Financial wellness takes a creative turn in Philadelphia

Philadelphia FCU offers cash prizes and counseling sessions for winners of a campaign targeted to reach recipients of social services.

Philadelphia, PA

The financial educators at Philadelphia Federal Credit Union ($1.5B, Philadelphia, PA) didn’t let the pandemic stop the cooperative’s efforts to encourage financial wellness in the City of Brotherly Love. Instead, it added a creative spin.

In 2018, PFCU launched its #StopMoneyShaming campaign to show college students how important it is to talk about finances. The campaign encouraged people to use the hashtag #StopMoneyShaming to share a money confession and help ease the stigma around talking about financial problems.

“We wanted to start a widespread conversation in hopes that we can encourage people to face their financial realities, realize they aren’t alone, and provide them with the information they need to set and accomplish their goals,” Erin Ellis, an accredited financial counselor at PFCU, told in April that year.

In 2020, after the pandemic put a halt to in-person events, the credit union stepped up its financial awareness outreach with a contest for essays, poems, or artwork about what financial security means to them. Twelve entrants from local non-profit organizations entered the contest, with the top prize of $1,000 going to Lillian Holt for her poem titled “The Dreams We Can Afford.” The second place winner, Patricia Edwards, received $500 for her essay about the struggles she has faced for food and shelter. Both women also received financial counseling sessions.


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