Which approaches to financial education appeal most to members? Michelle Dosher, CUNA market research and consumer education managing editor, offers several tried-and-true strategies:
Make it real. Using simulations based on real-life financial scenarios is a great way to engage learners. “People like to have something hands-on,” Dosher says, noting that young adults respond especially well to this educational tactic.
Make it a game. Many credit union financial educators use “gamification” in teaching children about financial topics. Learning and fun are always a winning combination.
Offer videos and podcasts. Explain issues such as how to use online banking, or how to raise your credit score. Whatever the topic, keep it practical and use a presenter who’ll relate to the target audience. “The message is that ‘I did this, and so can you,’” she explains.
Conduct seminars. People still like to physically gather in a room with others to learn about finances. Again, participants enjoy interactive challenges, simulations, and the chance to learn by doing.
Offer financial calculators. Members find these tools useful when learning to manage their finances. CUNA recently rolled out a new suite of financial calculators for credit unions to purchase and make available to their members.
Provide benchmarks. Give people steps to follow, whether to reach a particular financial goal or to work through a financial process, such as buying a car.
Use responsive design. Members access your credit union’s financial education resources through multiple devices. “Whether the member is viewing information on a phone, tablet, or desktop,” Dosher advises, “be sure it’s easy to read.”