New Research Measures Impact of Raising Financial Literacy Skills of Adult Learners in Canada

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New Research Measures Impact of Raising Financial Literacy Skills of Adult Learners in Canada

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Measuring Social Impact of a financial #literacy program leads to incredible results @SiMPACTStrat via @abclifeliteracy

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Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 4:00pm

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To kick off November and Financial Literacy Month, SiMPACT Strategy Group is pleased to release a new study examining the social return on investment (SROI) for Money Matters, a financial literacy and education savings program, developed by ABC Life Literacy Canada. Money Matters, supported by TD Bank Group, is a free program that teaches adult learners about budgeting, savings, credit and other financial information in communities across the country. The SiMPACT study found that every dollar invested in Money Matters financial literacy workshops for adult learners creates $2.21 SROI.

"If every organization understood their social impact, they would learn to value their activities, maximize the impact they have on society, and communicate their importance more effectively," said Stephanie Robertson, President, SiMPACT Strategy Group.

People with low literacy skills and low incomes are especially vulnerable to financial crisis: they have difficulty saving, are more likely to use high-fee outlets for payday loans and cheque cashing, and miss out on opportunities for government contributions to their children's education. Adult learners who participate in Money Matters workshops develop important financial literacy skills, decrease their anxiety about working with financial institutions, and increase their knowledge and confidence about managing money.

"Social Return on Investment (SROI) is about moving the conversation from cost to value. The Money Matters SROI demonstrates that there is significant value created when you invest in the capacity of adult learners to more effectively manage their finances," said Anne Miller, SiMPACT Strategy Group.

SiMPACT Strategy Group reviewed the Money Matters program through analysis of statistics and learner surveys and revealed that out of the $2.21 SROI, 71% was attributed to Money Matters participants and another 11% to the children of participants. Some highlights of the learning's include:

  • By avoiding payday loan and cheque cashing outlets, Money Matters participants can save up to $750 per person per year, and an estimated $81,000 across all participants.
  • Through debt management, an estimated $96,000 can be saved across all participants in reduced interest payments on debts paid down.
  • Money Matters participants are more likely to open and contribute to RESPs. Even $10 in an RESP creates an expectation that a child will attend post-secondary education in some form.
  • 202 TD volunteer-tutors contributed more than 2,000 volunteer hours in 2012; 97% said they are eager to teach another Money Matters session.
  • 683 adult learners participated in Money Matters workshops in 2012; 9 out of 10 said Money Matters helped them feel more confident and comfortable about managing their money.

Click here to read more on ABC Life Literacy Canada 

*This article orginally appeared on ABC Life Literacy Canada

Keywords: Education | Education | Finance | Health | Research | SiMPACT | Social Impact | financial literacy

CONTENT: Article