While there is not yet data available that quantitatively demonstrates the effectiveness of financial coaching, there is evidence that clients value the services provided by the coach. Self-report and other data collected from clients suggest that coaching clients are forming and reaching goals, and that short term behavior changes are possible.
However, coaching programs need to invest in research and evaluation to demonstrate the effectiveness of financial coaching compared to other approaches. Common metrics should be collected across programs so that data can be shared to demonstrate the impact of coaching programs.
Here is an issue brief on Assessment Strategies for Financial Education.
Below are some recent studies and evaluations on Financial Coaching:
This PolicyLab paper was developed as a report for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 2007. “This report reviews financial coaching programs with an emphasis on services for low-income families. In addition to a review of the literature, 46 leading nonprofit practitioners and professionals in the financial coaching field were interviewed, including representatives from what is estimated to be more 60 percent of the financial coaching programs currently being offered by nonprofit organizations to low-income clients. Overall, financial coaching has strong potential to facilitate asset building among low-income families, although best practices to deliver coaching are still being developed.”
Advancing Financial Coaching for Low-Income Populations is an EARN white paper from February 2010 by Ben Mangan. The reader-friendly paper strives to share lessons EARN has learned through their financial coaching programs. “We believe this unique approach provides valuable insights into how to maximize opportunities and limit pitfalls as financial coaching grows.”
Snapshots of Financial Coaching Powerpoint slides are from a Center for Financial Security presentation for Bank of America and the Annie E. Casey Foundation in April 2010. They contain a brief overview of the context for financial coaching, then dive into evaluation results from three sources: 1) Web survey of 178 Central New Mexico Community College students approximately half of whom were offered “achievement coaching.” 2) Center for Working Families (CWF) survey performed by Abt Associates. 3) Mail survey of financial clinic MoneyUp tax clients.