Organization Award Winners






2006 Organization Award Winners

Asset Builders of America, Inc

Asset Builder of America Builders has taken a multiple approach to bringing the issue of financial literacy to the forefront by coordinating the Money Conference, hosting informational sessions and spearheading the starting of investment clubs. They are inclusive from rural, suburban to urban from Black to Native American to Hispanic. They also send out national news and briefs containing financial literacy information. They have made talking about money the “in thing” or a comfortable conversation rather you have much or a little.


Precision Information Systems LLC

Precision Information Systems LLC is a leading provider of interactive financial education products to financial service firms and millions of individual investors. Our customers benefit from the company's proprietary database of more than 8,000 tutorials, articles, quiz questions and definitions. Such industry leaders as Ameritrade, Morningstar, Intuit, and New York Life rely on Precision Information to provide accurate, reliable, unbiased, engaging and easy-to-use NASD-compliant material through web, print, and software applications. PI's flagship software product, The Encyclopedia of Personal Finance NBR Edition™, is the most comprehensive personal finance education resource available for the individual investor.


Wisconsin Bankers Association Personal Economic Program

In 1989, the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) formed the Personal Economics Program with a goal to improve financial literacy among children and adults in Wisconsin by providing our member bankers with the materials to do so. The WBA Personal Economic Program provides its members with a resource library of professionally produced videos and curriculum materials for its classroom and adult presentations. WBA also provides its members with an annual educational conference and an annual awards ceremony for those bankers that go above and beyond. In 2004-05, nearly 700 Wisconsin bankers reached 46,293 students and adults in teaching personal finance all across the state.


Wisconsin Credit Union League (REAL Solutions Program)

Through this initiative, credit unions meet consumers’ immediate needs for transaction services at a more reasonable price while offering financial education and/or counseling. The credit union moves the consumer through the steps of opening a basic deposit account, building creditworthiness with small loans, and – over time – building wealth. As a result, those who are helped become less susceptible to using predatory services and gain the solid financial footing they need to remain self-supporting, contributing members of our state’s economy.


Wisconsin JumpStart Coalition on Personal and Economic Education for Youth

Over 100 organizations comprise The Wisconsin Jump$tart Coalition. They strive to make a difference. Their mission is to improve the personal financial and economic literacy of Wisconsin's citizens, particularly its youth.


  • Create a clearinghouse of financial education resources that complements the National Jump$tart Clearinghouse.
  • Raise awareness of the need for financial education.
  • Work with other individuals and organizations to promote financial literacy


2007 Organization Award Winners

Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee

The Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee (BEAM) is a grades Pk-4 to 8 public charter school that specializes in economics and personal finance. Some highlights of BEAM’s activities include:

Planned and implemented a Business and Economics curriculum that begins in the primary grades and culminates in specialized course in careers, consumer mathematics and economics in the upper grades.

Initiated several special programs for the school including a school bank, school store, Holiday Market, field trips to businesses, and after school programs such as the Millionaires Club.

Active in planning the Milwaukee Money Conference. BEAM teachers, students and parents are very active in the Money Conference. BEAM will host the April 28, 2007 conference.

Active in planning and teaching PAID Plus - - a financial education program for adults at BEAM and at the United Community Center

Capital Credit Union

Capital Credit Union has two financial literacy initiatives targeting youth in cooperation with two area school districts: The Little Chute Elementary School Finance Program (2nd graders), and a Personal Finance Class taught at Kimberly High school

Capital’s Little Chute Elementary School Finance Program: is designed to introduce younger children, approximately ages 7-8 (2nd graders), to the basic principles of earning, saving and budgeting money at a level that encourages practical application. Each year, two Capital employees/member associates, Michelle Berken and Nancy Nagan present three separate sessions in March, April and May using a hybrid curriculum.

In conjunction with the Personal Finance Class, in 2002, Capital Credit Union opened an in-school office at Kimberly High School which employs students and helps to reinforce practical application of sound financial principles like saving and other money management skills for high school students.


Catholic Charities Budget Counseling

For several years, Catholic Charities Budget Counseling (CCBC) has been working with adult residents of shelters as well as transitional living programs to increase their financial literacy. CCBC activities include:

Budget counselors work one on one with residents to address budget counseling and consumer credit counseling. They create spending plans with the residents and meet with them every pay period to review the past plan as well as create the next plan. They review credit reports with residents and work towards developing and implementing plans for improving scores.

