and quickly pay their bills instead of struggling and wondering where their money is going. You can give them that clarity. 


Help seniors plan for retirement 


StonehamBank has another program that helps senior citizens plan for retirement and ensure that their finances last throughout their retirement years. Again, how grateful might your own community members be if you were able to offer them that peace of mind and security?


Teach seniors to recognize scams


More and more senior citizens become scam victims every day. Citizens Equity First Credit Union has a program called SeniorCents that teaches senior citizens how to recognize scams and protect themselves from becoming victims. Whether it’s utility scams, lottery scams, gift card scams, phishing scams, or something else, this credit union tackles it. The program began in 2019 as in-person seminars and has grown steadily since then. In addition to speakers from the credit union, senior citizens also hear from police officers and representatives from adult protective services. 


During COVID, this program moved to an online platform using Facebook Live videos. Now senior citizens could attend the live event or watch the recordings, which gave them the flexibility to learn whenever and wherever they wanted. These recordings live on this CEFCU page. Now that COVID is subsiding, the credit union is planning another Senior Cents event in person. (And even better, they’re using Kadince to track and manage event attendees and credit union volunteers.) 


Chances are you’d see a similar positive response if your bank or credit union helped protect these vulnerable community members. 


Hold a financial bingo night 


This isn’t an event we’ve seen a financial institution hold, just one that we came up with ourselves (although if you or another institution does this, we’d love to hear about it!). 


Your institution could hold a financial bingo night at the local senior center. Older people love bingo, right? (Stereotypes are often stereotypes for a reason, after all.) Instead of having numbers, the bingo cards could be full of financial lingo, like “savings,” “credit report,” “interest,” etc. After each word is drawn, you take a moment to define it and ask if anyone has any questions. 


This would give senior citizens a chance to be social, play a fun game, and learn a little something. It’s also a great way to support your local senior center and impact your community. It would also be a fun game to play with kids—because who doesn't love Bingo? Let your imagination soar!


We’ve gone ahead and created some bingo cards you can use. As long as your group has 30 or fewer people, these cards would be a great way to get involved in your community. You can download this bingo set here. 



If you’d rather create your own bingo cards, check out this bingo card generator. And if you’re feeling creative, you can use Canva to customize your cards and really make them pop. 

Having a fun financial literacy program is great, but tracking and managing all that data is manual and time-consuming. Wouldn’t it be nice if you were able to confidently and easily track every donation, sponsorship, event, and volunteer hour your institution gives? With Kadince, you can.   


Kadince is community involvement software for financial institutions and has helped hundreds of banks and credit unions around the country (both large and small) track, manage, and report data from their financial literacy programs. With Kadince, you can know exactly what your institution is doing in the community and how much of an impact your financial literacy program is having. 


So while you’re planning some awesome new events for children, students, adults, and senior citizens, go ahead and schedule a personalized demo of Kadince to see if it’s right for you and your institution (just like those bingo cards are right for those elderly folks). 


None of Kadince, Inc., its affiliates, or its respective employees, directors, officers, and agents (collectively, “Kadince”) are responsible or liable for any content or information incorporated herein. Read full disclosure.

Jaidyn Crookston | Content Manager, Kadince

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