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  • Money Skills is a free program offered through a partnership between Family Services of Greater Vancouver, Vancity credit union, and community organizations throughout Metro Vancouver. The program is designed to help participants increase their knowledge and confidence in the tasks of daily money management.
  • The Money Skills program is unique in Canada based on the scope and nature of its program delivery.
  • The project is specifically designed for low-income earners. Participants include women surviving domestic violence, new immigrants and refugees, Aboriginal families, and others who are ready and interested in attending.
  • In 2004-2005, Vancity funded a pilot partnership with Family Services to develop and deliver financial literacy training. Vancity, subsequently, entered into a full partnership with Family Services for 2005-2008. The Credit Union has now renewed this commitment for an additional three years.
  • Since November 2004, Family Services has delivered 224 Money Skills classes to 3,563 participants in partnership with 99 community organizations throughout the Lower Mainland. The majority of participants are working and earning $15,000 or less per year.
  • Class topics include:

    • Banking – learning about different options.
    • Credit – getting control of your money so your money doesn't control you.
    • Consumerism – learning to make choices to best suit your needs.
    • Credit – learning how to make good credit possible.

  • Program schedules are posted at under 'Courses' (also included are our community partners).
  • Individual Vancity branches will, periodically, offer staff as guest speakers to talk about financial and banking services during the program. Program coordinators will also connect with participants who may need additional support in financial matters once the program has ended. Branch involvement is expected to increase over the next three years.

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  • Vancity funds Money Skills and a number of other financial literacy programs in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and lower Vancouver Island through its Shared Success program, which annually gives back a portion of net profits—30 per cent since 2000—to members and communities. Since 1994, close to $138 million has been distributed, including more than $46 million in community contributions and grants. Vancity grants to not-for-profit organizations providing financial literacy programs total approximately $1.6 million in the period 2002 to 2008.
  • Examples of other Vancity-funded financial literacy programs include:
    • CA$H Plan – Capital Acquisition and Savings Help, offered through EMBERS (Eastside Movement for Business & Economic Renewal Society) is a combination of financial literacy classes, business coaching and matched savings to help entrepreneurs in the Downtown Eastside build equity toward the start up and operation of their businesses, and to develop personal financial management skills. Twenty-eight DTES micro-entrepreneurs have participated in the program since 2005.
    • Vancity is also a funding partner in Victoria's Burnside Gorge Community Centre Family Self-Sufficiency Program which offers financial literacy and asset building training to assist families, particularly single parents, in building economically sustainable futures. From 2002 – 2008, 108 families have completed the program.
    • Since 2003, Vancity, in partnership with Immigrant Services Society of B.C., has assisted close to 2,000 government-sponsored refugees in gaining access and orientation to financial services as well as financial skills training, through the Refugee Assistance Program.
    • Vancity's Youth Credit Union program sets up mini-financial institutions in local schools to help young people learn about money management and improve their math skills. The first Youth Credit Union opened in a Burnaby elementary school in 1996, and has grown to more than 4,800 members in 52 Youth Credit Unions across the Lower Mainland and in Victoria.
    • PowerPlay Money Managers, developed in partnership with PowerPlay Strategies, is recommended by the B.C. Ministry of Education as grade a 10 curriculum resource, and teaches financial literacy topics such as budgeting and investing by engaging students in games and interactive, creative activities. Over 500 teachers throughout the province have registered for PowerPlay Money Managers since it was launched in 2005, reaching more than 20,000 students annually.
    • Vancity recently launched Each One, Teach One, a pilot program to train frontline staff to deliver seven modules on basic financial literacy to newcomers to Canada. While the workshops will be conducted in English by Vancity staff with language skills in Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Tagalog, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Korean, and Mandarin, assistance in translating key financial, language or cultural concepts into the second language will be available. Workshops providing translation into additional languages will be offered as the program expands.
    • A portion of revenues from Vancity's Jumpstart® high interest savings accounts, including RRSP-eligible and tax-free savings accounts (TFSA), support the Mennonite Central Committee's Future Foundations Program which provides financial education, saving incentives, and other resources to help low-income individuals and their families move towards self-sufficiency. Since 2004, 26 participants have graduated from the program.
    • Your Money Matters is an interactive online learning tool developed by the Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training (ASPECT). The five module program teaches money management skills, from opening a bank account and reading a pay slip, to developing a budget and saving strategies.
    • Vancity is one of the founding stakeholders and funding partners of the BC Asset Building Collaborative, a network of independent community agencies from around the province that combine financial literacy and matched savings programs to support low income people in building long term assets.

    Jumpstart® is a registered trade-mark of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union