Improving Financial Literacy: The Role of Nonprofit Providers

33 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2010

Date Written: November 11, 2010


Nonprofit organizations are one of the primary channels through which financial literacy services are delivered to lower-income adults in the US. There are several reasons why the nonprofit sector is involved in promoting financial literacy, including perceptions that nonprofit organizations are objective sources of information and that they are accessible to lower-income individuals. Using tax records, we identified over 2,100 nonprofit entities with programs related to financial literacy. The nonprofit financial literacy field is heterogeneous, which hinders our ability to make generalizations about this field as a whole. Nonetheless, nonprofit entities focused solely on financial counseling and money management appear to be smaller than organizations for which financial literacy services are secondary activities. Despite the breadth of financial literacy programming within the nonprofit sector, few studies have analyzed the impact of financial literacy services provided by nonprofit organizations.

Keywords: organizations, financial literacy, nonprofit, counseling, education, retirement, public, credit

Suggested Citation

Collins, J. Michael, Improving Financial Literacy: The Role of Nonprofit Providers (November 11, 2010). Pension Research Council WP 2010-39. Available at SSRN: or

J. Michael Collins (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

United States
6086160369 (Phone)

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