While embarking on a new initiative is exciting, there are many practical considerations such as resources and resource development. How will you fund the initiative? Do you have staff and instructors to conduct workshops? Is there a comfortable facility available to use as a classroom? Do you have an audience who is ready to learn about financial education? The following are some steps to help guide your planning.
Determine Your Spending Plan
A successful CreditSmart initiative requires allocation of financial resources to ensure success. Here are some budget areas your organization should consider:
- Instructor time and training (including travel and accommodations)
- Workshop location – Do you have a site for consumer workshops or will you need to rent space?
- Food and refreshments for consumer workshops
- Audio-visual equipment for consumer workshops (including computer, projector, screen, and microphone, if needed.)
- Copying and printing (including reproduction of materials downloaded from Freddie Mac’s Web site)
- Postage for invitations, announcements, correspondences, etc.
- Staff time
Pursue Various Funding Sources
If your organization requires additional financial resources to support your CreditSmart initiative, you may wish to raise funds designated for this purpose. Consider inviting donors to help sponsor your program in exchange for a promotional mention on your materials. Potential funding sources to consider include:
- Your donor base
- Local banks and mortgage brokers
- Real estate industry professionals
- Local/community foundations
- Local government housing agencies
In addition to making donations, some of your budget might be covered by in-kind donations. For example, you may be able to borrow A/V equipment from another organization. Ask a housing or banking professional to speak about a topic at your upcoming event. Consider asking a local restaurant to donate food and refreshments in exchange for distributing menus or listing its name on workshop materials. Consider asking a college, library, or community center to provide fee space. You may wish to approach a printer or copy center to donate its services, as well. Be creative. Remember that many businesses are eager to reach your target audience.
Reduced Media Rates
When promoting your initiative and workshops, remember to ask your local media for discounts. If you are a nonprofit organization, you may receive discounted advertising or insertion rates in local newspapers, as well as discounted postal rates.
CreditSmart participants have developed many creative approaches to support their initiatives, including:
- Working with banks and lending institutions to sponsor a "financial tip of the day" blog
- Partnering with local media outlets for free coverage and advertising
- Researching local first-time homebuyer incentive programs in your area
- Collaborating with other organizations to provide in-language workshops
- Asking the local college, university, library, or church to provide free space in their publications