SOURCE: ABC Life Literacy Canada

ABC Life Literacy Canada

November 01, 2013 10:00 ET

New Research Measures Impact of Raising Financial Literacy Skills of Adult Learners in Canada

SiMPACT Analysis of Money Matters Highlights Social Return on Investment for Canadian Communities

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 01, 2013) - To kick off November and Financial Literacy Month, SiMPACT Strategy Group is pleased to release a new study examining the social return on investment (SROI) for Money Matters, a financial literacy and education savings program, developed by ABC Life Literacy Canada. Money Matters, supported by TD Bank Group, is a free program that teaches adult learners about budgeting, savings, credit and other financial information in communities across the country. The SiMPACT study found that every dollar invested in Money Matters financial literacy workshops for adult learners creates $2.21 SROI.

"If every organization understood their social impact, they would learn to value their activities, maximize the impact they have on society, and communicate their importance more effectively," said Stephanie Robertson, President, SiMPACT Strategy Group.

People with low literacy skills and low incomes are especially vulnerable to financial crisis: they have difficulty saving, are more likely to use high-fee outlets for payday loans and cheque cashing, and miss out on opportunities for government contributions to their children's education. Adult learners who participate in Money Matters workshops develop important financial literacy skills, decrease their anxiety about working with financial institutions, and increase their knowledge and confidence about managing money.

"Social Return on Investment (SROI) is about moving the conversation from cost to value. The Money Matters SROI demonstrates that there is significant value created when you invest in the capacity of adult learners to more effectively manage their finances," said Anne Miller, SiMPACT Strategy Group.

SiMPACT Strategy Group reviewed the Money Matters program through analysis of statistics and learner surveys and revealed that out of the $2.21 SROI, 71% was attributed to Money Matters participants and another 11% to the children of participants. Some highlights of the learning's include:

  • By avoiding payday loan and cheque cashing outlets, Money Matters participants can save up to $750 per person per year, and an estimated $81,000 across all participants.
  • Through debt management, an estimated $96,000 can be saved across all participants in reduced interest payments on debts paid down.
  • Money Matters participants are more likely to open and contribute to RESPs. Even $10 in an RESP creates an expectation that a child will attend post-secondary education in some form.
  • 202 TD volunteer-tutors contributed more than 2,000 volunteer hours in 2012; 97% said they are eager to teach another Money Matters session.
  • 683 adult learners participated in Money Matters workshops in 2012; 9 out of 10 said Money Matters helped them feel more confident and comfortable about managing their money.

"As a large financial institution, TD recognizes that we have a particular responsibility to help Canadians gain a better understanding of their finances," said Scott Mullin, Vice President, Community Relations, TD Bank Group. "Improving financial literacy skills is incredibly important and can be life changing for them and their families and our TD employees who volunteer their time to facilitate this program see first-hand the difference they are making."

In addition to today's release of the new independent research by SiMPACT, ABC is pleased to debut a new video highlighting the impact of the Money Matters program, now operating in its third year.

"There's a huge weight off my chest," shares Rael, a participant in the Money Matters workshop at George Brown College. "There's no anxiety related to money anymore in my life. I just feel like I'm more financially responsible, and it's a good feeling." 

For more information about Money Matters, please visit MoneyMattersCanada.ca

About ABC Life Literacy Canada

ABC Life Literacy Canada is a non-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy skills. We mobilize business, government and communities to support lifelong learning and achieve our goals through leadership in programs, communications and partnerships. We envision a Canada where everyone has the skills they need to live a fully engaged life. For more information about Money Matters, visit MoneyMattersCanada.ca. For news and information about adult literacy please visit www.abclifeliteracy.ca, follow us on Twitter @abclifeliteracy and like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/abclifeliteracy.

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