They also provide a more formalized education through a variety of available workshops such as: Credit When Credit is Due and Rent Smart. These workshops continue to focus on financial literacy topics such as: buying VS leasing, the loan process, purchasing a home, credit cards, how to be a good renter, ect.

CCBC has found that many of those they’ve worked with spend a great deal of income on pre-packaged convenience foods because they haven’t learned how to prepare meals during their youth. To help develop these needed skills CCBC has combined efforts with the WI SHARE Program, who develops and teaches residents how to prepare foods through hands-on cooking lessons. CCBC furthers those lessons with presentations on budgets, menu development and grocery shopping.

Center for Teaching Entrepreneurship

CTC works with a need-based group – students from low- to moderate-income households who live in Milwaukee’s central city. These students typically have a low starting level of financial literacy.

This program consistently motives its students to improve themselves, to learn about what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and how to put their ideas into practice.

CTE stresses a “train the trainer” strategy, and many of its students provide substantive education to their peers after completing CTE training.


Common Wealth Development Inc

Common Wealth Development Inc addresses a continuum of skills to help at-risk teens strengthen their overall financial literacy. To do this they:

Combine insight and tools from the areas of money management, ongoing savings habits, and employment preparation.

Deliver the programs in schools, neighborhood centers, nonprofit agencies, local businesses and other locations to reach teens in the most effective settings for specific program topics and outcomes.


Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Sheboygan

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Sheboygan provided leadership in the Money Smart Week Initiative in Sheboygan County. The agency’s commitment to financial literacy was exemplified in the staff presenting over 60 events with over 808 participants. There were several highlights of the week but one was working with the local Headstart organization. They partnered with the local Northwestern Financial Network representatives to secure 210 Penny the Pig banks. They presented to 63 adults; teaching them how to teach their children them how to save using Penny the Pig.


CoVantage Credit Union - Kidz Credit Union

CoVantage Credit Union has implemented a children’s credit union at three of its branch locations to teach middle school students how a credit union works and how to manage finance. The students learn how to save money, use/balance a check book, and how to open a savings account. This program has also seen provided some benefits to the parents for the children, as the students are bringing the information they learn back to their homes, further spreading financial literacy.


Dodge County Income of Her Own Conference

This conference is geared at teaching the concepts of entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency to middle school girls. This conference has been conducted in Dodge County five times and has seen great success. This success has been proven through pre and post tests taken by the participants and in evaluations by the student’s teacher chaperones, women in business facilitators, and committee members. Over the past 6 years, this conference has reached over 425 middle school girls.

Goodwill NCW (GoodMoney)

GoodMoney delivers a not-for-profit alternative to payday lending. The first and only business model of its kind in the nation, GoodMoney offers short-term loans at half the cost of a typical payday loan service, while also offering referrals for financial counseling and education to FISC. GoodMoney is an opportunity for consumers to proactively manage their finances. Customers have access to FISC (Financial Information and Service Center) a program of Goodwill NCW that offers counseling workshops and debt management plans to help people better understand and manage money.


Junior Achievement of Wisconsin

This organization has made expansive and coordinated efforts to promote financial literacy across the state. More than 136,000 Wisconsin students will participated in this program during 2006-2007. Junior Achievement programs uniquely include:

Age appropriate, hands-on economic materials for students grades K through 12

Trained adult volunteers facilitating all program activities, sharing experiences, and acting as positive adult role models for students

Students learn to manage personal finances, balance household budgets, apply credit and interest scenarios, write business plans, and ultimately start businesses


Mitchell Bank

In 2000, Cardinal Bank was created as a branch of Mitchell Bank. Cardinal Bank is a full-service bank operated by the students of South Division High School. Each year approximately a dozen students participate in running the bank as part of an internship program. Cardinal Bank teaches the internship students about the many different skills required to run a bank. Under the tutelage of a teacher and the Mitchell Bank staff, the students are responsible for marketing the bank, opening accounts, establishing budgets, balancing the vault, and conducting transactions for their customers. Having the bank inside the school has also helped educate the entire student body about the importance of saving.


Money Smart Week – Sheboygan County

Money Smart Week Sheboygan County was a group of committed individuals that ceased the opportunity to promote financial education programs in the county.

