FinEdLink: Connecting Banker Volunteers and their Communities

By Jeni Pastier

When Coral Ridge Elementary School teacher Alison Kerns wanted to bring financial education into her second grade classroom in Louisville, Ky., she knew a banker would be a trusted resource for reliable information. But she was unsure how to connect with a banker. Kerns turned to the ABA Foundation, which put her in touch with David Ising at Commonwealth Bank & Trust Company—a bank with a long history of community outreach that was happy to facilitate a presentation.

Situations like this—where teachers or community organizations want to host a banker-led personal finance lesson for their students but don’t know where to turn—are common. On the flip side, banks across the country are willing and able to share their financial expertise with members of their communities, but may struggle to find opportunities to do so. FinEdLink is the solution. Created by the ABA Foundation, the matching tool helps connect those looking for sound personal finance information and the legions of banker volunteers willing to provide it.

Launched in early 2018, FinEdLink was originally designed to support Safe Banking for Seniors banker participants and community organizations working with a caregiving or older adult audience. Now expanded to include the foundation’s youth financial education programs, Teach Children to Save and Get Smart About Credit, the free online portal matches banks with schools, agencies, faith-based ministries, community centers and other organizations seeking to host a banker-led presentation on an age-appropriate personal finance topic.

Bankers can use FinEdLink when they sign up to participate in any of the foundation’s financial education programs on aba.com/FinEd. Once the bank checks the opt-in box to accept presentation requests, groups in their community will be able to request a financial education presentation. FinEdLink also helps to coordinate event logistics including; age group, presentation topic, location, date and expected number of attendees.

Organizations interested in working with bankers can learn more and request presentations on aba.com/FinEdLink, too. When an educator or event coordinator, for example, submits a request, they can ask for specific age-appropriate topics taken directly from the foundation’s financial literacy programs. Topics include:

  • For grades K-8: careers in banking, interest, making decisions, recognizing money and saving.
  • For high school students and young adults: budgeting, careers in banking, credit scores, paying for college and protecting identity.
  • For seniors and their caregivers: acting as a responsible caregiver, choosing a financial caregiver, identifying and avoiding scams and preventing identity theft.

In 2018, tens of thousands of banker volunteers delivered lessons on savings, credit and financial caregiving to learners of all ages across America as part of the Foundation’s signature financial education programs. With the expansion of FinEdLink, we hope to make these connections even easier so that everyone can learn how to be financially fit throughout their lifetimes.

Jeni Pastier is director of youth financial education programs at the ABA Foundation.