Executive Director’s speech during the Tenth Anniversary Cocktail Celebration on Wednesday October 23, 2019.
It is truly a pleasure to stand before you today in celebration of My Money Workshop’s achievements to date. Congratulations again to our volunteers for their very well-deserved recognition.
Before I continue, I want to take a moment and deviate from my scheduled speech to recognize Rich and Rob Yaffa. As Rob said, they had a choice to make when Dick passed – they made the right one. For this and so much more, I would like to present them with the Dick Yaffa Volunteer Spirit Award as well.
When I joined My Money Workshop last year, it was, to be honest, a little intimidating. I had nothing to worry about though because I was immediately welcomed into the fold and since then, together with our team of dedicated volunteers, board and staff, I have strived to make Dick’s legacy proud.
As My Money Workshop celebrates our tenth anniversary, we want to accelerate the impact of the organization and Dick’s vision – to boost the financial literacy of those who need it most. We have accomplished a lot in the first ten years, and our vision is bold for the next ten and beyond. We want to double the participants we teach each year and invite our donors, volunteers, and friends on this journey.
To accomplish this ambitious goal, we are kicking off a tenth-anniversary campaign to increase our donors, volunteers, partners, and friends as well as adding a digital curriculum to stay connected with our participants after they leave the classroom. I know we can do this…
Let me give you some facts:
Our goal for this year was to host 270 workshops, a 25% increase from 2018. I am pleased to announce that we will reach and exceed that goal! By the end of this year, we will have a 200% increase in participants reached since 2016. A great success for sure. Thank you all for helping to make that happen.
This year we have also welcomed new community partners, expanding our audiences to middle schools and parent programs as well as programs for the previously incarcerated and homeless mothers and teens. Some of our partners are here this evening and I want them to raise their hand and be recognized for partnering with us to reach this very-much needed mission.
As I settled into my role, I kept thinking back to what I was told about the kind of person Dick was – about the spirit of giving back that he personified and had to ask myself ‘how many people can we really help if things remain as they have? How can we be better going forward?’
We have challenged ourselves and encouraged our board and staff to ask continuously: ‘what are we in the service of?’. Is our role to enter the classroom to deliver our workshop and hope that participants take with them the tools they need to succeed? Or, are we committing to a deeper impact, to actually guide them on their journey?
To answer those questions, we instituted our Foundation for Financial Success Program. A series of workshops that ensure participants not only get a full understanding of the important topics they need to succeed, like the importance of being financially responsible, banking, and saving among other things. The series also guides them through each of the topics and links their learning so that they see how it applies to their day to day lives. Some of our clients have now asked us to deliver these workshops quarterly and even on a monthly basis. Our participants are dealing with a multitude of circumstances that bar them from economic success. But I am heartened by the response to this program.
“I would like to thank you and your team for joining us as guest instructors for the first cycle of our Accelerated Job-Readiness Training (AJRT). Based on the feedback provided on the final training evaluations, the ladies truly enjoyed and benefited from the MMW sessions. During graduation, we even had one participant who stated that after the banking workshop, she went out and opened a new savings account to begin keep her personal savings separate from the funds she intends to use when opening her own business.
Please share our gratitude with Lee and Michael as well. We look forward to continued partnership as we continue to enhance AJRT moving forward.”
This year we also became The United Way Financial Literacy partner. Now anyone who calls 211 for financial literacy support or for teaching opportunities, is referred to My Money Workshop.
The Foundations for Financial Success Program and these partnerships can help us get close to answering the question of how we can be better, but we don’t want to stop there. To date, with the support of our dedicated volunteers and our donors and friends we have supported over 18,000 participants. Today we commit ourselves to double our impact in the next three years so that we can reach 6,000 participants by 2023, marking 40,000 participants served since our inception.
Through tonight’s event and auction, we have raised over $20,000 to start us on this campaign thanks to our very generous donors and sponsors tonight. In April 2020 we will have an event, for Financial Literacy Month, where we hope to bring together industry experts from the finance world and our clients to shed a light on the realities our participants are dealing with, from housing to student loan debt and to show how My Money Workshop fits in to help these people. Please stay tuned for more details. That event will mark a significant point in our campaign.
Thank you all for being here tonight. I – We – truly appreciate it. Now, I ask that you raise your glass and toast with us. Here’s to our next ten years!
We truly thank you all for your continued dedication to My Money Workshop and look forward to your future support.