It’s no secret that financial education is one of the most empowering resources you can provide to your community to promote their long-term well-being and success. But it can also be daunting to figure out how to accurately and holistically measure the impact of your financial education offerings.
To ensure your financial wellness programs are positively impacting your community (and to leverage those successes in reporting and marketing materials), it’s essential to break down what elements to measure and how to best evaluate them.
Understand your community reach
Naturally, one of the most important aspects to evaluate in your financial education program is who you’re reaching. Of course, you’ll want to know the number of people you’re reaching, but it’s imperative to dig deeper into your understanding of these people to truly maximize this metric. Data points on demographics like age, gender, and race will help you not only better understand the people you’re serving, but also unpack if your programs are making a meaningful impact in breaking down barriers to financial empowerment for people who have been disproportionately excluded from or struggled with financial wellness.
Measure changes in financial literacy
It seems self-explanatory that it’s important to track if your education is actually improving members’ knowledge, but you’d be surprised how many financial institutions use programs that actually make it difficult if not impossible to measure this change. Webpages with blog posts about financial topics or shared slide decks don’t allow us to measure if a learner’s financial literacy is improving, much less access more detailed data to understand how much they’ve improved or which components of a topic they do or don’t understand.
Instead, leverage educational programs that bake in these measurements. Integrating the testing effect both improves learners’ ability to reinforce and retain the financial information they learn, as well as unlocks meaningful, detailed data to measure your education’s impact.
Track attitudinal shifts
As important as it is to evaluate changes in financial literacy, it’s also key to measure shifts in confidence and attitudes about financial topics. Finances are inextricably tied to our emotions and mental state, so transforming members’ attitudes is as essential as education to actually helping members improve their long-term financial wellness. Even if a member hasn’t mastered a topic yet, simply making that topic less taboo and motivating that member’s interest in it is a huge step in a positive direction.
Surveys are a great way to track learner sentiments. It’s important to understand what learners are most interested in, intimidated by, and confident about when they start engaging with your education program so you can see how those metrics evolve throughout their learning journey.
Monitor active learning outcomes
The impact of financial education doesn’t live in a vacuum. The most important impact financial education can have is actually changing financial behavior to help members meet their goals and live healthy, responsible, and prosperous lives. There are many ways to evaluate these active learning outcomes, including goal trackers and having members self-report progress, but there’s one tool that makes measuring learning outcomes easy: mobile banking integrations.
If you embed mobile-optimized education tools within your mobile app experience, you can much more easily track the relationship between your members’ education and resultant financial actions. This type of integration is the future of measuring how effective financial education translates to long-term financial wellness.
Ready to further explore how to measure the impact of your financial wellness programs? Contact the Zogo team today to explore how we can help you expand and measure your credit union’s positive impact on your community.