History & Milestones

The Beginning: Leading Financial Wellness Programs

The NFEC did not start as a Council – our beginnings were boots on the ground, delivering financial education and coaching services in local communities. Our vision from day 1 was focused on helping people with their finances so they can live more rewarding, secure lives.

During our initial few years, we identified major problems with the financial wellness industry: low-quality educational materials, underperforming educators & coaches, lack of mainstream awareness, and business models that could not scale.


Transition to Serving the Financial Wellness Industry

We started tackling these issues to improve our programs. This process involved producing our own materials, defining processes that supported learners, improving our team’s ability to deliver financial wellness programming, and creating replicable systems that were easy to track and measure.

As we grew and other groups saw our materials and results, people began coming to us asking for support. That was the moment when our model changed – from presenting and producing financial education programs and offering financial coaching services, to helping others with a passion for financial wellness develop and build campaigns in their areas.

Today the Financial Educators Council is the leading provider of independent financial wellness resources that empower a global team of financial wellness champions with the resources and training they need to effectively support others in their communities to work toward greater financial security.

Consistent Values

Although our model has changed since 2006, our goal has remained consistent: to help people with their finances so they can live better lives. Today we accomplish this goal through empowering our global team of financial wellness professionals and supplying them with the training, resources, and support they need to help their community members.

NFEC History Timeline

Founded as the “National Youth Financial Educators Council” (name changed to National Financial Educators Council in 2009 as we expanded to support adults), our initial objective was focused on teaching high school and college-age youth about personal finance. The organization offered speaking services and financial coaching, and conducted informative events.

During this time, the organization produced Money XLive events that brought more than 50 celebrities out to fully-produced financial education events, each serving over 1,000 participants. We worked with more than 100 sponsors, from Wells Fargo and US Bank to Mesa County and State Farm Insurance. We also extended our educational programs to include parents, who received financial guidance and coaching.

The momentum we built from the larger-scale events had the organization busier than was manageable, so we adapted the business model focus to creating programs that can scale along with program expansion. During this period, the NFEC increased its influential footprint from helping tens of thousands of people to over a half million by creating a fleet of impact-driven educators. During this time, the NFEC deployed large-scale financial education campaigns for Penn State University Behrend, Wake Technical College, SunTrust Foundation, and Oregon State University.

We also placed focus on building our team of financial educators. The Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) training & certification program was developed to share what we found successful when teaching personal finance and taking programs to scale. To ensure top educational quality, our team of 40 industry experts developed the Framework for Teaching Personal Finance – the first and only set of standards to guide financial education instructors.

The Financial Educators Council focused on expanding its team of qualified educators and local financial education champions by developing tools that could support their efforts to deliver financial education programming. We concentrated on reducing the cost of delivery and empowering community champions to easily share their growing expertise.

During this phase, curriculum development took center stage. The NFEC development team included over 300 financial industry professionals, seasoned educators, behavioral psychologists, and personal finance experts to build live training coursework, learner financial education standards (Financial Literacy Framework & Standards), and the eVolve online learning platform. The coursework was recognized by the Federal Reserve Boston for its multimethod approach to financial education programming.

With feedback from thousands of organizations and contributions from over 750 experts since inception, the NFEC redeveloped all its educational assets, developed new educational resources, and created standards that combine research-based education principles with financial education – the Financial Education Instruction Methodologies Report. The goal achieved was to provide financial education champions with access to the highest-quality financial education resources available. The NFEC now boasts one the largest collections of financial education resources in the world.

The redevelopment of materials was performed to align with the NFEC mission to give financial education champions access to resources that help them build scalable financial literacy and coaching programs. The NFEC is continuing to advance learning initiatives by systematically growing educational teams and resources, and conducting research to guide best practices.