They developed marketing materials, grocery bag stuffers, posters, billboards, and got the local politicians involved in promoting the week. The local colleges provided students as introducers and survey takers. They also had a booth at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days promoting Money Smart Wisconsin and a booth at the Sheboygan County Fair promoting the local events. The group provided 90 events for 1000 individuals and saw great success.

Parker Community Credit Union

Parker Community Credit Union provides two programs to help youth receive good financial information.

Willy Wabbit Club

Children (ages 0- 12) with accounts receive an official membership card, membership certificate, savings account passbook and a give for opening an account. Members also receive a stuff “Willy Wabbit” when their account balance reaches $200 and are allowed to pack a toy from a special bin each time the bring in their coin saver full ($5.00)

Power Start

Upon opening and account, each member (ages: 15-22) receives several items including: 50 free checks, “Guide to Money” booklet, and free PAL (Personal Account Line, Audio Response Access) Members are also eligible for an annual $500 Power Start college scholarship.

Parker Community Credit Union also provides local high schools with literature for student entitle “Making the Right Money Moves” and has an online money education center.



2008 Organization Award Winners

Altra Federal Credit Union

Altra Federal Credit Union touches nearly everyone in its community with its efforts. They include helping elementary students through junior achievement, setting up credit union branches in La Crosse and Holmen high schools, providing over 70 classroom sessions last academic year alone, offering adult courses on credit, retirement and other topics and helping senior citizens understand social security and tax law changes. Altra has also played a part in Money Smart Week.

Asset Builders of America, Inc.

You might think the term “student investors” seems like an oxymoron. After all, where would students at South Division High School in Milwaukee get $5,000 to invest? The answer? It comes from a fund created by Asset Builders of America. Students also use an Asset Builders’ program to help them learn financial ideas, take part in the Wisconsin Stock Market Simulation, read the Wall Street Journal and speak to classmates. This is the organization’s second Governor’s Financial Literacy Award

Community First Credit Union

Community First Credit Union has long promoted financial literacy in Wisconsin. In addition to its numerous student-run branches in area high schools, Community First continues to play a lead role in innovative financial education through projects such as Reality Check—a life-choice budget simulation held in partnership with numerous high schools.

CoVantage Credit Union

One-hundred-eighty-six sixth graders at Antigo Middle School opened their eyes to the world of money when CoVantage Credit Union launched a financial education program there in 2005. CoVantage opened a credit union branch at the school too. But it didn’t stop there. It also opened branches in the sixth grades of five more schools—many with few resources. A great job CoVantage Credit Union.

M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank

M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank received an award for improving adult money skills. It used an award-winning program that has been cited as a “Best Practice” among banks. M&I has translated five of the seminars into Spanish. In addition, it has recruited bankers to put the program into action and worked with local partners to get it used throughout Wisconsin.

Make A Difference—Wisconsin, Inc.

Quite possibly, our next recipient borrowed a “how-to” manual from our earlier winner, Donna Kennedy. Or, maybe it was vice versa. Make a Difference—Wisconsin persuaded 300 volunteer instructors from the local business and professional community in Milwaukee to help it offer financial education to over 1,700 16- and 17-year-olds in 38 schools. The effort was very timely because many were getting their first jobs. They now know how to handle their hard-earned money.

Milwaukee Asset Building Coalition

Building financial assets has always been tough for low-income residents of Milwaukee County. Nevertheless, since 2002 many have taken control of their fiscal futures thanks to the Milwaukee Asset Building Coalition. By offering free tax preparation services, the MABC has helped individuals avoid hundreds of dollars in preparation fees and costly refund anticipation loans. It addressed other financial needs too. Thus, it achieved its goal of helping low-income family members become financially literate, accrue assets and position themselves to get and keep family-supporting jobs.

Wisconsin Credit Union League

You may not know that all Wisconsin high school students today get a full view of the “money side of life.” That means they learn financial lessons from inspiring stories written by young adults about young adults for young adults in brass/MAGAZINE. It is part of the brass/STUDENT PROGRAM and is provided by the Wisconsin Credit Union League and its 254 members. Content supports Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for Personal Financial Literacy too. Congratulations to the Credit Union League on its second Governor’s Financial Literacy Award.

Wisconsin Family, Career, Community Leaders of America Foundation, Inc.

Studies show you are more likely to change your behavior if you get a message to do so from someone you see as being like yourself. Based on this research, The Wisconsin Family, Career, Community Leaders of America Foundation, Inc. adopted the breakthrough idea of peer education to teaching personal finance. It had middle and high-school students teach elementary secondary students using its program called Financial Fitness.

