K-16 Summit Feedback

MFEC Summit on Financial Education
Friday, October 21, 2011


At the 2011 Summit, over 130 trainers, service providers, and content distributors in financial education were divided into 3 life span groups for two hours of sharing, discussion and brainstorming. The MFEC Central Office (CO) released the highlights in the December newsletter. The full synthesis of the notes from the Life Span groups revealed an emphasis on the needs for partnership, networking support and increased collaboration between members.

The CO has carefully reviewed member feedback from the last three summits. Member-driven leadership is in the process of outlining a strategic plan for working with members to bring a range of services on line by the end of 2012. These include a clearinghouse of resources, peer trainings, a public awareness campaign and a usable performance & standards assessment system tailored to the unique needs of the various market sectors.

Meanwhile, members are hard at work. While the MFEC has been collecting information informally for years, the new CO still has a lot to learn about the good work already being done by members and potential members across the state. The MassSaves.org site hosts the strong beginnings of a clearinghouse of information about member resources, services and news. The hyperlinks in the text below show areas where the web site captures work that members are already doing, as well as available resources, to make progress in the areas addressed by session attendees.

In the spring of 2011, MFEC will begin launching vehicles to help members update MassSaves.org postings about existing services and resources, even as the CO helps members plan and coordinate new activities and initiatives to address the gaps in programming and support. As you read the Summit feedback for the Life Span groups you are interested in, and click on the associated hyperlinks, please consider contacting the CO about programs or resources that should be featured on MassSaves.org.



Question 1- OUTREACH: How do people find your financial education programs-or how do you find participants? Could MFEC help with this aspect of your work?

  • Word of mouth
  • Partnering with other organizations (CDCs, high schools, etc)
  • Networking


MFEC help by:

Question 2-COURSE FORMAT:  Is your financial education program delivered as part of a bigger program? Or do you offer stand-alone sessions? Who delivers these programs?


Question 3- AUDIENCE: What is unique about the population you provide financial education services to and why? What do you find most exciting/inspiring about this population? What is the biggest challenge in working with this population?





  • If you teach the children, they will bring the knowledge home.
  • Because are so young, often come in as a blank slate/with no bad habits




Question 4- SYNERGY: How can MFEC help to support/improve your financial education efforts? How can we as a “field” work more collaboratively?


Question 5- BEST PRACTICES: What financial education programs (yours or someone else’s) do you most admire and why/ how do you define a successful program?



Definition of a successful program:

  • Has been tested.
  • Developed for a need.
  • Performance is evaluated.
  • Parental involvement
  • Has overcome the stereotype that financial literacy is for “lower income” people only.
  • Follows up


Question 6- ALPHA/DELTA: What “works” with the way that your agency currently delivers financial education? What aspects of delivering financial education do you still struggle with?


  • After-school programs
  • Knowing your audience
  • Social networking
  • Learning by doing



  • Funding
  • Making sure it is effective
  • Finding ways to teach financial education in a way that is weaved into existing curriculums
  • Getting into community schools
  • Lack of staff



Question 1: Will a Code of Ethics/Code of Conduct give financial education programs more credibility?

Yes. It will provide accountability for each party (MFEC & agency).  However:

  • Needs to be properly enforced
  • More specific standards needed for different types of members.

Question 2: Will it (a Code of Conducts/Code of Ethics) help YOUR financial education program? How?


Yes.  It will establish credibility and enforce that they are not encouraging participation/pushing of a product.


Question 3:  Should the Code of Ethics/Code of Conduct be mandatory for all MFEC members?




  • Think about how it will be enforced (certification program?)
  • Should be received annually for any updates.


Question 4:  What changes would you like to see in the Code of Ethics/ Code of Conduct?

  • #1 would be better as “purpose” or “mission statement”
  • #2—is it necessary?
  • Is this a code of conduct or best practices?
  • Sign an “MOU”


Question 5: Program: How does your program measure success? How would you like to measure success? What are the problems/ barriers to doing so?

Funders/MFEC: Are funders asking for more performance and/or success measures? How can MFEC help your program measure success? How can we measure success? Should we?


  • Pre & post-test
  • Interviews
  • Short term survey to see what financial practices have changed.


  • Reading level
  • Language
  • Follow-up
  • Keeping people on track



  • Yes, they are looking for measures of success
  • Consider doing long-term longitudinal study (ex. Framingham Heart Study)


Question 6: How can MFEC help to support/improve your program? How can we work more collaboratively?

  • Collaborate with members
  • Publish data collected to the members/public
  • Connect people with data
  • Branding
  • Highlight successful programs.

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