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News Archive

REAL Focus: continue opportunities for outreach

Fall is shaping up to be really busy! Here's what's happening around Wisconsin:

  • Investor Education. The race is on for credit unions to sign up their SEG groups (or the CU's own staff) for the FREE investor education we're offering this fall as part of the Investor Education in Your Workplace program. This award-winning program has already educated 5,476 learners from 80 credit unions and 24 additional businesses in Wisconsin, and is being used by at least 10 other states to stimulate investing. Participants learn basic investing concepts online at their own pace. Free webinars explain how the program works. Please sign up by Sept. 21; learning starts October 22. Each participant receives more than $100 in value, for a total of $100,000 statewide just this fall! There's just a small setup fee. Contact me for more details.
    Chad Helminak
    League Director of
    REAL Solutions & Outreach

  • Evaluating brass. We've asked all credit unions to ensure that their local schools take advantage of brass|MAGAZINE and the related online resources for teachers and students that credit unions provide to them free through the Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation. We also need your help to evaluate the impact of brass in Wisconsin and with regard to your financial education efforts. If you credit union hasn't already, please respond to our survey by Sept. 7 - the first 50 respondents receive a $5 Starbucks giftcard and there's still a few more left to give away!

  • Financial Counseling program postponed, to be reconsidered for 2013. We've decided to postpone offering the enhanced version of the Credit Union Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP) this fall, which teaches and certifies CU employees of all levels on how to approach and counsel members who are faced with financial difficulties. We didn't get enough credit unions registered to bring the collective program costs down at this time, but will look to evaluate our options to bring this program to Wisconsin in 2013. Interested credit unions may want to consider the cost of this training in next year's budget planning.

  • Financial coaching for veterans. The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) invites credit unions to participate in a financial coaching program for military veterans. The goal is to work with veteran service organizations and hospitals to provide financial counseling, mentoring and education. The first FREE coaches' training session is being offered in Madison Sept. 12, with more sessions being planned for Wausau, Eau Claire and the Fox Cities. Register for the Madison session now, and contact Teresa Walker for more information.

  • Free financial literacy resources. FREE customizable workshop kits to financially educate unique audiences are now available from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). They are geared for people who have low incomes, live with chronic health conditions or have experienced abuse or addiction, among others. NEFE has also updated its FREE 6-module High School Financial Planning Program, which covers financial basics. Teacher guides for modules 1-4 have been delayed but will ship to schools and other presenters in mid-September. NEFE will host free webinars monthly to introduce new audiences to these materials, so consider sharing these dates with your school contacts as they are added. The redesigned NEFE website allows program users to log in directly to the teacher side of the site where course materials and promotional items can be downloaded (all usernames and passwords should still work).

  • Learning opportunities. Don't miss the upcoming programs that can improve your outreach, growing your membership and income. They explain how to start a youth program, how to serve the booming Hispanic market, and business development fundamentals, to name just a few. Learn to preserve income by working effectively with troubled members. Check our full calendar for even more opportunities.

  • Teacher sponsorship. Many thanks to credit unions that again sponsored local teachers' attendance at the National Institute of Financial & Economic Literacy, the summer workshops that help teachers improve their personal finance lessons. Tens of thousands of Wisconsin students benefit annually from the skills educators acquire at these sessions. Sponsoring credit unions this year included Altra Federal, Blackhawk Community, Bull's Eye, Capital, CoVantage, Fox Communities, Heartland, Heritage, Indianhead, Royal & Westby Co-op. Please make this another budget item for 2013, especially if you have a school-branch relationship! At $300 for a full week, it's an amazing deal, and is attracting more attention each year!

  • Community events. Money Conferences, which help low- to moderate-income families learn personal finance strategies, have begun around the state. Coordinated by Asset Builders of America, the latest took place in Madison. More are coming Nov. 3 in Appleton, Nov. 17 in Racine/Kenosha and in early 2013 in Wausau, and Milwaukee. Credit unions have been key partners in teaching at, volunteering for and sponsoring these, all of which are great opportunities for outreach. Contact Richard Entenmann of Asset Builders for more information at (608) 663-6332 or

As always, if you have any questions, please contact me at (608) 514-0080.

Wisconsin teachers, like these in 2012, attend the National Institute of Financial & Economic Literacy to improve the personal finance lessons they offer students in their classrooms.








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