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative recently embraced two revolutionary ideas. Low-income Americans could save money. The savings could help build wealth. WWBIC became one of the first organizations to set up employer-based Individual Development Account partnerships. What were the outcomes? Low-income people accumulated $1,000,000 in total savings. Sixty-four low-wealth individuals became first-time homeowners. They leveraged real estate valued at more than $5 million in terms of Milwaukee housing sales.


2009 Organization Award Winners

AARP Wisconsin

AARP Wisconsin’s work includes implementing two outstanding fraud-prevention programs. It combined its strengths with those of the Wisconsin Department of Privacy Protection and DFI to form AARP Fraud Fighters. They are 28 well-trained volunteers who give presentations. The second program called Lunch and Learn has one member from each agency traveling together. They visit employers, senior living facilities and large AARP member gatherings.

Appleton Area School District

Appleton Area School District (AASD has exemplified financial education leadership for more than a decade—not only in Wisconsin, but also in the United States. Every student must complete financial education course work to graduate. AASD also partners with community organizations. It delivers to 1,000 students per year the Reality Check, a hands-on personal finance simulation. Nearly 5,000 students have taken part to date. In addition, AASD has opened a student- run credit union in Appleton West High School.

Brokaw Credit Union

At its own expense, Brokaw Credit Union built a student branch in D.C. Everest High School. It has also promoted financial awareness and literacy for students, staff and parents. This activity included providing resources, access by students and staff to the credit union, a website and apprenticeship opportunities for students. In addition, credit union personnel present on financial topics and facilitate student attendance at credit union board meetings.

Educators Credit Union

Educators Credit Union has added a dose of excitement to financial education in southeastern Wisconsin. Six families will take part in the Savings Challenge in 2009. They will work together with credit union coaches over a nine-month period to learn about debt reduction, saving and improving credit scores. The family that does best will win $10,000. ECU also created an “at home version” where viewers can follow the families’ progress. Viewers also can win as much as $1,000.

Get Smart Wausau Coalition

Get Smart Wausau Coalition received their award for taking a large group approach to meeting financial literacy needs in the greater Wausau area. Over 60 members have come together to make a great impact, serve more people and meet education needs faster. This effort includes 42 people training as volunteer financial counselors. Overall, the group has over a 100 members, which allows it to respond to needs quickly.

Manitowoc Money Smart Week Committee

Dan Reinke and Susan Novak of the Manitowoc Money Smart Week Committee spearhead a large, innovative financial literacy effort in their community. The group started taking part in Money Smart Week during its second year. It has conducted theme nights on topics such as car purchasing, home buying and retirement. It has greatly increased the numbers Money Smart Week presenters. Media coverage has gone from almost nothing to radio presenters on a weekly basis.

STAR Credit Union

STAR Credit Union wins its award because it is the first and only youth-chartered credit union in the world. “STAR” stands for Save to Achieve Results. It is located in the Boys and Girls Club in Madison. It developed from the combined efforts of Summit Credit Union and Great Wisconsin Credit Union. Credit union volunteers mentor, attend committee meetings, help with community public relations and operate the website. STAR is also active in “Family Fun Nights.” They help it meet its goal of teaching the importance of saving to low-income youth in a safe, secure, and fun environment.

UW Credit Union

During 2008 alone, the UW Credit Union provided 220 financial education seminars in the Dane County area. They reached more than 4,900 attendees. The programs were innovative because they 1) maximized attendee convenience by being customized for specific audiences (e.g. students), 2) provided timely, applicable content for current conditions and are updated on an ongoing basis, and 3) utilized a team of 31 certified, highly trained financial mentors.

Wisconsin Bankers Association

The Wisconsin Bankers’ Association has provided free, educational Reading Raises Interest kits for six consecutive years. They are used in conjunction with National Teach Children to Save Day and throughout April. They include a children’s book relating to personal finance, lesson plans, a sample news release for local media, a sample introductory letter to a school and a bookmark. They allow any Wisconsin banker to provide a 30-60 minute personal finance presentation with a teacher.

