Excellence in Financial Education (EFE) Awards: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the EFE Awards?

Distributed annually by the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation, the Excellence in Financial Education (EFE) Awards recognize banks and individual bankers for demonstrated commitment to improving financial literacy in their communities. Traditionally, the awards are distributed at a special event in conjunction with the annual WBA LEAD360 Conference.

How can my bank win an award?

Banks and their staff should submit themselves for consideration for awards by reporting their financial education activities to the Foundation. To do so, track all presentations and other educational activities using the Excel spreadsheet template or the online form. At the end of the fiscal year (May 31) be sure to submit your bank’s award application form, which includes the application for the prestigious Financial Education Innovation Award. Both of these forms can be found on WBA’s website at www.wisbank.com/FinancialLitForms. Submissions are generally due in mid-June for the prior fiscal year (ex: Applications are due June 14, 2021 for the June 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021 year).

How do the awards help me/my bank?

The EFE Awards are visible, tangible evidence of your commitment to your community, and every institution and banker who receives one should be proud of the work they did to earn it. The Foundation supplies a sample press release for banks to customize and use to publicize their accomplishment. In addition, the individual awards and certificates are a mark of professional accomplishment that demonstrate your willingness to go above and beyond to educate your customers and community members.

What are the award criteria?

Each award recognizes the achievement of different criteria*:

  • Bank Award: Presented to an entire institution (one per charter), this award honors a bank-wide dedication to financial literacy. To be eligible for this award, the bank must meet three of the following criteria (one item may be reached more than once):
    1. EITHER ten (10) or more OR 20% of bank staff participated in financial education outreach (gave presentations, conducted bank tours, etc.) during the course of the fiscal year (June 1 – May 31).
    2. Over 30 financial education presentations conducted during the course of the fiscal year.
    3. Regular collaboration with a school or community group to promote financial education, typically through programs like Junior Achievement, UW-Extension, or SecureFutures (f/n/a/ Make a Difference Wisconsin).
    4. The bank sends regular communications to customers and the community to promote consumer education (e.g. newsletters, website content, or press releases regarding financial education events and/or shred days).
    5. The bank has an in-school branch at any elementary, middle, or high school that is open to students on a regular basis.
    6. The bank offers programs for customers and community members to promote sound financial habits (such as kids accounts and senior saving clubs), or has sponsored a teacher’s attendance at a financial education conference such as NIFEL (National Institute of Financial and Economic Literacy) or the Jump$tart Coalition National Educator Conference.
    7. Application for the Financial Education Innovation Award (see below).
    8. Financial Education Innovation Award: This area of the award allows banks to submit a description of one of their own programs to enhance the financial capability of consumers in their community, whether it’s a new kind of educational game for students, curriculum developed for adult seminars, or some other new or innovative approach to financial education.
  • Financial Literacy Banker of the Year Award: This award is presented to the individual banker who reported the highest number of financial education presentations during the fiscal year.
  • Financial Literacy Banker Award: This award is presented to the individual banker who reported the second-highest number of financial education presentations during the fiscal year.
  • Certificate of Excellence: This certificate is presented to individual bankers who report 20 or more presentations during the fiscal year.
  • Certificate of Recognition: This certificate is presented to individual bankers who report 5 or more presentations during the fiscal year.

*Award criteria may be adjusted slightly from year to year.

What can I report as a “financial education presentation”?

Any interaction with bank customers or community members that directly impacts the consumer’s ability to manage or understand their personal finances or the financial system as a whole can be considered a “financial education presentation.” Examples include:

  • Classroom presentations (popular topics include how banks work, smart saving and spending, counting money/compound interest, and credit)
  • Bank tours
  • “Reality Days” events (whether or not the bank organized it)
  • Homebuying seminars
  • Mock interviews with high school or college students (focused on what being a banker involves)

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Hannah Flanders