Why FCEF Needs Your Support
Would you like to make a difference in the future? FCEF needs your help to increase financial readiness and financial success across our nation.
Americans are saving less and spending more
- The U.S. Department of Commerce reported personal savings as a percentage of personal disposable income declined from 10% in the 1980s to 1.8% in 2004, and dipped into the negative numbers in 2005, before rising to roughly 2.5% in early 2013.
- Four in 10 Americans don’t have even one month’s income in savings for an emergency. (MSNBC, HSBC Bank, 2007)
- More than 2.1 million Americans with home loans missed at least one payment in a recent year. (Mortgage Bankers Association, 2008)
- In July 2012 balances on credit cards totaled $793 billion, or roughly $15,800 per household. By early 2013 it had risen to over $848 billion. (Federal Reserve Bank, New York)
- The size of total consumer debt grew nearly five-fold from 1980 ($355 billion) to 2001 ($1.7 trillion), and by 2006 it had grown to $2.4 trillion. (Federal Reserve Bank, New York)
- By early 2013 Americans carried roughly $11.28 trillion in consumer debt, which works out to over $7,000 per household. Counting only those who have consumer debt, the average is over $15,000 per household. (Federal Reserve Bank, New York)
- As of the year ending December 2012 there were 1.2 million consumer bankruptcy filings in the United States, including over 840,000 Chapter 7 filings, over 10,300 filings for Chapter 11, and over 360,000 for Chapter 13. (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts)
College costs are growing
- The published average annual tuition cost for a 4-year college is over $12,000 for an out-of-state student, up from $6,000 a year in 2006/2007. Annual tuition for a private school is over $29,000, according to the College Board and the National Center for Education Statistics.
- In addition, some groups of students are more likely to face unmanageable debt burden after graduation. Fifty-five percent of African-American student borrowers and 58% of Hispanic student borrowers recently graduated with unmanageable debt burden, reports the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
Why do so many American families struggle with their money? A primary factor is that society does not teach people how to successfully manage their money. Most schools do not teach personal financial skills; instead, society emphasizes consumption, spending, and immediate gratification.
- Thirty-six percent of Americans in a recent survey answered fewer than half of the ten questions correctly in a study on financial literacy, and only 12 percent answered nine or more questions correctly. (LIMRA 2013)
Recognizing this crisis, the Foundation provides financial readiness education at little or no cost to a wide variety of organizations across the nation. Military units, community and professional organizations, women’s causes, youth groups, high school students, economically at-risk populations, and religious groups are among the groups benefiting from FCEF’s proven financial readiness curriculum.
The average college graduate in 2013 had over $33,000 in student loans, and roughly two-thirds of graduates had outstanding student loans. This is a heavy burden for these bright, talented students who are just getting started on their financial journey. Scholarships, awarded for academic merit and/or financial need, can motivate recipients to higher levels of achievement and definitely ease the burden of student loans.
- A 22-year old student graduating this year who consolidates a $40,000 loan at 6.125 percent will need to pay $243 a month…until they’re 52! By that time, they will have paid $47,494 in interest alone.
FCEF’s scholarships are developed and granted in partnership with community organizations such as military units, Girl Scouts, Rotary Clubs, public universities, and other youth groups. These partnerships broaden scholarship opportunities for young men and women across the country, regardless of heritage or financial circumstances.
Your Gift Builds Their Future
FCEF’s motto is “to educate those who serve.” We are dedicated to providing the opportunity for financial freedom and knowledge through objective financial education, information, and tools, as well as scholarships. FCEF’s services are provided at little or no cost to recipients.
Gifts to FCEF create a legacy that will continue to offer learning opportunities to future generations. FCEF welcomes outright contributions and gifts through charitable estate plans. Donors can invest in programs to help give diverse groups the opportunity to successfully manage their personal finances and achieve financial independence, as well as obtain an education to build their lives and dreams.
FCEF is passionate about helping others succeed, and we hope that you will be as passionate about helping FCEF succeed with your generous, ongoing contributions.
The Education Division has many programs for donors to consider. Donors desiring to help others gain the knowledge and skills necessary for financial independence can consider gifts to support educational programming, such as our military or secondary school web-based financial readiness programs, or to maintain our volunteer speakers bureau. By partnering with schools and other organizations in the communities we serve, FCEF seeks to give as many as possible the knowledge and skills they need to become financially successful. Please click here to review the Foundation’s education program.
One of FCEF’s objectives is to continually grow its general scholarship endowment and increase the dollar value of individual awards, which will provide even more assistance at that critical time when students are building their financial foundation. Donors interested in scholarships may donate to FCEF’s general scholarship endowment (Carroll H. Payne Scholarship Fund) or establish a separate named-scholarship fund, either as a permanent endowment or as a temporarily restricted fund.
While these named funds will benefit students, they can also provide an opportunity for you to honor a loved one—or yourself—in perpetuity. All scholarship funds are paid directly to the school in the recipient’s name and in accordance with FCEF’s scholarship policies and procedures. Please click here to review the Foundation’s scholarships program.
Staff salaries to administer scholarships and teach classes, along with other operating expenses, are a necessity to provide these services so greatly needed in our communities today. Donations of general support are unrestricted and allow FCEF to use them where most needed. Please click here to learn more about the Foundation in general.
A Proven Past and a Promising Future
Originally created in 1983 to provide scholarships for military personnel and their dependents, FCEF is now a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity. FCEF’s mission expanded in 2001 to include financial readiness training, and again in 2004 to broaden scholarship eligibility to students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees, professional certifications, and trade school study.
FCEF welcomes your questions or comments regarding any of our programs. Please contact:
Pam Elliott, Office Manager
First Command Educational Foundation
1 FirstComm Plaza
Fort Worth, TX 76109-4999
First Command Educational Foundation can accept your donations in numerous ways. Please click here to learn more about ways to donate to the Foundation.
FCEF conducts various events to raise funds. Please click here to learn more about our events.
We offer our utmost thanks to those who have donated funds, time, services, and tangible goods. Please click here to learn more about our donors.
Those who include a gift to FCEF in their estate plans are recognized in our Legacy Society. Please click here to learn more about FCEF’s Legacy Society
Please click here for access to FCEF’s key fundraising documents, including the Donor Bill of Rights and donation forms.
Please click here for information to help you contact FCEF and our staff members.