Financial Capability Scale (FCS)

The Center for Financial Security and Annie E. Casey Foundation have developed a short set of standardized client outcome measures. CFS has worked with four organizations to collect data on  client outcome measures, with the goal of refining a small set of measures that can be used across programs. The project aims to increase coordination across organizations so the financial coaching field can improve its capacity to demonstrate client impacts. The findings from the project extend beyond the coaching field and can be applied to other financial capability services. 

CFS and the Asset Funders Network (AFN) with support and collaboration from the Annie E. Casey Foundation produced a webinar on the FCS. To view this webinar, slides from the presentations, and other resources related to the FCS, please visit AFN’s webpage here. CFS received many questions about the FCS following the webinar, please visit see the Q&A here: FCS Webinar Question & Answer Sheet

A report about the project is available here. Click here for the appendix tables.  A PowerPoint presentation  is also available here.

A Brief summarizing the revised list of self-reported survey measures is also available. 

Over time the FCS has been modified slightly from the original version.  The most current version is available here: Financial Capability Scale Questions.

A Spanish language version of the Financial Capability Scale Questions are available here: Financial Capability Scale Questions- Spanish Version.


A special thanks to all those who helped with this project. We also acknowledge the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation for hosting this event and supporting the Center’s research and outreach around financial coaching. We thank Bon Secours of Baltimore, MD; the Financial Clinic of New York City; LISC Chicago; and the University of Wisconsin Extension for their efforts in gathering and sharing data.

Citing the FCS in journals (BibTex format):

  author       = {J. Michael Collins and Collin {O'Rourke}},
  title        = {Financial Capability Scale (FCS)},
  month        = August,
  year         = 2013,
  institution         = {{University of Wisconsin Madison, Center for Financial Security}},
  doi          = {10.5281/zenodo.57102},
  url          = {}

Collins, J.M. & O’Rourke, C. (2013) Financial Capability Scale (FCS), University of Wisconsin Madison, Center for Financial Security. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.57102