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Money Smart News - Spring 2006

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Money Smart Model Sites: Regional Partners Agree to Monitor, Share Progress

In Kansas City, The Family Conservancy, the largest and oldest non-profit social service agency in the area, requires all participants in its Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program to complete all 10 Money Smart modules. This is one organization whose innovative work and accomplishments using Money Smart will be tracked on the FDIC's Web site at Other organizations in the eight cities where the FDIC has regional and area offices will also be reporting their efforts to combine Money Smart with asset-building strategies or other social service programs connected to financial education.

We call these organizations "model sites" and each FDIC region has one or more of them. They are Money Smart Alliance Partners dedicated to financial literacy and willing to provide the FDIC with periodic updates on programs and outreach efforts that other educators around the country may wish to adopt.

"The information provided about our Money Smart model sites offers insight about challenges faced and steps taken to succeed," observed Irma Matias, FDIC Community Affairs Specialist in Washington. "These organizations have agreed to share the impact they have made in their communities using Money Smart. We believe this feature is useful not only to Alliance Partners, but to other organizations considering becoming our partners in financial education."

Fostering savings

The Family Conservancy serves over 300,000 people through its programs each year. As the largest administrator of Individual Development Accounts in the Kansas City metro area, The Family Conservancy manages 900 accounts tied to $1 million in federal funds. The IDA is a savings vehicle for low- and moderate-income people, with matching funds provided. In this case, the participant's deposits are matched by The Conservancy, two-to-one. Money from the accounts can only be used to purchase homes, for entrepreneurship, or for secondary education. The Conservancy's IDA participants must complete all 10 Money Smart modules to receive their matching funds. Money Smart is taught in both English and Spanish. Thus far, about 900 people have completed the Money Smart program through the Conservancy and saved nearly $1 million of their own money.

Other model sites on the Money Smart Web pages can tell similar stories of success and how it was achieved. Watch these pages and see how other organizations are blending Money Smart into their program mix.

Last Updated 01/10/2006

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