FINANCIAL EDUCATION WEB SITES TARGET DIVERSE AUDIENCES

National Foundation Works to Create Internet-Based Projects

To Meet Many Consumer Needs

ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO—A wealth of free, targeted financial information now is available through the Internet. Various websites, created by the National Endowment for Financial Education ® (NEFE®) in collaboration with other concerned organizations, have been individually tailored to meet the needs of specific U.S. sub-populations ranging from disaster survivors to military personnel to Native Americans. These groups, among others, now can access personal finance information quickly and easily on the Internet.

“Typically, we have found that individuals are most receptive to financial education if it addresses their specific questions about money and directly relates to their current stage and situation in life,” says William L. Anthes, Ph.D., president and CEO of NEFE, a Colorado-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all Americans achieve financial well-being. “These collaborative websites make financial education extremely accessible. Regarding the financial information presented, the site design and the language used, these websites each are customized for their intended audience.” 

Individuals who visit the websites, created by NEFE and the collaborating organizations, will find educational information that addresses topics such as those listed below.

Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues—When a natural or manmade disaster strikes, victims’ personal lives can be left in shambles. Often, these disasters take a financial toll, as well. To help survivors of a disaster regain financial balance, NEFE, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the American Red Cross created Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues, located online at www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/FinRecovery. This site discusses financial steps to take immediately after a disaster, such as collecting important documents, determining cash flow and seeking insurance benefits. The site then addresses steps to take in the following weeks and months. Finally, the site helps users prepare for their financial future. These three groups also created a follow-up website, Financial Planning: A Guide for Disaster Preparedness. This website, located at www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/FinRecovery/FinPlan/, discusses how individuals can be better prepared for a potential natural or manmade disaster before it occurs. It explains how to create a disaster plan, what type and how much insurance to purchase and how to keep important documents safe.

The AICPA is the national professional organization of CPAs, with more than 330,000 members in business and industry, public practice, government and education. The American Red Cross is a nationwide network of local community supporters—volunteers, blood donors and financial donors—organized into nearly 1,000 chapters, blood services regions and field units dedicated to saving lives and helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

Financial Planning for People with Arthritis—Dealing with a chronic disease such as arthritis can be difficult, both physically and emotionally. Chronic sufferers of arthritis also know that it can inflict financial stress as well. This is why NEFE collaborated with the Arthritis Foundation to develop the financial planning section of the organization’s webiste, which is located at www.arthritis.org/resources/Financial_Planning/Introduction/financial_intro.asp. This section of the Arthritis Foundation’s site helps individuals with arthritis establish a financial plan and inventory, ask others for assistance as they manage their finances, minimize medical expenses and discuss their situation with an employer. It also addresses topics such as housing, credit and insurance. The site is designed in an easy-to-follow question-and-answer format. The Arthritis Foundation is the only national not-for-profit organization that supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions with advocacy, programs, services and research.

Military Families: Money and Mobility—To address the unique financial concerns of military personnel and their families, NEFE collaborated with the National Military Family Association to create this website, located at www.nmfa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=moneyandmobility. The site primarily focuses on the financial difficulties associated with frequent moves. It discusses how to create and save for a moving fund, chose between military and off-base housing and organize the paperwork required for relocation. In addition, the site addresses how to create a budget and complete long-term planning to avoid money drains and traps, such as the predatory lending organizations that often are located near military bases. Finally, the specific financial concerns of reservists are discussed. The National Military Family Association is a predominately volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying and resolving issues of concern to military families.

Native Financial Education Coalition Clearinghouse—First Nations Oweesta Cooperation worked with NEFE to create this site, located at www.nfec.info. It serves as a clearinghouse for the Native Financial Education Coalition, a group of local, regional and national organizations, as well as government agencies, that have joined together to promote the financial education of Native Americans. The site includes activities, programs and curricula to help individuals and organizations set up money-management programs in Native communities. First Nations Oweesta Corporation is a national organization, presently spearheading the efforts of the Native Financial Education Coalition.

Planning for Prosperity, a Financial Guide for New Asian AmericansThe National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) and NEFE created this website to help Asian immigrants learn how to benefit from the financial institutions and services in the United States. It is located at www.nationalcapacd.org/NEFE/index.html and its featured information is available in Cambodian, Chinese, English, Filipino, Hindi, Hmong, Korean, Samoan, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese. Each version addresses budgeting, filing tax returns, banking, credit, loans and housing options. National CAPACD is an advocacy organization dedicated to addressing the community development, organizing and advocacy needs of the diverse and rapidly growing Asian American and Pacific Islander communities nationwide.

Surviving a Suicide Loss: A Financial Guide—NEFE collaborated with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to create this website, located at www.afsp.org/survivor/financial/, to aid individuals who have survived a suicide loss. The site suggests that at the first financial step people should take after losing a loved one to suicide is to assess one’s current fiscal situation. This way, the survivors will know how much money is available to pay for day-to-day expenses, as well as funeral costs. The site then lists which financial tasks should be completed right away, and which can wait for a period of time. The website also discusses working with a financial advisor and settling the loved one’s estate. Founded in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the only national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to funding research, developing prevention initiatives and offering educational programs and conferences for survivors, mental health professionals, physicians and the public.

Your Future, Your Education, Your MoneyCollege Summit, a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase the college enrollment rate of low-income high school students, collaborated with NEFE to create this website, which can be found at www.collegesummit.org/nefe/index.html. The site targets underprivileged, first-generation students and addresses the importance of higher education, understanding and applying for financial aid, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms, setting career goals, saving money, using credit responsibly and creating a spending plan.

The National Endowment for Financial Education has created nearly 100 print and Internet-based financial education projects for special audiences. For more information about NEFE and its Collaborative Programs department, log on to www.nefe.org.

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  • Paul Golden

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