Training, Workshops & Events
Join us – attend a workshop! The Financial Empowerment Network offers 10-12 free, virtual training workshops each year. These workshops are geared towards any professional working to increase the financial well-being of their clients or community members, no matter their level of comfort with personal finance. You don’t have to be a financial professional to join us – everyone is welcome!
Upcoming FEN Events
Join us the 4th Wednesday of each month 2-3:30 pm!
Sign up here to receive the calendar invite for the full year and financial coaching news & announcements!
- November 29th Note: 5th Wednesday
- No meeting in December
- January 24th
- February 28th
- March 27th
- April 24th
- May 22nd
- June 26th
- July 24th
- August 28th
- September 25th
- October 23rd
- November 27th
- No meeting in December
What is the WA Financial Coaching Network?
The Washington Financial Coaching Network is an initiative of the Financial Empowerment Network (FEN). The group was formed to connect the financial coaching community across Washington State and provide opportunities for coaches to gather on a regular basis to network with one another, share best practices, learn from, and support each other. We welcome financial coaches, counselors, educators, or anyone who is working on financial wellness with their clients or community members.
Who should participate?
- Anyone in Washington State providing 1:1 or group financial coaching, counseling, mentoring, or financial education
- Coaches who are brand new to the field as well as coaches with decades of experience are welcome
- Not sure if you should attend? If you are providing case management, resource navigation, or advocacy and approach personal finance topics (budgeting, credit, savings, etc.) with a client-centered, strengths-based mindset, this group is for you!
Date/Time: 4th Wednesday of each month, 2:00-3:30 pm
Wednesday, December 6th 2 - 3:30 pm
Paying for college can be complex and confusing, both for prospective students and for those who already have student loan debt. Join us to hear from programs with the WA Student Achievement Council and how they can help Washingtonians navigate these confusing systems and pay for college!
Closed captioning will be provided. Please submit any other accessibility requests by November 22nd to email@example.com
We're building workshops for the new year! Come back and check in to make sure you don't miss something.
January 10, 2-3:30p - Taxes in Washington (Registration opening soon!)
February - Psychology of Money
March - Trauma-Informed Conversations, Part 2 (Follow up from Sept 2023 Workshop and Bank On Washington Forum)
April - Budget Conversations & Decisions
Past FEN Workshops
Trauma-Informed Financial Conversations
Presented by Abby Buter.
We all carry our own stories and history with us wherever we go. Not only do we bring our own experiences into working with clients, but they bring theirs. Most people have experienced some kind of trauma and adversity that impact an individual’s journey through life.
This workshop will lay the foundation for how to engage with clients in a trauma informed way. We will discuss how trauma affects people and the signs of trauma. We will learn tools with which to respond, and how to safeguard against re-traumatization.
In this workshop we’ll answer the following questions:
- What does it mean to be trauma informed?
- What’s going on in our body when we’re activated (aka triggered)?
- What are tools that we can use when ourselves or a client is feeling activated?
- How does being trauma informed strengthen financial conversations with our clients and community?
Navigating Benefits Cliffs
Public benefits are available as an important financial foundation to support low-income and marginalized community members. As people increase their income and assets, the systems can be a confusing maze with opaque rules that limit folks ability to achieve financial wellbeing.
This workshop helps providers understand the rules, learn about resources, and hear from folks who are actively/successfully helping their clients navigate benefits cliffs for programs such as Social Security, TANF, Medicare & Medicaid, SNAP, Childcare, LIHEAP, and Public Housing:
- Hannah Rosenburger, Solid Ground
- Brittany Birken, Federal Reserve of Atlanta
- Allison Barber, NW Access Fund
This is a common challenge and we don’t have all the answers. Together we will explore how to build a bridge that spans from surviving to thriving, so that folks can get across and land safely on the other side.
Preventing Fraud & Avoiding Scams
As quickly as we work to identify and evade fraudsters and scammers, their tactics are evolving. Join us to hear from the WA Attorney General’s Office about avoiding fraud and scams. During this “train-the-trainer” workshop, you’ll learn:
- Resources available to educate your community on avoiding falling prey to fraud and scams
- How to identify the signs of someone who may have experienced fraud/scam
- Strategies to support victims of fraud, including - how and where to refer them and what resources might be available
Gain knowledge about current tricks and schemes, learn about the vast resources available, and get comfortable in having these conversations with your clients and community.
