IBM Impact Grants

Economic Education: The Missing Link in K-12 Schools

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A record-high number of Americans are facing challenging financial circumstances in large measure because of poor or non-existent economic education. Whether it’s the basics of individual or family budgeting, borrowing for education or planning for retirement, lack of economic education can lead to dire (and unnecessary) results.

NCCEE Award Winners

NCCEE Award Winners

At the North Carolina Council on Economic Education (NCCEE), our mission is to support K-12 teachers with the content and pedagogy they need to each economics and personal finance. We hope that graduates armed with this essential learning will enter adult life with the tools they need to make the most of their financial resources as they work toward their goals.

Though NCCEE is small, our reach across North Carolina is exceptionally wide. We do not receive state funding, and therefore need to be as efficient and effective as possible in garnering support from the business community. Volunteers fill in the expertise gaps on our permanent staff, so as part of a new strategic plan – which IBM helped us develop – we also needed to implement best practices for maintaining a complementary mix of permanent and volunteer capabilities in service to our clients.

As part of the IBM Impact Grant we received, we worked with a team of consultants with tremendous experience in utilizing a proven strategic planning process. They undertook a thorough examination of our history, mission, constituents, programs, board development, budgets and funding models. The consultants then conducted interviews with board members, stake holders and staff. They spent two full days hashing out all the information, and then helped us focus on what we wanted the next level of NCCEE to become.

Through an expert facilitation process, and a comprehensive SWOT analysis, we took a deep dive into an assessment of all that matters in the effective governance and management of a non-profit organization. Let’s face it, change is never easy. But we came away with a clear road map of our goals, and a definitive set of strategies that will help us become stronger.

Through their expertise and commitment to community organizations such as ours, IBM has demonstrated that they are an organization that not only talks the talk, but they walk the walk. We are incredibly fortunate to have benefitted from the proven business strategic planning model. IBM is all about citizenship and service, and for that we thank them.

Sandy Wheat is Executive Director of NCCEE.

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