Wisconsin Youth Credit Unions

Wisconsin credit unions have accomplished a national “First.” They oversee 80 youth-operated credit union branches. Most are in schools. That is more than any other state! Students staff the credit unions. They learn lifelong skills and acquire the early habit of saving. Some credit unions extend credit to students thus teaching responsible credit use too—well before aggressive credit card companies target the students. These branches pose costs to their parent credit unions, but the institutions still offer them in hopes of helping students get a head start on developing good personal finance habits.


2010 Organization Award Winners

Edgewood College

Edgewood College has helped launch and grow the nation’s leading teacher training as recognized the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, the National Institute of Financial & Economic Literacy (NIFEL). Edgewood College has contributed significant staff time, resources (including significant tuition subsidies) to ensure the success of NIFEL. Since its inception nine years ago NIFEL has trained over 700 educators in Wisconsin and nationally from one to three weeks of rigorous instruction--three graduate credits each week. The multiplier effect of training educators at NIFEL is documented. Participants taught financial education to over 173,000 youths in Wisconsin alone and thousands more nationally in K-12 schools, technical colleges, correctional institutions and community programs. Over 60,000 students will be taught this academic year.

Educational Communications Board (ECB)

The Educational Communications Board created Financial Literacy: TEACH IT! Financial Literacy: TEACH IT! is a Web site that provides educators with immediate professional development and resources to effectively teach financial literacy. The Web site features twenty-one financial literacy lessons taped in Wisconsin’s elementary, middle and high school classrooms, as well as interviews with the teachers in the videos. There are vetted lesson plans, a parent resource page and a teacher forum. Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for Personal Financial Literacy serve as the foundation for this multi-media resource. This innovative resource utilizes a variety of multi-media and is universally available for on-demand professional development. The Web site offers many high-quality resources available at no cost. This Web site will give educators the tools and support needed to teach financial literacy to their students. Visit the Web site:

Financial Education Center/Deb Neubauer

The Financial Education Center was established in 2005 to provide a community resource to all residents of Dane County, focusing however, on the needs of low to moderate income families. It is a hub for residents to access information and for educators and community based organizations to provide programs revolving around financial issues with the overall objective to increase the financial literacy skills of residents thereby empowering them to achieve financial independence and better money management. Consistent, reliable and integrated financial education is offered through classes, one-on-one coaching by staff and trained volunteers, and referral to community resources. FEC enhances, never duplicate, programs that already exist, and provide a resource network for families facing financial crisis.

Reaching a substantial number of people with limited resources through collaborations and partnerships with agencies that possess the same mission structuring, its programming meets the current needs of the community. With unemployment rampant, people who had never been in financial crisis before were facing foreclosure and bankruptcy. The administrator of the FEC, chairing the prevention committee, is currently working on the development of an informational brochure, as well as creating workshops to assist people facing this crisis. Throughout the year, FEC staff conducted numerous workshops on “Financial Strategies When Your Income Drops” at on-site work locations for private businesses and state agency employees. The administrator of the FEC was the chief editor of the bankruptcy curriculum, which was adopted and is now used by all UW Extension Family Living Agents across the state who are certified to offer bankruptcy education.

FEC staff continue to offer the following core programs: Make Your Money Talk, Get Checking, Bankruptcy Debtor Education, Grow Your Green (partnering with Madison Gas and Electric) and creating a “Grow Your Green” workbook with excerpts of this program have been borrowed and streamlined by agencies in other Wisconsin counties, Stretching Your Household Budget, Taking Charge: Doing Your Will and Other Important Documents. You and Your Credit, Retirement Planning Today, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program of Dane County serving approximately 4,000 to 5,000 people each year through a partnership with AARP, the Department of Revenue, the City of Madison and Dane County, and Youth programs: participating in the Mad City reality simulations throughout the Madison High Schools, giving presentations at the Madison alternative high schools on the topics of budgeting, spending, banking and credit, holding the 4th annual Power of change family festival at the FEC, launching a partnership with the Juvenile Detention Center with an FEC staff member meeting with the juveniles and discusses money management topics, spearheaded a Dane County Money Smart Kid essay contest.

Holmen School District

Scott Shriver (Marketing Teacher) and Bernie Ferry (Retired Principal) at Holmen High School were the initial advocates of bringing financial literacy to their students to ensure successful futures for their students. When 183 Holmen High School students were given a financial literacy quiz and only 3 passed several teachers to advocate that financial literacy should be a High School graduation requirement and beginning this year, 2009, all freshmen entering Holmen High School will be required to fulfill the Financial Literacy requirement in order to graduate. To accomplish this Holmen has used innovation and forward thinking in a truly positive, refreshing, and exciting way.

