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CU System
Filene Report Provides Insights On Engaging Young Adults
MADISON, Wis. (3/5/13)--A new report from the Filene Research Institute describes how one company employed an on-campus peer-to-peer network to teach young adults about personal finance and enhance awareness of the organization's brand.

Since the Great Recession, young adults have bought fewer homes, purchased fewer cars, and accumulated less debt than they did before the recession, and they are shedding debt faster than older generations, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data (News Now March 1.

This report describes the efforts of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans to engage young adults, after a survey revealed it was virtually unknown to college students.

Among the tactics Thrivent employed was Money Revolution, an on-campus program that encourages students to not only learn about financial literacy themselves but also coach their peers.

Money Revolution has two purposes. First, strives to help college students be wiser with money. The initiative focused on a critical life stage in which choices can have lifelong implications, especially when it comes to money. The second purpose is to create business value for Thrivent.

Thrivent hired teams of three students per campus and trained them on financial topics, presentation and networking skills, and teamwork. Thrivent called this the "hire the problem to solve the problem" approach. In Thrivent's case, students helped design and implement a campus engagement strategy to teach students about personal finance.

The content of the messages shared by the Money Revolution representative was driven by what the members of the student body want to learn. Thrivent identified five main areas of focus for financial topics: Saving, credit, student loans, financial protection and spending.

A campus-based, peer-to-peer financial literacy movement like Money Revolution is replicable for credit unions, especially since credit unions have relevant offerings for college students and recent college graduates, the report said. It is critical that the credit union is willing to be patient and take the time to develop intentional relationships, the report said.

To download the report, use the link.
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