By Rose Oswald Poels
Across the state, bankers make remarkable efforts every day to assist their neighbors in building a solid financial future. Promoting financial capability is a long-standing tradition throughout the banking industry, and every year, hundreds of WBA members take part in various financial education-related events to bring awareness and useful resources to Wisconsinites of all ages. Although many bankers do not seek accolades for their achievements, there are important reasons for sharing your efforts with WBA.
The Wisconsin Bankers Foundation (WBF) annually collects two summary forms (individual and bank-wide) through which WBA-member banks share their efforts in improving financial literacy and capability throughout Wisconsin. The information gathered through the Foundation’s website is then utilized by WBA and WBF staff to inform our elected officials and members of our communities of the collective efforts put forth by banks in the state. Additionally, the Foundation staff utilizes these forms to recognize those who go above and beyond in their work during an award ceremony held at WBA’s FLEX: Retail & Marketing Summit (formerly known as the LEAD360 Conference) in the fall.
The 2022–2023 WBF Financial Education Summary Forms recognize the achievements of both banks and their individual team members for their financial education presentations and activities from June 1, 2022 through May 31, 2023. These activities often include volunteer hours with Junior Achievement, Teach Children to Save presentations, and seminars that assist community members in managing or understanding their personal finances.
Individual bankers who volunteer their time and expertise during a presentation, visit, or other financial literacy-focused event should complete the ‘Individual Summary Form.’ Submissions of this form are compiled to highlight the number of presenters and participants, as well as the financial literacy topics covered, each fiscal year. Based on the number of presentations, bankers may also be selected to receive the Financial Literacy Banker of the Year Award, Financial Literacy Banker Award, or a certificate of excellence or recognition.
The bank-wide form is intended to capture information related to the bank’s financial education initiatives. Based on the level of a bank’s total activity, member banks may earn the Excellence in Financial Education Award, presented at the award ceremony at the FLEX Summit.
The Foundation’s prestigious Financial Education Innovation Award is also awarded to one bank that demonstrates in the summary form a creative, far-reaching financial education initiative or program. A separate ceremony honoring the Financial Education Innovation Award is held during the WBA’s annual Bank Executives Conference in February.
By documenting your bank’s efforts in financial literacy, you are helping our team enhance the story and underscore the value of the banking industry by:
- spotlighting the outstanding efforts of bankers in Wisconsin to increase the financial literacy and capability of their community members,
- celebrating financial education and the achievements of hundreds of bankers, and
- providing insight to Foundation staff on topics, tools, and demographics that can be incorporated into future resources.
Thank you to the bankers who continually commit hours of their time and efforts to improving the financial capability of individuals and communities throughout Wisconsin. The Foundation is pleased to recognize and celebrate the outstanding, and often creative, efforts of the WBA membership. I encourage all members — even those who do not seek recognition — to please submit the two forms located on the Foundation’s website by Monday, July 31.