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April is National Financial Literacy Month—Ways to Educate Donors About Financial and Charitable Planning

March 21, 2018

April 2018 is the 14th anniversary of National Financial Literacy Month and an important opportunity for all charities to help educate donors about financial challenges and how planning—and including philanthropy in your planning—can help overcome those challenges.

Many Americans are on the verge of running out of money before their life expectancy, while many families are burdened with large amounts of student loans and other forms of debt, and more than half of adults don’t have updated—or any at all—estate and financial plans to protect themselves and their families.

This lack of financial awareness and financial literacy places a growing amount of pressure on families and friends, employers, nonprofits and the government.

  • The majority of the adults in the U.S. that reach the age of 70 are almost out of money, but have life expectancies well into their mid-80's and maybe into their 90's.
  • Over 120 million adults, 50% of our adult population don’t have a current estate plan to protect themselves and their assets in the event of sickness or when they pass away. And most don’t feel they have an estate to plan for, even though planning is important for everyone.
  • Too many young people and their families are burdened with excessive education loans and other forms of debt.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report in January that examined the link between financial education and financial well-being. A key finding was that while many adults desire to educate themselves to become more financially literate, they often seek out that information only within their social networks. People are making critical life decisions based on information gained from non-experts and fragmented sources.

The Improving Financial Awareness & Financial Literacy Movement, led by The Financial Awareness Foundation, is working to increase public education about planning. The National Financial Literacy Month is a key part of the campaign, and there are several activities that charities can undertake to help educate their donors about financial planning.

1. Place financial and estate planning editorial content within your websites, newsletters, social media groups and other appropriate outlets. Content, including several template articles, is available at The Financial Awareness Foundation webpage, under the Campaign tab.

2. Add the "We Support Improving Financial Awareness & Financial Literacy Icon" to your website with a link to: You can download the icon here.

3. Add an “Improving Financial Awareness & Financial Literacy Page" to your website, newspaper, and magazine. This is an excellent opportunity to show your support and to provide your employees, clients, prospects, and members of your community with a great platform to share important financial information.

4. Initiate local community-wide seminars (similar to job fairs) that focus on improving financial awareness and financial literacy.

5. Encourage groups to host or take part national webinars built around estate and financial planning during the months of April and October. Information about these events can be found on the Foundation website.

6. Circulating financial awareness campaign materials and the Press & Industry Media Kits and Guides found at The Financial Awareness Foundation website to your members, colleagues, associates, and encouraging them to support and participate.

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