Cost isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a financial education vendor. You’ll want to take into account whether the content will be objective (not a sales presentation), the vendor’s track record in providing personal finance education, how relevant the content is to your unique workforce, the delivery methods that will be used to reach your plan participants and so much more!
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Financial Education Vendor
Here are 23 questions to consider when screening candidates. The more YES answers, the better!
Compensation and Fiduciary Responsibility
- Is compensation for the program based on something other than a sales commission for financial products or financial planning services?
- Will the content presented be objective—not a sales presentation for insurance, investments, etc.?
- Does the vendor promise that contact information will not be collected from participants for a sales pitch at a later date?
- If the vendor recommends individual products and services, does the vendor acknowledge that it is doing so in the best interest of participants?
- Have the educators—including those developing materials—had training in the subject matter and how to teach it in a group setting?
- Does the vendor have a proven track record in providing personal finance education?
- Are those providing one-on-one advice or counseling certified to do so—for example, certification as a financial planner?
- Has the vendor established clear and measurable learning objectives for the program?
- Is the program content relevant to the target audience? (e.g., demographics, diversity, life stages, life events)
- Is the program content practical?
- Is the content accurate and up to date?
- Does the program incorporate behavioral science theories to foster behavioral change?
Benchmarking Report: Financial Education for Today’s Workforce: 2018 Survey Results
- Will the program use a combination of media elements to reach participants with different learning styles and preferences? (e.g., video, audio, written text)
- Will the program use a combination of delivery methods that reaches participants through more than one communication channel? (e.g., web-based, face-to-face, e-mail, text, mobile app, online learning, mailers, payroll stuffers, etc.)
- Will the program hold the attention of participants?
- Is the vendor willing to understand participants’ demographics and communication preferences and adjust its tools accordingly?
- Does the vendor offer one-on-one support such as individual counseling or coaching?
- Will the vendor provide ongoing support to learners?
- Will the program be available at times that are convenient to the target audience?
Program Effectiveness and Improvement
- Will the vendor help with assessing participant needs and preferences?
- Will the vendor assist in evaluating the impact on participants during and after the program?
Related Reading: How to Measure Financial Education ROI
- Does the vendor provide sample materials and other assistance in marketing the availability of the program and its benefits to the target audience?
- Does the vendor provide detailed information on how participant information is protected?
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23 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Financial Education Vendor
Communications Manager at the International Foundation
Related Reading: Growing Financial Education Efforts Support Stressed Employees