Outreach and Giving
Donate to Help Teach Others
All donations are tax deductible and go to need-based scholarships and programs for or at-risk individuals and groups through the Demystifying Project, Inc., a registered 501(c)(3) public charity, Tax ID 92-3039676.
About the Demystifying Project, Inc.
The Demystifying Project, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity, Tax ID 92-3039676. Its purpose is to promote financial, life skill, learning, career, innovation, and business education of underserved, at-risk, and historically disadvantaged populations. Donations are tax deductible and donors will receive correspondence confirming donations.
The Demystifying Project, Inc. is a separate legal organization with a similar but legally distinct mission from Demystifying Wealth, LLC, which owns both the Demystifying Wealth and Demystifying Silicon Valley programs. The Demystifying Project intends to utilize the Demystifying Wealth program and other related programs, along with additional program resources, staff, training, materials, support services, and follow up designed to enhance and measure the programs’ effectiveness for their target populations.
Use of Proceeds
Donations to the Demystifying Project will primarily go to fund group and community programs. Those programs are described below. Some funds will be used for individual scholarships for people unable to afford Demystifying Wealth programs even with the reduced pricing offered by Demystifying Wealth, LLC. In general, scholarship funds will be prioritized to households who (a) are below the U.S. poverty level, (b) have credit card and other non-mortgage debt in excess of 70% of annual income and make less than $60,000 a year, (c) have been involuntarily unemployed for other three months and previously made under $60,000 a year, or (d) have a household income under $60,000 a year and are considering filing bankruptcy and have consulted a credit counselor or bankruptcy specialist. Applicants may list other reasons which will be considered on a case by case basis. The application form is found on the Reduced Pricing page (you must be logged in to view the form.)
Proposed Community Programs
The Demystifying Project is looking to create and run group and community programs for its target audience. The Project will work with sponsors to customize programs, but the outline below is the proposed structure. If you work with or are part of underserved, at-risk, or historically disadvantaged populations and wish to help create a program, or wish to sponsor one, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposed Structure of Programs
The proposed program will utilize the Demystifying Wealth Personal Finance I and Adulting I sequences and associated materials as its base curriculum. However, we have learned that online learning using pre-recorded courses has limited efficacy for most of our target population. Further, a primary driver in financial behavior is peer, friendship, mentor, and family networks. We often spend too much, save too little, or fail to improve ourselves because of our network around us. Indeed, one of the greatest predictors of impending financial disaster for couples is divergent financial worldviews about money (and failing to develop real joint strategies).
We therefore want to encourage participation by (a) families, (b) social organizations, such as churches and civic organizations, (c) peer groups, such as groups of friends, and (d) mentoring relationships and organizations, where, for example, a teenager or young adult is paired with an older person to do the courses together. Mentors can be anyone from coaches and teachers to adult relatives to pastors to Big Sisters and Big Brothers. We believe that those who participate in the courses with others will watch more, learn more, and be more likely to apply the lessons. We will test this assumption with measurements.
We therefore strongly desire to work with programs which have established mentoring relationships or peer-to-peer support relationships. We also prefer programs which choose to involve the families of the primary participants so the entire household may benefit.
We plan to offer additional programs aimed at adult mentors to help them learn how to coach and mentor others, especially those with more challenging backgrounds. Of course, most adult mentors know as little about these subjects as the younger mentees, so we are really teaching not only youth, but also motivated adults who are often important teachers and influencers in their community. In some cases such mentors will literally have the “bully pulpit” to instill the virtues espoused by Demystifying Wealth to hundreds of others.
We are willing to be flexible and creative given resource and time constraints, so please reach out to discuss additional ideas or programs.
Proposed Program Schedule
Whether participants are alone or in a group, they may watch the courses in any order and as many at a time as they wish. However, we recommend that participants follow the course schedule (or at least watch the courses in order, as they build upon each other). Each “Virtual Office Hours” will be online and live and will cover a particular group of courses and “homework” activities. This structure is akin to a college course where there is assigned reading (videos), some limited homework, then section for discussion. We also encourage participants to form small groups outside of this framework for encouragement and support.
All live programs will be recorded so participants who cannot watch live can view later, so the full program is available to all participants. Access to the courses remains so participants can rewatch programs later when in need, which we believe is a crucial part of the program.
The following schedule is compressed but can be expanded.
|10+2 WEEK SEQUENCE: FINANCE I AND ADULTING I ESSENTIALS|
|Personal Finance Essentials I (Saturdays 9am-10:30am PT or similar time)|
|0||In 2 weeks before||Kickoff meetings for program|
|0||In 2 weeks before||Program for mentors and advisors|
|0||In 2 weeks before||Program for participants from especially challenging backgrounds|
|1||Week 1||1.101 Why Are We Bad at Money|
1.102 What Is $100 Worth
|2||Week 2||1.103 Investing Fundamentals|
1.104 Financial Health Checkup
|3||Week 3||1.105 Habits, Systems, Taxes, and Retirement|
1.106 Surviving the Red Zone
|4||Week 4||1.107 Building Wealth|
|5||Week 5||1.108 Putting It All Together|
|6||Week 6||Review of Participant Plans (reviewed anonymously and with consent of each selected participant)|
|Adulting Essentials I|
|7||Week 7||2.101 Hard Conversations and Negotiations|
2.102 How to Learn and Master Anything
|8||Week 8||2.103 Build a Successful Career|
2.104 Survival Law for Non-Lawyers
|9||Week 9||2.105 Creating Lifelong Meaningful Relationships|
2.106 Understanding Trauma
|10||Week 10||The Hidden Truths of College Admissions and Financial Aid|
Proposed Measurements of Results
We will measure various metrics to determine the efficacy of the programs. The goal is to be able to optimize and fund the programs for deployment nationally to a substantial part of all underserved and at risk populations nationally.
Financial Literacy Measurements
A Confidential Financial Assessment (20-30 minutes to complete) will be requested both at the beginning and end of the financial literacy portions of the program. Participants will be asked to complete the following assessments.
|Intake||Completion of Financial Literacy Portion of Program||One Year After Program Completion|
|Basic demographic information||How participants participated (alone, with group, family, mentor, etc.)||Specific actions following program (account openings, automatic deductions, other systems)|
|Financial Literacy Assessment (40 multiple choice questions)||Financial Literacy Assessment (40 multiple choice questions)|
|Confidential Financial Health Assessment: Debt, Savings, Investments, Earnings||Confidential Financial Health Assessment: Debt, Savings, Investments, Earnings|
|Narrative experience section and review of program||Narrative experience section and review of program|
- 85% financial literacy at completion of program
- Reduction of debt by 20% one year after program
- Increase in savings and investments by 50% one year after program
- Increase in earnings by 15% one year after program
- 80% who have eliminated “bad debt” will have opened Roth or other tax advantaged accounts
- 15% will volunteer to be peer mentors or group leaders for a future finance sequence
- Effect of group participation (peer groups, completing with friends) on results
- Effect of mentor participation on results
- Effect of family participation on results
- Analysis broken down by demographic characteristics, such as race, gender, language accessibility, class background, etc.
- Effect on families and friends of education (have they imparted information in ways that have improved their families and friends?)