Use Money Smart Week to expand your outreach
"The challenge for credit
unions is to provide the ‘just in time’ help that
financially underserved populations need despite barriers to
participation like a lack of transportation, available child care, or
long work hours," says Chad Helminak, Vice President of
Development for the League.
"This initiative is a
tremendous opportunity, for example, to reach out to Hispanics,
students, single parents, and young working families in their prime
borrowing years who need guidance to budget well, use credit wisely and
avoid financial predators."
He adds that credit unions needn’t create new presentations but rather focus on outreach – being creative to offer existing classes, information or skill-building opportunities to groups for whom time and access may present challenges. He suggests credit unions:
"Put yourself in the shoes of someone just
starting out who may be struggling, but with the right guidance can
overcome significant challenges," Helminak says. "Collectively, this
effort can begin to put thousands of families on a positive path to
financial stability and wealth-building."
He suggests credit unions review the Assets & Opportunity Scorecard for Wisconsin, compiled by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, to stimulate their thinking on unique educational needs and participation barriers many groups face.
Money Smart Week Wisconsin is a joint effort by hundreds of partner organizations in the state that concentrate financial learning opportunities during a single week but also offer additional opportunities throughout the month. Opportunities can target any ethnicity or age group. It offers credit unions a way to broaden their educational outreach and capitalize on publicity and promotion backed by multiple partners in a particular area.
Money Smart Week began in 2002 as an effort of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Since then, successful campaigns have been held in more than a dozen states and clusters of individual events and activities have been held in additional states. National partnerships with the American Library Association and the Financial Planners Association have helped accelerate the effort's growth.
©2005 Wisconsin Credit Union League. All rights reserved.