How financial education and literacy can help lift up communities in the U.S.
Small steps can make a big difference, and organizations can help lead the way
Financial literacy plays an important role in the lives of Americans across the U.S. — and this education is often lacking in many communities. But nonprofits and other organizations are working to change that bit by bit and help lift up local communities along the way.
One such organization is the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, a nonprofit that works with a wide range of community partners to address the fundamental issues that overlap and impact the economic well-being of families in the Atlanta area. It’s an ambitious goal, and focusing on income and wealth is an important piece of the puzzle.
“When families understand the basics of finance, they then understand their own personal finances better and feel empowered to tackle a budget and plan for the future,” says Frank Fernandez, the nonprofit’s president and CEO.
Those tools are even more important now amid the rocky economy, high inflation and stagnating wages that are diminishing families’ purchasing power, making it that much more difficult to reach financial security and save for the future.
Primerica is a private Atlanta-based business that helps middle-income families improve their financial security through a suite of products as well as personal relationships with their clients. For more than 40 years, it has taught the principles of personal finance, helping to empower families to create a financial game plan and make more informed financial decisions.
A cornerstone of Primerica’s business is to train and help license financial professionals who come from diverse backgrounds and are deeply rooted in their communities. There, they build face-to-face relationships to address families’ financial needs, provide education and offer solutions.
“We know that financially secure households play an outsized role in the financial health of their communities,” said Glenn J. Williams, CEO of Primerica. “By creating a diverse workforce and funding financial education programs, Primerica is dedicated to doing its part to address the issues families and communities face every day.”
Together, the work that organizations like Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and Primerica undertake is just part of the solution in addressing the need for greater financial literacy in Atlanta and across the U.S. The greater challenge is getting more organizations involved and aligned around improving financial literacy.
“We are only going to be able to make a dent if we — the public sector, private sector, philanthropic sector, and the nonprofit sector — are working together to support the broader community,” Fernandez says.