Our Story

Our History

The Denver-based nonprofit College for Financial Planning 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 establish it as a profession.

Over the next two decades, the College expanded, diversified and advanced its interaction with the public. In 1984, the first financial education program launched, and in 1992, NEFE was formed as the parent entity of the College.

In 1997, the Board of Trustees recognized the importance of focusing the foundation’s efforts 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.

In 2020, under the leadership of Dr. Billy Hensley and the Board, the decision was made to shift our focus from personal finance education to an institute that advances high-impact scholarly research and facilitates collaboration with practitioners, advocates and policymakers.

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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Join us for our 2nd Financial Education Innovation and Impact Summit in Denver, Oct. 8-10

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