No one wants financial education

For decades before I transitioned to non-profit financial services, I worked in healthcare.  One of the take-aways from my hospital experience was the realization that no one really wanted what we were selling.  No one wants chemotherapy or spinal taps. They don’t want injections; they don’t want surgery. What people want is to be healthy.  

Let’s put it another way that’s not related to healthcare.  No one wants a drill. They want, in fact, a hole. And it’s not even the hole they want.  They want to hang a picture. And the picture isn’t even their final goal; it’s to be happy looking at their newly-hung picture.  People buy drills because they want to be happy.

Financial Education Sounds Boring

Teaching personal financial skills to your members and community is no different.  People, young and old, will engage in financial education not because they want to study and develop their financial skills, but because they seek to benefit from those skills.  And you need to focus on those benefits.

If you promote your financial literacy program as an “educational offering” you might as well cue the crickets.  Promote the same program with the promise of financial independence, and you’ll strike a responsive chord.

What’s in a Name?

Try an experiment.  Take your credit union’s financial literacy offering for young adults (assuming you have one) and promote it as a “Financial Literacy Workshop.”  See how successful you are by measuring the number of registrants you attract.

Now, borrow a page from my book – heck, borrow the whole program if you like.  It’s free and available to any credit union to use. I call it “The Millionaire’s Club.”  It’s everything you can possibly imagine in a financial education offering. But what’s truly special about it shifts the focus to a desired result – becoming a millionaire – and not the learning process.  

Now promote your new program (which I’m giving you) and measure your results.  

Emphasize Results

The best financial literacy program is of no use if you can’t engage members.  Try a fresh approach, with an innovative program that focuses on positive results for your members.  Visit MillionairesClub.Org to see one program that you can use free-of-charge to help you meet your commitment to your members and community, protect your non-profit status, and benefit your credit union’s image.

Kyle Y. Swisher, III

Kyle Y. Swisher, III

Kyle Swisher is Executive Director of the Credit Union Foundation MD|DC.  Mr. Swisher has led that Foundation over the past ten years in its mission to improve lives through ... Web: Details

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