Green Mountain United Way: K.E.E.P. Financial Coaching
A program of Green Mountain United Way
What is Financial Coaching?
Financial coaching is an emerging practice that helps clients learn to set and achieve their financial goals through learned behavior changes built on the trusted relationship between coach and client.
K.E.E.P. Stands for: Knowledge, Equity, Empowerment, Partnership – these four elements lead to financial stability, financial success, and financial freedom. This train-the-trainer style program Financial Coaching program is comprised of three elements that work together to create the most benefit for participants and their clients.
- Education: Coaches are trained in both financial literacy skills and coaching skills through the Intro to Financial Coaching 4-day training with Green Mountain United Way and our partners Capstone Community Action, and upon completion are certified as Financial Coaches by Green Mountain United Way. After the initial training is complete, coaches are invited to attend any or all of the additional training we offer on specific topics like budgeting, credit building strategies for clients, and more, taught by local and regional experts.
- One-on-one support: Green Mountain United Way’s master coach and trainer Pam Bailey works with each trained financial coach to help them integrate the practice into their work and their organization’s work. This is a key way coaches continue to develop their skills. One-on-one meetings can be in-person, or remote.
- Peer-to-peer support: The Master Coach facilitates monthly peer meetings for all coaches to offer support, networking opportunities, and program innovations based on coaches on-the-ground experiences working with clients.
Who can or should become a Financial Coach?
Financial Coaches should be the individuals working directly with clients on issues impacting that client’s life, and whose work with that individual includes a relationship where coaching them toward life goals and behavior changes would make a difference for client’s outcomes. Coaches can work for nonprofit or for-profit organizations and need to work in a way that enables them to have direct access to clients to be able to discuss personal information, set goals, and follow-up with clients. Coaches also need to be able to record data on a client’s credit score, savings levels, and assets in order to measure a client’s financial progress.
Examples of roles that would benefit from being a Financial Coach are: Social workers at a Youth Service Bureau, staff at an Agency on Aging who work directly with elders on health, wellness, housing or other issues, financial institution (credit unions or banks) staff working with individuals toward the goal of homeownership, high school teachers or school support staff.
Who benefits from this program?
The primary beneficiaries are the clients whose life issues are impacted or complicated by financial issues and who receive financial coaching to help change those outcomes. The secondary benefits go to individuals trained as coaches. This information will help these staff members become more financially stable and be more able to navigate financial issues in their own lives while also increasing their skill set and tools they have to help their clients succeed. Your organization will benefit from the improved knowledge and practice of both staff and clients and will have access to program data (improvements in credit scores, savings rates, etc.) to use toward your own tracking.
What is the commitment?
We ask that all Financial Coaches in our first class attend the 3-day training in October, one day in December, and participate in one-on-ones with the Master Coach ad monthly peer-to-peer meetings. While we understand that 4 days of training is a challenge for many direct service staff, we believe that the benefits of having a fully-trained Financial Coach (or two) on your organization’s ability to deliver services will outweigh the scheduling challenge.
What does it cost?
There is only a fee to participate in classes, this helps us cover our costs and ensures high-quality instruction. Currently, that fee is $100 for the 4-day training ($25 per day). There is no charge for program participants beyond the training fees, though there are fees for additional training.
How do I become a Financial Coach?
The next opportunity to become a Financial Coach by attending the Intro to Financial Coaching training happening in October/November 2021 virtually! This introduction training is your first step in becoming a financial coach. Learn more about about the upcoming training.