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Our Story

Our History

Our first financial education program launched in 1984 while we were still a part of the Denver-based nonprofit College for Financial Planning. The College was established in 1972 as the nation’s first educational institution providing financial planning coursework to professionals. At that time, the College created the standard-setting CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification, which helped define the concept of financial planning and established it as a profession.

The College expanded, diversified and advanced its interaction with the public over the next two decades. As a result, NEFE was formed in 1992 to serve as the parent entity of the College. In 1997 the Board of Trustees recognized the importance of focusing the foundation’s efforts primarily on financial education—particularly those segments of the population whose needs were not being met by others. NEFE transferred ownership, sold its assets—including all of the College’s professional education programs—and established NEFE as an independent, nonprofit foundation solely dedicated to personal finance education. The proceeds financed our endowment, which funds our work today.

Our Philosophy

We believe education can help people navigate financial decisions and identify choices that can increase their financial stability, but financial education is only one factor in a complex, interrelated ecosystem that responds to a variety of internal and external forces, often not controlled by individuals. Within this context, we will place a higher focus on enhancing the impact of knowledge and behavior influencers, bolstering thoughtful and actionable research, and convening key thought leaders to support a forward-thinking agenda for the field.

Our Funding

NEFE is independently funded by its own endowment and operates as a noncommercial entity free from financial ties to other organizations. NEFE does not accept funding from government or corporations and does not raise revenue through the sale of products or services. Growth of the endowment occurs through the investment of assets.

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