Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union - SAINT PAUL, Minn. (April 26, 2016) – Throughout March and April, over 60 employees from Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union attended internal training sessions focused on effective financial education outreach and delivery. The sessions were planned and facilitated in partnership with the Affinity Plus Foundation and the University of Minnesota Extension’s Center for Family Development. All participants are part of the Educator’s Group, a team of employees who regularly provide financial education to members and their communities, and were nominated to represent Affinity Plus in its financial education efforts.
“These regional trainings were an excellent opportunity to bring together our financial education experts from across the state and further discuss our organizational goals and resources,” said Stephanie Musgrove, business development specialist. “We know our Educators are doing great work in each of their individual communities but also recognize we don’t always get the chance to collaborate in person. The training sessions gave Educators the space to share their experiences, explore additional resources that support their work, and learn new strategies and techniques for delivering effective financial education, which allowed them to connect as a team and validate their efforts.”
For many years the credit union has provided financial education in a variety of ways in each of its branch communities and has partnered closely with the Affinity Plus Foundation to extend its outreach initiatives. In the fall of 2014, the Educator’s Group was formed, consisting of over 40 employees identified to have strong public speaking skills, extensive financial services knowledge, and a passion and desire to be in their communities. Since that time, an additional 30 employees have been selected to be an Educator. The goal of this group is to make financial education outreach easier and more effective, and to give Educators more say in organizational outreach.
“Before this training, I knew I was selected as an Educator, but it was hard to feel like part of a team because we are all scattered across the state,” said one employee who participated in the training. “Now, after meeting other Educators, learning more about why we are here, and what we’re all doing, I feel part of something bigger. I am more inspired to continue making a positive difference in my community and know I have the support to do so.”
Prior to the planning of the training sessions, Educators were asked to complete a questionnaire requesting insight about their experiences with financial education and any additional support or resources that would allow them to better provide financial education in their communities. The content of the training was developed based on the direct responses from this questionnaire. Many Educators requested more information on how to relate to diverse groups of audiences, as the group’s outreach touches many types of people. Affinity Plus partnered with members of the University of Minnesota Extension’s Center for Family Development to provide meaningful training.
"Our Family Resiliency Extension staff members are well poised to help build the capacity and confidence of partner organizations across Minnesota to deliver effective financial education in their communities,” said Mary Jo Katras, program director at the Extension. “Our partnership with Affinity Plus exemplifies our mission to listen to the needs of our partners and to address those needs through education, research, and outreach. Valuable collaboration efforts like these enable us to strengthen families and communities in Minnesota."
Access to free financial education resources can be found on the Affinity Plus Foundation’s website at www.affinityplusfoundation.org.
Photo: Educators learn more about financial education outreach, opportunities, and delivery.