Mission and Vision

Everyone deserves a financial education.

Grounded in the belief that regardless of background or income level, financially informed individuals are better able to take control of their circumstances, improve their quality of life, and ensure a more stable future for themselves and their families, NEFE’s mission is to inspire educated financial decision making for individuals and families through every stage of life.

We envision a world where people make informed, thoughtful, and beneficial financial decisions that are aligned with their values so that they can enjoy better, more secure, and more satisfying lives.

Initiatives -

NEFE is driven by purposeful, service-oriented work.

NEFE has identified eight initiatives that describe how we achieve our mission, as well as outline the goals and standards that guide our activities. Every project or program NEFE undertakes must fit within the scope of at least one of the following defined NEFE initiatives:

  1. Empower Americans to achieve their life goals through the prudent and informed management of their financial resources.
  2. Help instill in all Americans the commitment to save toward the realization of their financial goals and their future financial security.
  3. Assist consumers in understanding and actively participating in the management of their investments.
  4. Better prepare all Americans for their retirement years.
  5. Encourage in the nation's young people an understanding of personal financial planning and the acquisition of sound money management skills.
  6. Effect the financial education of individuals in special circumstances, and support the development and delivery of programs and materials related to their unique needs.
  7. Expand the financial literacy body of knowledge through research in support of developing a discipline that prepares educators and other intermediaries to improve the financial well-being of the public.
  8. Support proactive research of consumer, social, and business trends.

History -

We have a long history of making a difference.

The National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) launched its first financial education program in 1984 and has been creating programs to help consumers better understand their finances ever since.

The Denver-based, nonprofit College for Financial Planning was established in 1972 as the nation's first financial planning educational institution providing financial planning course work to professionals. At that time, the College also created the standard-setting CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification, which helped define the concept of financial planning and establish it as a profession.

The College grew, diversified, and advanced its interaction with the public over the next two decades. NEFE evolved from and served as the parent entity of College from 1992 to 1997. In 1997 the board and trustees recognized the importance of focusing the foundation’s efforts primarily on educating consumers—particularly those segments of the population whose needs were not being met by others. NEFE transferred ownership, sold its assets—including all of its professional education programs— to the Apollo Group, Inc and established NEFE as an independent, nonprofit foundation solely dedicated to educating consumers about personal finance.

Timeline Highlights -

Years Highlights
1972 The College for Financial Planning defines the concept of financial planning and establishes the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP®) designation for financial planners.
1984 High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP) launches.
1992 The National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) begins serving as the parent entity of the College for Financial Planning.
1997 The board of trustees makes the bold decision to focus NEFE's efforts solely on its public service mission and NEFE transfers ownership of the College for Financial Planning and related divisions to the Apollo group; creates endowment from proceeds of sale.
2005 In January, NEFE launches Smart About Money (www.smartaboutmoney.org), the first of several educational programs developed for various specific audiences.

Our Funding -

Independently funded by our own endowment, which was established with proceeds from the 1997 sale of the College for Financial Planning’s assets (including a building and the rights to its professional education programs) NEFE is a noncommercial organization free from financial ties to other organizations. Additional growth and program funding is realized only through the interest, dividends and gains from the endowment’s own invested assets.

We do not accept financial support from individuals, government or corporations, nor do we raise revenue through the sale of products or services; any financial growth is realized through investment of the endowment’s assets.

All of NEFE’s programs are provided at no cost.

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