Eligibility and Priorities Consumer Financial Education Fund

Applicant must meet all criteria in order to qualify for this fund.

  • The applicant must demonstrate expertise in consumer education or information, or financial literacy or education.
  • The applicant must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
  • None of the grant funds may be used to finance, promote or facilitate any litigation or lobbying activities whatsoever against financial institutions.

Scope of Allowable Projects and Proposals

Focus on Overdraft Fees:

Within the overall framework of educating consumers about financial issues and/or increasing consumer financial literacy, eligible projects must specifically relate to teaching consumers how to manage their finances to avoid overdraft fees. Eligible project content could include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Personal and/or family budgeting;
  • Increasing savings;
  • How to avoid high cost short-term credit;
  • How to use bank services like phone apps and text messaging to avoid overdraft fees;
  • Educating consumers to not opt-in to overdraft protection when fees will be charged;
  • Basic banking services, comparing the types of services offered by different financial institutions, how to maintain and balance a bank account, and generally how to minimize bank fees and charges;
  • Fees and choices related to debit cards and pre-paid debit cards that lead to high interest rates;
  • Credit scores, overextended credit, and debt collection, and their impact on eligibility for and costs of services offered by financial institutions.

Preference will be given toward the following:

  • Projects that give consumers actionable steps to avoid overdraft fees.
  • Projects that highlight banking products that increase the availability of affordable banking services to low-income customers, such as no minimum balance and no overdraft accounts, and safe mobile banking applications.

Geographic Scope and Community Focus:

Applicants must be based in the United States, and projects must be focused towards consumers residing in the United States. Organizations from all 50 states are encouraged to apply. These projects may be regional, statewide or national in scope. Projects benefiting underserved communities are encouraged. Community-based and grassroots-oriented proposals are encouraged.

Preference will be given toward the following:

  • Projects that specifically serve vulnerable and/or underbanked populations including low-income communities of color, individuals and families, students, veterans, and non-English speakers.
  • Organizations that have a demonstrated track record of working with low-income communities of color, and are proposing to work with low-income communities of color for this project.

Allowable Project Activities

Allowable activities include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Individual coaching or counseling;
  • Group trainings (especially if these trainings lead to a more in-depth individualized financial counseling);
  • Research on bank fees and charges;
  • Education about choices in banking products such as differences between banks and credit unions and how to access free ATMs;
  • Broadly disseminating educational materials;
  • Train-the-trainer models.

Preference will be given toward the following:

  • Projects that utilize and adapt existing curricula. Groups proposing to create entirely new curricula are highly discouraged from applying.
  • Projects that integrate financial education aimed at reducing overdraft fees into existing social or financial services that are already being provided to clients.
  • Projects that can demonstrate strong leverage such as matching funds.
  • Projects designed to affect long-term consumer behavior by changing habits and teaching clients how to independently maintain good financial standing for future years
  • Projects that disseminate information in multiple languages.

Measuring Results

Successful applicants will also be able to clearly define their desired outcomes and express metrics that will measure progress made towards these outcomes during the grant period. Successful applicants will be able to articulate and quantifiably measure the following:

  • The specific actions or behavioral changes to reduce exposure to overdraft problems in the constituency served by the project;
  • How many people the project will serve;
  • The specific nature of the service, including number of hours of engagement for each participant.

Preference will be given toward the following:

  • Organizations whose long-term engagement with their constituents will allow follow-up tracking that will educate future program delivery long past this specific grant period.
  • Projects with evaluation methods beyond pre- and post- surveys. Simple pre- and post-tests related to individual training sessions will not be sufficient to document the reduced overdraft exposures that are the goal of this grants program.


It is anticipated that the application process will be highly competitive. It’s anticipated that most proposals will be for 12-month grant periods; however, multi-year proposals are encouraged where appropriate. Proposals of up to $100,000 (total) will be considered.


For Further Information

Email grants@rosefdn.org
Call (510) 658-0702


Click here to download a copy of the 2016 Request for Proposals.

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