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By Jaidyn Crookston | October 25, 2022 | 8 Minute Read

7 Ways to Boost Your Institution’s Financial Literacy Program

Learn how to boost your bank's financial literacy program

No matter how cool your bank or credit union’s financial literacy program is (and it’s probably pretty cool!), there are always ways to make it more impactful. 


Sometimes this means starting a new program, hosting a new event, or reaching a new audience. Sometimes it just means adjusting your curriculum and meeting community members where they are. There are lots of ways to have an impact in your community, and your financial literacy program is a great way to expand your reach and make a difference. 


Check out these 7 ways to boost your institution’s financial literacy program.


1. Don’t just stick to the basics


Most financial literacy programs teach the same basic principles: savings, credit, budgeting, etc. While community members do need to learn about these topics, you shouldn’t only stick to these basics. Instead, cover this material and then boost your program by going into depth on other, more difficult topics like investing and taxes.


Expanding your program to include other topics might not make sense for your institution, but if it does, give it a try! Community members are sure to appreciate learning about these complex financial topics, and you may be the only institution in the area offering such an in-depth education. 


2. Focus on your community members


It’s easy to fall into the trap of doing something just for the sake of doing it. Or losing sight of the big picture because you want to make your institution look good. You don’t want this to happen with your financial literacy program. Everything you do should be intentional, and everything should lead back to your community members. 


Without community members, you wouldn’t have a financial literacy program at all. So you should always stay focused on what will help them, not what will make your institution look good (although this is a natural byproduct of focusing on others). This may mean doing research to learn what community members really want and need from your institution, trying new things, and rethinking your strategy once you’ve had some feedback. You could even make an effort to build relationships with community leaders and local government officials to better understand the needs your community members face.


Before launching a new financial literacy event, ask yourself these questions:


  • Is this event going to help the people in our community?

  • Does this event address a specific community need?

  • Is this an event community members have asked for or shown an interest in?

  • Is our focus on serving those in our community or on making our institution look good? 



3. Teach all age groups 


Some banks and credit unions have financial literacy programs designed for only one age group, whether that’s children, adults, or senior citizens. But in reality, all age groups would benefit from some type of financial education. In fact, four out of seven Americans are financially illiterate. This is a big problem! And your institution can help. 


To boost your financial literacy program, take a good look at the classes, programs, and events you offer. Do you cater only to elementary students? Do you have programs meant for Gen Z? Do you focus solely on adults? Are you forgetting to educate senior citizens?


If you do have programs for all age groups, way to go! But if you don’t, it’s time to change that. An institution that limits itself to only one or two age groups is an institution that can’t have as big of an impact. 


Need some event ideas for different age groups? Check out this article. And for a great financial literacy event that would be fun for all ages, download this Financial Bingo set. 



4. Ask for and act on feedback


Feedback will take your financial literacy program to the next level. Of course, that’s only true if you act on the feedback you receive. 


You can ask employees, community members, and community organizations if they think what your institution is doing is impactful. Ask them what they like about your program, what they would change, and what they would like to see from you. Be specific and encourage them to explain their answers. 


Once you’ve gotten some feedback, it’s time to adjust your program accordingly. Some feedback will be positive, and some feedback will likely be negative. But that’s okay! This is your chance to improve your program and give community members what they want. 


5. Set clear goals


Setting clear goals helps you accomplish those goals and make an impact in your community. When what you want to achieve is just a vague idea, it’s much harder to tell if it’s finished. By defining goals, you can tell where your financial literacy program is compared to a year ago and whether or not you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.  


But these goals need to be clear. Even better, make them SMART goals. SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Here are some SMART goal examples: 


  • We want to teach 1,500 elementary students about savings by next year. 

  • We want to host 11 financial literacy seminars for new home buyers this year.

  • We want to play Financial Bingo at 2 senior centers every month.


See? You can have as many goals as you want as long as you keep everything realistic and don’t overdo it. Goals help you stay focused, keep you motivated, and help you measure progress. Once you set some goals, watch your financial literacy program start to grow!



6. Use Zogo to educate community members


Ever heard of Zogo? It’s a really cool app that lets banks and credit unions sponsor the financial education of their community members. 


The app is free for community members. In a nutshell, users go through modules and learn about various financial topics, including credit scores, savings, budgeting, and more. While they learn, users earn pineapples, the in-game currency. These pineapples can then be exchanged for gift cards. Zogo has found that incentivizing people to learn about finances helps them retain what they’ve learned and leads to smarter financial decisions. 


So where does your financial literacy program come in? Zogo may be free for community members, but it needs to make money somewhere. Instead of charging people to learn this necessary skill, Zogo works with bank and credit union sponsors. Because of these financial institutions’ generosity, community members are able to learn new financial skills and earn gift cards for free. 


To learn more about Zogo and explore a partnership with them, schedule a demo


7. Track volunteer hours, events, and more with Kadince


One of the best ways to boost your financial literacy program is by tracking everything you do. Tracking data lets you see trends, spot potential problems, report to your management team, and more. 


When it comes to your financial literacy program, you should track employee volunteer hours, events, community partners, loans, and grants.  


Sound like a lot? Lucky for you, Kadince software makes tracking all this data fast and easy. No more manual spreadsheets, no more giant binders. Kadince keeps everything you need in one place.


Now you can see which employees are volunteering, what events you have coming up (and what you need to do to prepare), what nonprofits and organizations you’ve partnered with, what grants and loans you’ve given, and more. All at a glance. Tracking all this data lets you see the impact you’re having on your community. And that helps you have an even bigger impact in the future (not to mention seriously boosts your CRA program).


Schedule a demo to learn more.



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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