MONEYTHINK

Chicago, IL   |  www.moneythink.org

Mission

Moneythink empowers under-resourced youth to achieve college success by supporting college and financial decision-making through coaching and technology.

Ruling year info

2010

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Joshua Lachs

Main address

515 N. State Street

Chicago, IL 60654 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Financial Education Initiative

EIN

27-1052771

NTEE code info

Financial Counseling, Money Management (P51)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Only one-in-ten low-income students can expect to earn a bachelors degree in 4-6 years. However, every year, approximately five million low-income, high-achieving students across the United States drop out of college. Four million of those drop out due to financial concerns of less than $1,500. Often, these students are the first in their family to go to college and can’t always rely on their parents for guidance through the process of financial aid, choice of school, orientation, and more.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Moneythink College Financial Coaching

Moneythink's College Financial Coaching program improves the economic opportunity for under-resourced youth by breaking down barriers to college success. We do this by addressing the increasingly intimidating obstacle of college financial management. With a team of trained college coaches that utilize a web-based text-messaging platform, they deliver personalized, text-message based college and financial coaching directly to students, supporting them as they navigate the important decisions that arise throughout the college application and enrollment processes. By bringing financial information directly to a student’s fingertips in real-time, we increase their access to the information they need throughout the college matriculation process, and in turn increase their likelihood of successfully persisting through to graduation.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Up-and Comer Award 2012

Chicago Innovation Awards

GOOD Maker Get Financially Fit Challenge Winner 2012

Good Magazine

Campus Champion of Change 2012

The White House

Financial Capability Innovation Fund II Grantee 2013

Center for Financial Service Innovation

Yoshima Young Entrepreneur Award 2013

Hitachi Foundation

Diamond Winner 2013

MassChallenge

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Moneythink empowers under-resourced youth to achieve college success by supporting college and financial decision-making through coaching and technology. We envision an equitable future in which all students have the opportunity to complete an affordable postsecondary education that puts them on a path to fulfillment and prosperity.

Moneythink improves the economic opportunity of under-resourced, college-bound young adults by breaking down barriers to college success and addressing the increasingly important and intimidating obstacle of college financial management. Moneythink College Coaches utilize a web-based, text-messaging platform to provide direct, personalized support to students. Unlike traditional classroom-based financial education programs, we are able to bring financial information directly to a student’s fingertips and support them when they need us most: outside of the classroom when they are making the most important financial decisions that can impact the rest of their lives. We increase students’ timely access to the information they need throughout the college matriculation process, and in turn increase their likelihood of successfully persisting through to graduation with minimal debt or financial burden.

Moneythink coaches utilize a web-based, text-messaging platform to provide direct, personalized coaching to students. Our coaches interact with students directly through SMS text messages for three reasons: first, SMS is a student’s medium of choice and almost every student -- regardless of the quality or age of their phone -- can text for free; second, texting allows students to ask questions and receive necessary guidance wherever they are, in real time; third, SMS allows each one of our coaches to serve up to 400 students at a time, which is more than other virtual coaching services. Unlike traditional classroom-based financial education programs, we are able to bring financial information directly to a student’s fingertips and support them when they need us most: outside of the classroom when they are making financial decisions that can impact the rest of their lives.

Our indicators reveal significant progress towards expanding economic opportunity to our nation's otherwise underprepared students. Over the 2013-2014 school year, our pre-program and post-program assessments and surveys showed a 27% increase in students who feel prepared to face post-secondary financial challenges and a 30% increase in those who feel prepared to face post-secondary career challenges. This confidence boosts is supported by a measured knowledge gain: student knowledge of financial concepts increased by 20% over the school year. These measurements suggest progress towards the goal of giving students a better understanding of personal finance and relevant economics.

We also saw attitudes toward financial responsibility improve over the course of the year. Intended behaviors changed (for example, more students plan to save money), student ambitions increased (for example, more students believe they will be more financially successful than their guardians), and even current lifestyles changed across our communities (for example, more students discuss finances with their guardians). Moneythink is creating more inspired attitudes towards living financially responsibly.

As promised, students leave the program with tangible outputs. Over the year, the number of students with resumes doubled, the number of students with LinkedIn accounts tripled, and the number of students with budgets increased to one and a half times what it was at year's start. These resources will propel students as they begin their post-high school lives.

As we continue to expand - we have equipped mentors on over a dozen campus to enter new partner high schools in 2014 - we have been happy to see that 100% of our existing partners hope to renew the Moneythink program. In the coming year, we hope that our newest curriculum will improve on areas of the previous curriculum which some mentors found unnecessarily complicated, and that our mobile app, while itself supporting student learning, will give us more data on student learning for future improvements!

Overall, we are so grateful for all the progress this movement has made, from just an idea in the minds of University of Chicago students watching the economic collapse of 2008 to a national organization reaching thousands of students to ensure that the next generation will be prepared to take up the economy as their own. We look forward to growing our organization and being able to report more exciting progress in years to come. Until then, we remain steadfast on our path and deeply committed to restoring the economic health of America through financial education, one student at a time.

Financials

MONEYTHINK
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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MONEYTHINK

Board of directors
as of 11/5/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Greg Nance

DYAD

Sarah Gordon

Center for Financial Services Innovation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No