Increasing Financial Skills

Knowledge is power.

Financial capability is critical to economic stability, and skill-building can happen in groups, through trusted advisors, in the classroom, in families, and through online venues. Financial education should be informed by the latest financial information, techniques, and research in pedagogy, andragogy, and behavioral economics.

Midas members host savings clubs, workshops, personalized financial coaching and counseling for hundreds of individuals in communities across the Commonwealth.  Midas has nationally-recognized expertise in financial education, and has provided research, tools, and training for non-profit trainers since 1999. These strategies increase the quality, coordination, and delivery of advanced financial training, resulting in the improvement of the financial capabilities of all Massachusetts residents. Midas hosts statewide trainings for financial educators from non-profits and financial institutions every year.

Midas members and partners delivered over 60,000 copies of the Midas resource, Staying Afloat: Managing Your Finances in a Changing Economy, throughout Massachusetts Gateway Cities and areas of Boston. The guide provides accessible, Massachusetts-specific financial information to consumers in four languages.

Midas is also the project manager of Invest in College Success (ICS). ICS is an innovative public-private partnership designed to help community college students make informed decisions on how to manage college costs and, in doing so, increase their likelihood of continuing higher education year-to-year and completing a college degree. For more information, check out the current progress report and website.

Midas assisted in forming The MassSaves Coalition, formerly the Massachusetts Financial Education Collaborative, a consortium of 150 engaged public, private, and non-profit entities working to ensure that all residents of Massachusetts have access to high-quality financial education programs, information and materials. Midas hosts the Mass Saves website to provide financial educators with quality curriculum, research, and methods, and for the general public to find on-line resources and local training.

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In 2008, Midas's Executive Director wrote the comprehensive guide "Expanding Financial Skills in Low Income Communities; A Framework for Building an Effective Financial Education Program", published by Massachusetts Community and Banking Council.

Financial Planning

To combat the overwhelming effects of an increasingly complex economy, Midas members also facilitate financial planning programs to coach and mentor community members in partnership with the Financial Planners Association of Massachusetts. The Skill Up, Team Up Project pairs financial educators with financial planners, to ensure that the best practices in financial education and planning, based on professional skills and cultural competence, are shared with investors in Lawrence, Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston. In turn, the use of these strategies supports participants as they take the steps to build and maintain their financial position and to insure, invest, and protect their assets through their whole life-span.

Participants working in groups at Midas Skill Up/Team Up training that brought together financial educators and planners to share skills and forge collaborations, March 2010.