Nick Weber (Business Teacher) has been an advocate for Virtual Finance. His belief that the project would have a positive impact and be a valuable learning tool for students prompted Nick to propose the idea to the Superintendent and to the School Board, which was approved to move forward. The Holmen School District sees the importance of the curriculum, and the benefits of teaching it in this forum, as it is the future of learning. Holmen High School representatives have been supportive and eager to bring Virtual Finance to their students and give them every advantage possible. Virtual Finance will teach students financial literacy by using a combination of engaging 3-D virtual simulation and the integration of real-world products. With Virtual Finance, we will be able to track decisions made and the impact of those decisions. As students navigate through Virtual Finance they will gain financial knowledge and recognize what the better choices are, which will hopefully carry over into real life behaviors. As Virtual Finance continues to be perfected and the I.T. requirements become compatible, Nick Weber and Altra Federal Credit Union will continue to move forward to make this project a reality for the students at Holmen High School.

Along with this, Holmen High School has had an in-school credit union available for their students for 4 years. Holmen students and faculty have been actively involved with the credit union partnership and allowing the credit union to participate in student functions and organizations such as the student Marketing Projects, Reality Store, and DECA.

M&I Bank Community Education

Contrary to the traditional approach of providing just education, M&I Bank designed a comprehensive program supplementing its high quality education with outcome measures, specialized banking products, and effective community and government partnerships. The bank’s suite of specialized products, the Foundation Suite, offers a checking, savings, and credit builder account. These products are designed for consumers who have never been banked, for those who are shut out of the banking system because they mismanaged their banking relationships in the past, for those who are interested in low minimum balance savings account, and for those who have mismanaged their credit and are interested in repairing it. M&I Bank was asked by the Department of Corrections to help in designing a set of seminars that would cover the content required in the financial literacy module. In response, M&I Community Education designed seven seminar packets that cover all ten units of the FDIC Money Smart curriculum that are required by the module. Each seminar is supplemented with pre- and post-surveys, evaluation forms, handouts, certificates of completion, and an electronic reporting form. With help from the DOC administration, M&I CE Staff organized several train the trainer sessions around the state for the Re-entry Program Specialists. The curriculum was saved on compact discs and distributed to the DOC staff during the training sessions. Over the last two years M&I CE, in conjunction with WI DOC, has trained 91 re-entry specialists in the new M&I/WI DOC curriculum.

In November 2007 the DOC launched a Standardized Pre-release Curriculum as part of its “Reentry: A Bridge to Success” initiative. The goal is to “provide a consistent, structured, pre-release curriculum to inmates to assist in facilitating their transition to the community.” The curriculum contains ten modules and they address the following areas: Wellness, Education, Employment, Family Support, Financial Literacy, Health, Housing, Personal Development, Transportation, and Transitional Preparation.

Sokaogon Chippewa Community

The Sokaogon Chippewa Community has pulled together and used a variety of ideas and skills to teach individuals the importance of Financial Literacy. For example, the youth and elders of the community drafted a plan to start a bi-weekly Market Day charging vendors a fee for the space that they used to sell their wares. The money that is raised is then given to the youth to use and invest in their future pursuits. The Boys and Girls Club in the community has taken this project over and it is still a successful venture.
A financial learning program was held this summer though the Boys and Girls club. These activities stressed the importance of money management, checking, and savings accounts and the importance of investing for a future.

The community now holds financial literacy classes for the business owner. These classes begin with basic math concepts, advance to accounting concepts, and eventually move to use of QuickBooks. The classes are also expanding on business law and Tribal governance associated with business. This financial literacy program is slated to continue in two other Tribal communities upon the completion of this 12-week session.

Summit Credit Union

Summit Credit Union has a demonstrated commitment to providing programs that will increase the economic self-sufficiency of youth in their community. For the past ten years they have been a staunch partner with Common Wealth Development's Youth Programs. It is for their incredible contribution to these programs, particularly to Earn$ave, that Common Wealth Development nominated them for the Governor's Financial Literacy Award 2010.

