From Local Need to National Impact
Washington was Financial Beginnings' first satellite office, opened in 2014, later becoming its first affiliate of the national office. The launch of Financial Beginnings Washington was made possible by generous support from BECU, who served as "Initiative Investor" as well as the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust who provided funding to staff the newly-opened office.
Financial Beginnings Washington capitalized on these initial investments to grow into the robust organization it is today. Since 2014, Financial Beginnings Washington has taught over 35,000 youth and adults in partnership with nearly 100 schools and over 50 community-based organizations throughout Washington.
Financial Beginnings History
Financial Beginnings was founded in Portland, Oregon in 2005 to fill an education gap that existed in local schools. Despite a growing need in educating young people about personal finance, few area schools at the time offered financial literacy curricula.
Founder and CEO, Dr. Melody Bell, was inspired to launch a financial literacy nonprofit. Through her experience working in several facets of the financial industry, she repeatedly encountered individuals who had failed to properly protect themselves financially, leaving little money for savings and personal security, and delaying life goals such as higher education, retirement, and home ownership.
Firmly believing that sound financial decisions are a result of early education, Bell was determined to create an organization that provides unbiased personal financial education to young people.
Shortly after its founding, Financial Beginnings expanded to serve both youth and adults, adding programming to educate and empower elementary school, middle school, and high school students, as well as high-risk college students, financially-vulnerable populations, and Spanish-speaking participants.
Financial Beginnings launched regionally in 2014 with the opening of its satellite office in Seattle, and then nationally in 2017.