Making Homeownership Accessible: Spotlights on Opportunities & Resources to Get Ready
Homeownership can seem daunting in this current housing market; the challenges to home buyers are unprecedented. But we know that homeownership is a key to building lasting, generational wealth. Learn more about bridging the housing gap - hear about tools, resources, and creative solutions that can make buying a home more accessible, equitable and affordable for low- and moderate-income individuals and families.
This workshop covers:
- Various models for housing access, including community land trusts and self-help housing
- Resources that support homeowners like pre-purchase housing counseling and education, down payment assistance, home repair support, and foreclosure prevention options
- Work happening to increase homeownership for Black Washingtonians, with the goal of reducing generational wealth inequities
Listen in to learn from providers across the state about how they are supporting home buyers throughout the ownership cycle:
- Kim Toskey, Homes and Hope Community Land Trust
- Ali Sheibani, Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas
- Jennifer Hentges, Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP)
- Brooke Gibson, HomeSight
- Marty Kooistra, Black Homeownership Initiative
- moderated by Elizabeth Perez, Washington Homeownership Resource Center
Learn about resources available to support your community, and walk away with information you may be able to use yourself as well!
Increasing the Financial Wellbeing of Immigrant and Refugee Communities
Washington State has a history of welcoming immigrants and refugees from all over the world, with incredible ethnic and language diversity. How do we ensure that we are equitably serving all people with dignity and respect for their lived experience? How do we bridge differences in understanding of financial systems, English language ability, and cultural values around money?
- Macy Birdwell, World Relief of Western WA
- Elizabeth Escobar, Express Credit Union
- Thushari Gooneratne, JPM Chase
- Olga Kola, Mother Africa
- Mary Vargas, Tacoma Community House
- Moderated by Donna O'Connor, Hopelink
Learn from folx across sectors who have been working to increase the financial well-being of immigrant and refugee communities through financial education, financial coaching, and access to financial systems. They cover the role of cultural humility and the coaching mindset, the importance of high quality language access, how immigration status can affect the resources and services available, and some specific ways we can better serve our immigrant or refugee community members.
Credit Reports & Scores
Presented by Becky House with American Financial Solutions
Do you work with folks who are struggling to make ends meet or have credit challenges? Does their credit score affect their ability to move forward in life - with housing, work, or finances? Are you looking for ways to support your clients or community members with their financial wellness? This workshop is for you!
Gain the knowledge and skills to manage, protect, and build or rebuild credit, plus learn how to support your clients and community members as they bring their credit questions to you.
Racial Economic Equity
Facilitated by Devin Stubblefield, Johanna Barrero, and Melissa Canu, ICF Team members who provide training and technical assistance on behalf of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.
Racial Economic Equity is an important topic that the CFPB and agencies all around the country are beginning to address. During this 90-minute session, participants were led through a process to work together to identify barriers, and brainstorm possible solutions to racial economic equity within the services they provide.
Working Families Tax Credit
WFTC launched in February! Learn about eligibility requirements and how to support your community members in accessing this important financial support.
- Katie Koontz & Hailey Davis - Dept. of Revenue WFTC Program
- Cindy Gossett - AARP Free Tax Help
- Levi Merchant - Sound Outreach
This workshop is a partnership between the Financial Empowerment Network and the Washington Asset Building Coalition. Thank you to the WFTC Coalition, Statewide Poverty Action Network, and Solid Ground for your support of this workshop.
Managing Student Loan Debt
September 29th, 2022
Presented by: Latife Neu, Schweet Law and Julia Kellison, NW Justice Project
This workshop is a collaboration between the Financial Empowerment Network, Consumer Education and Training Center (CENTS), and King County’s Developmental Disabilities and Early Childhood Supports Division.
The workshop covered types of loans and how to find out what type you have, payment plans, loan forgiveness options including Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), Temporary Expanded PSLF, and the limited PSLF waiver, private student loan issues, defaulted loans, student loan scams, bankruptcy, & resources.
Other resources related to Student Loan Debt:
- National Consumer Law Center
- Department of Education: for more information and tools
- Sign up for a subscription with the Department of Education for student loan news and updates
- Washington Student Achievement Council, Student Loan Advocate: for further help with your student loans. You can also contact them directly.
- Washington Law Help
Using Fintech to Drive Equity & Support Financial Well-Being
August 24, 2022
Presented by: Megan Bolado, Change Machine
Fintech has the potential to help your clients meet their financial goals from creating a budget to savings. Just like traditional financial and banking products, there are endless tech-based products and services that can support day to day financial activities and goals. Join us to learn more about the world of fintech, how you can quickly evaluate and understand the different products out there, and how fintech can impact the financial well-being of your coaching clients and customers.