Summit Credit Union partnered with Common Wealth Development in late 2008 to offer Earn$ave to youth in the Greater Madison Area. Earn$ave is the first Youth Individual Development Account Program in Wisconsin and was originally established in 2002 to help teens save toward the acquisition of an asset while learning financial literacy skills. Since partnering with Common Wealth to deliver Earn$ave, 26 youth have joined the program, 22 of whom have opened accounts in which they are saving toward assets ranging from driver's education classes, to computers, to college educations. Combined, these 22 youth have saved a total of $4,737.03 in approximately one year! A huge part of this success is that Summit Credit Union has taken a very active role in the program, assigning individual Member Service Specialists to act as Financial Mentors for youth in the program. In addition to saving toward their goals, youth in Earn$ave also attend a series of interactive, financial literacy classes, some of which are taught by staff from Summit Credit Union.

In addition to their involvement with Earn$ave, Summit Credit Union has hired and mentored several teens from Common Wealth's Youth-Business Mentoring Program. They have hosted and facilitated numerous educational field trips through the years in which they have taught well over 500 teens key lessons in financial literacy ranging from saving, budgeting, and credit, to the perils of predatory lenders, to how to navigate financial websites with a critical eye. Several of Summit's employees also routinely volunteer to conduct mock interviews for teens in Common Wealth's Programs.

UW Credit Union

UW Credit Union provided 260 financial education seminars that reached more than 7,700 individuals in 2009; this is a 57% increase over the number of people reached during 2008. We have continued to measure the success of our seminars by collecting evaluation forms from participants that provide us with direct feedback about the seminar, as well as to gauge interests in other educational topics and to improve and/or enhance our seminar content. Presenters are observed on a regular basis by members of our Community & Campus Relations and Retail Management team to ensure quality and provide opportunities for coaching and training.

1. Participant Convenience – Seminar participants can review seminar content and sign-up online at, at any of our 16 branch locations, or by calling UW Credit Union. The majority of our seminars are held on-site at area businesses and community partner locations – offering convenience for attending participants and helping increase overall attendance. We also host seminars at our corporate headquarters and area branches.

2. Seminar Content – Current financial conditions and feedback from our partners drive our seminar content and offerings. Each seminar is presented by a product expert and is updated on an ongoing basis. The content is also customized for specific audiences (e.g. students, new homeowners, etc.). Based on the feedback of our partners and members, two new seminars were developed in 2009 in response to the changing needs of the communities we serve; “Managing Your Finances During Difficult Economic Times” and “Credit Repair”. Seminars are also offered in Spanish.

3. Seminar Presenters – UW Credit Union continues to grow its team of presenters and has a total of 40 Financial Mentors who have gone through a certification process and continue with ongoing training. These team members are leaders within our organization and are often promoted after participation in the program. Having a large team of presenters also allows us to be flexible and accommodate almost every partner request we receive.

4. Program Philosophy – UW Credit Union strives to provide financial information that is timely, relevant, and actionable in order to enable seminar participants to achieve their financial goals. Our seminars are always free of charge and participants will never be subject to a sales pitch or pressure to open accounts as part of any UW Credit Union seminar. The primary goal of UW Credit Union’s Financial Education Program is to educate members of the communities we serve no matter where they may choose to bank.

Wisconsin credit unions & the RP3 Project Team

The Real Progress and Pathways to Prosperity (RP3) program is the first effort of its kind, involving employees and volunteers of more than 80 credit unions statewide in an 18-month study of the effectiveness of online investment education. The study seeks to identify how modest educational efforts can stimulate proactive investment behavior – a prescription that can not only improve personal finances but prevent ill-prepared Americans’ financial needs from becoming a public burden down the road.

The program has offered as many as 4,000 participants upwards of 30,000 hours of free online investment education – a value of over $450,000. And the program’s potential to positively influence as many as 1.3 million of their members with the investment concepts they’ve learned. The initial goal was to involve 40 credit unions and approximately 3,000 to 4,000 employees in the program. During phase I a total of 1,623 participants from 54 organizations completed the program by December 31, 2009. AT least another 1,897 participants from 56 credit unions are scheduled to complete phase II, beginning in January. When the entire process completes in 2010, the goal is to have determined the mix of education, coaching and follow-up that can consistently motivate the average person to take advantage of the investment opportunities they’ll need – in addition to just saving – to reach future financial goals. The study will have evaluated the influence of factors like age, income, education level, geographic location and other attributes on the coursework offered.

The partners include 3,520 employees and volunteers from 80 credit unions, The WI Credit Union League, Puelicher Center for Banking Education at the Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Investor Protection Trust and Precision Information.