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The FoolProof Foundation A Case for Support

Our Story

Our story began in 2003, when CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite met a 23 year old by the name of Will deHoo. Will, at the time, was working as a consumer advocate in a low-income part of New York. Will befriended Cronkite, and together they discovered a shared passion for helping young people cultivate an understanding of finances and an appreciation for healthy skepticism.

"It doesn't seem right," Will recalls saying. "People who have the least seem to pay a greater price for their money mistakes."

Will recognized the persistence of systemic economic inequality: while some accumulate wealth and learn important financial lessons from their families, others are not afforded the same opportunity. Walt inspired Will to take action against this cycle of inequality.

FoolProof was created.

Our Impact

  • Over 640,000 FoolProof learners across all 50 states
  • Used in nearly 8,000 schools across the country
  • Over 45 Million page views annually
  • 34% increase in financial knowledge as measured by in-module pre-and-post testing
  • 100% free for learners of all ages

Funded By Donors Like You

The FoolProof Difference

From day one our approach to financial literacy has been unique. We teach consumers to question anyone or anything that impacts their money or their welfare. We teach what others do not - and, frankly, cannot, as nearly all other financial literacy programs are funded or shaped by for-profit businesses that profit from consumer mistakes. We cannot expect those organizations to properly teach caution and healthy skepticism.

Standing With Us...

Because of our unique teaching philosophy we are the only financial literacy program endorsed by these highly regarded national consumer groups: Public Citizen, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, National Association of Consumer Advocates, and the Consumer Federation of America.

Financial Education with the Economically Disadvantaged in Mind

FoolProof offers our educational content for free to any school, teacher, or parent across the country. We work particularly hard to reach communities and school districts categorized as urban or rural poor. As a result, over 50% of FoolProof students live in these traditionally under resourced areas.

One exemplary school partner is Ariel Academy in Chicago. Ariel is a Title I School where 91% of the students are below the poverty line and six percent are homeless.

"Ariel Community Academy has a unique partnership with FoolProof. Their modules are fully integrated into our curriculum and instruction; not only does FoolProof emphasize the value of being a healthy skeptic, but they convey these lessons in a way that really resonates with our students - leading to lifelong-learning and the cultivation of healthy habits. I strongly believe Ariel students are more informed consumers, cautious investors, and more confident personal advocates because of FoolProof."

Thanks to our generous donors, all of our educational content is provided to schools, like Ariel Community Academy, for free.

What Does FoolProof Teach?

Our Curriculums Cover Such Topics As...

1) Your Role in the Free Enterprise System

We help learners understand that the free enterprise system assigns different roles to the consumer and the seller of goods and services. The role of the seller is to sell and to care about the bottom-line of the company, while the role of the consumer is to question and be skeptical. Students learn about common money mistakes, the consequences of being financially irresponsible, and common scams that are aimed at young people.

2) You and Your Credit

We introduce learners to the concept of credit and drive home the importance of personal responsibility. We show learners that credit will rule their lives - and show that even small mistakes with money can have long-term consequences. Additionally, we introduce learners to the concept of a credit score, how it's rated, and why it's important.

3) How to Critically Evaluate Marketing, Advertising, and News Sources

Media literacy - or separating fact from opinion - is crucial to a healthy marketplace. We introduce students to the notion of consumerism and teach them to distinguish their own personal well-being from a corporation's well-being. We show why everyone needs to evaluate the fine print on advertising and promotions, to spot predatory lending, and even how to spot fake news.

4) The Importance of Checking Accounts and Understanding Paying Options

This is a particularly important module for under-resourced students who come from unbanked or underbanked families who are disproportionately the victims of check cashing services and pay day loans. We introduce learners to the concept of a checking account: what it is, how to use it, and how to avoid fees. We also help young adults examine the various types of financial services that offer financial accounts so they may determine what service is right for them.

5) Credit Cards Explained

Our students learn to use credit cards wisely because they are taught the concepts of annual percentage rates, interest, and principal. We convey the dangers in financing long-term debt with credit cards and help students identify the wide ranging consequences of going over their credit limit and paying late, and the impact a poor credit score has on prospective loan rates and future opportunities for employment.

6) Budgeting, Saving, and College: Creating the Financial Future You Want

This module teaches the importance of budgeting and planning for unforeseen financial hardships, as well as for retirement. It also teaches the importance of making conscious savings and wise investment decisions, rather than acting on impulse. Wise investing refers not only to investments in the market, but prudent investments for a secure financial future, including planning for higher education.

We do much more. All of the topics described above are integrated into an online educational platform that includes videos, articles, games and quizzes, and tests.

Embracing the Future of Learning

FoolProof is always changing with the times, ensuring that our messages resonate and are available on the platforms that young learners use. Over the past year we've invested mightily in the development of NeighborMood, a virtual game developed along with our partner in Singapore, Dot Dot Fire, that brings our educational concepts to life.

A Valued Partner of Loyola Marymount University

FoolProof was chosen to be the exclusive partner of Loyola Marymount's Save It Forward financial literacy summer program: a program created to teach over 200 youth in the Los Angeles area important lessons in financial literacy, consumer protection, and entrepreneurship. Led by a talented team of LMU college mentors and entrepreneurship faculty from at the College of Business Administration, students are able to come away with a better understanding of financial wellness, personal responsibility, and lessons in college readiness - all while making new friends and connections along the way.

We Need Your Help...

The social and economic inequalities that Walt and Will recognized back when FoolProof was founded have come to a crest in 2020. While we have already impacted the lives of more than 640,000 students, more can and must be done... If you believe all young people, particularly in today's world, need to learn the value of healthy skepticism, and believe that teachers, especially in the age of Covid, need all the help they can get, we ask for your support.

Where Your Money Goes

Supporting the FoolProof Foundation allows us to reach out to stressed school systems that are unfamiliar with our ethical, free, labor-saving and remote resources. It also allows us to create videos and content addressing the uncertainties that all kids are feeling right now. With your help we can fulfill our promise to never charge end-users for the right to learn how to create a better financial future.

Our operating costs equate to $10 per student, or $300 per class. A contribution at this level can provide a student or a class with free independent resources to make the right financial decisions for life.

Together, we may improve the prospects of a brighter financial future for our nation's youth, and work towards breaking down barriers of financial inequality. Please join the FoolProof family and our pursuit to create a more equitable future.

Credits:

Created with an image by NeONBRAND - "untitled image"