STEPS OF THE CAMPAIGN

Sign up for the Dollar Wi$e Campaign

If you would like to join the Mayors' National Dollar Wi$e Campaign, please fill out the online application form. The Dollar Wi$e pocket folder contains information that may be useful in setting up your local campaign, including a Resource Book, Best Practices, Partnerships 2008, and sample press materials. If you would like to learn more about the Dollar Wi$e Campaign before joining, please contact the Council for the New American City by telephone at (202) 861-6759 or by e-mail at dollarwise@usmayors.org. The work of the Dollar Wi$e Campaign is continuous, so mayors may join this initiative at any time.

Build a Community Partnership

Educational forums are the core of the Dollar Wi$e Campaign. To begin the process of setting up a local Dollar Wi$e Campaign, the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges mayors to contact local business leaders, financial institutions, schools, parent groups, senior citizens associations, and faith-based groups to form community partnerships. With your partners, discuss the financial education needs of your community, identify existing financial education programs, and determine the focus of your local campaign.

Identify a Core Group

The U.S. Conference of Mayors recommends that mayors focus their educational efforts on one core group, or choose to expand an existing financial education program in their community. Core groups (some of which are also listed in the Resource Book) include:

  • First-time homebuyers
  • The unbanked community
  • Students (elementary, high school, and college)
  • The elderly
  • Retirees
  • Immigrants
  • City employees

For more information on specific resource material and curricula for these target groups, please refer to the Dollar Wi$e Campaign publications.

Plan Your Local Activities

At the local level, Dollar Wi$e Campaign members are free to set their own priorities and courses of action to educate their citizens about personal finance. To help in this process, there are several Best Practices booklets which highlight what different cities are doing in conjunction with Dollar Wi$e and can be helpful for mayors looking to start their own program.

Additionally, Dollar Wi$e has rolled out model programs that include curricula, promotional materials, and community outreach strategies for mayors who would like to target specific groups in their local campaigns. The current models focus on earned income tax credits as well as savings and banking. New models will be introduced later on dealing in the areas of homeownership, budgeting, and credit management and all program enhancements will be updated on a continuous basis.

For assistance with setting up your local campaign, please contact the Council for the New American City at (202) 861-6759 or e-mail at dollarwise@usmayors.org.

Participate in Dollar Wi$e Week

Dollar Wi$e Week will run from September 20–27, 2008. The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Council for the New American City urge all participating mayors to hold a financial education forum in their city, plan media activities, and hold special classes during this week. Dollar Wi$e Week activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Holding a community financial education forum
  • Issuing a Mayoral Proclamation
  • Writing a letter to the editor
  • Issuing a press release
  • Holding a press conference
  • Making television and radio announcements
  • Holding community-wide seminars on financial education
  • Holding a financial education fair

Evaluate Your Local Campaign

Dollar Wi$e encourages participating mayors to evaluate their local campaigns to determine how effective they are in educating citizens about personal money management. Suggested criteria for the evaluations include a "Feedback and Self-Evaluation" form; however mayors are always free to set their own evaluation criteria.

Submit Capacity Grant Applications

Applications for the next round of the Dollar Wi$e Capacity Grants program will be available in November 2008. Awards will be announced during The United States Conference of Mayors’ 77th Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., January 17–19, 2009.

©2014 The U.S. Conference of Mayors