Community Organizations

Community Mentorship: Building Financial Literacy in Communities

MCEE’s Community Mentorship: Building Financial Literacy in Communities program began in 2005 to build and strengthen financial education services in communities across Minnesota. The program uses a “train-the-trainer” model that teams Extension Educators (EEs) from the University of Minnesota, who are experienced personal finance educators, with community-based agencies in their areas. 

The EEs serve as mentors to the community agencies, helping them develop content expertise and skills in educational program delivery in personal finance. The EEs help plan, market, deliver, and evaluate the agencies’ community workshops or other financial literacy education projects.

Since 2005 the program has served over 3,000 low-income clients from 115 agencies throughout Minnesota. 

Currently, the program is funded by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, the Wells Fargo Foundation, and the University of Minnesota Extension.

How It Works

Professional development for community educators

Representatives from community organizations participate in a two-day workshop with their identified Extension Educator mentors. This workshop provides training in economics-based personal finance curriculum, workshop planning and evaluation, special issues in teaching adult learners, and cultural considerations in working with diverse populations. Organizers and trainers include staff from MCEE and the University of Minnesota-Extension.

Co-teaching and mentoring for community educators with mini-grant support

The community educators then collaborate with their EEs to develop a financial education program for their clients. Emphasis is placed on designing programs that motivate participants and help build individual confidence levels in managing one's personal finances.

MCEE provides mini-grants to the community organizations to help them implement their financial education programs.

Interested in learning more?

If your agency is interested in participating in the Community Mentorship Program, please contact us at