Cryptocurrency & Digital Wallets
June 21, 2022
Presented by: Brian Duerr, Washington State Employees’ Credit Union
Dealing with Debt Collectors
Learn more about what you need to know about debt collectors, the collection process & credit reports, and how we can help our clients:
- Understand consumers’ rights in dealing with collection agencies and in the debt collection process
- Understand consumers’ rights related to a credit report, including challenging errors and new rules about what can and can’t be reported
- How to prioritize what debts to pay when money is tight
- PLUS – big changes happening in what medical debts can be reported on credit reports and changes coming to Charity Care laws in Washington State!
Linking Financial Wellness and Small Business Development
April 27, 2022
Presented by: Jennifer Quiroz, Financial Empowerment Network and Lisa Smith, Washington State Microenterprise Association
- Jenefeness Tucker, VP of Community Relations & Public Affairs at Seattle Credit Union, Entrepreneur, Professor of Economics; Seattle Central College & Collaborator with Black-Owned Business Excellence in WA (BOBE)
- Beth Henriquez, Program Director & Loan Officer at Enterprise for Equity
- Sofia Austin, Financial Coach at YWCA Seattle | King County
- Mayra Gómez, Credit Building Manager at Ventures
For many folks from marginalized communities, small business ownership can be a powerful path out of poverty and into financial security and well-being. Yet in today’s economy, financial systems are increasingly complex, business planning is challenging to navigate, and barriers to achieving financial stability can be daunting.
During the webinar, we heard from panelists (Panelist Bios) from organizations grounded in both financial empowerment and small business development, who shared their journey to offering both types of support and what structures and partnerships have worked well for them along the way. We hope you will leave with resources and new ideas about how you can support your clients in accessing both types of support.
Your Money Your Goals Toolkit – Introduction & Overview
March 9, 2022
Presented by: Cassie Russell, an ICF contractor providing training and technical assistance on behalf of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
If you work with folks who are struggling to make ends meet or have credit challenges this virtual workshop is for you. The Your Money, Your Goals financial empowerment toolkit has information that helps you have money conversations with the people you serve. Use the tools to help achieve goals and work through everyday client challenges. This workshop is an introduction to the Your Money, Your Goals toolkit that will prepare you to use it in your work with clients.
Supporting the Financial Wellness of Justice-Involved Individuals: Review of the Your Money Your Goals toolkit and Re-entry Companion Pack
February 23, 2022
Presented by: Cassie Russell, an ICF contractor providing training and technical assistance on behalf of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
This interactive session will cover the Focus on Reentry companion guide from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This guide is designed to help financially empower criminal justice-involved individuals and their families. The workshop session provides an overview of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Your Money, Your Goals suite of materials and resources, including setting goals, preparing for release, understanding paystubs, creating a reentry debt log, requesting credit reports, and opening a checking or savings account.
Supporting VITA and Free Tax Preparation Across the Northwest
January 19, 2022
Presented by: The FDIC
- Riley Eldredge, Metropolitan Family Service - CASH Oregon
- Dan McAvoy, NeighborWorks Umpqua
- Sue Curtis, AARP Tax Aide Skagit County
- Andrea Alexander, NW Native Asset Building Coalition
Coalition Building Learning Series
Session One - Coalition Building: A Look at Funding
Hosted by: Banner Bank
Presented by: Rocio Rodarte, Policy and Communication Manager, Mission Asset Fund
Session Two - Types of Collaborative Structures & What Makes Them Effective
Hosted by: WaFd Bank
Presented by: Fran Rosebush Baylor, Vice President Partnership, Field Engagement & Policy, Prosperity Now
Session Three - The Cost vs. Benefits of Coalition Building
Hosted by: Washington State Department of Commerce
Presented by: Bill Mills, CEO/President, FPP, and Joanna Doran, Ph.D., M.S.W., Associate Professor, California State University, School of Social Work, Los Angeles and Founding Member of the Asset Building Clinic
Session Four: Demonstrating Impact
Hosted by: Bank on Washington
Presented by: Nicky Grist, Chief of Research, Evaluation, & Finance, CFE Fund
Survey of Consumer Debt Issues: Medical Debt, Collections & Garnishments, and More!
Presented by: Julia Kellison from Northwest Justice Project
Credit as an Asset: Affordable Credit Building Opportunities
Presented by: Becky House, American Financial Solutions, Emerson Sekins, and Ellie Vainker, NW Access Fund
Past Bank On WA Events
Fostering Financial Belonging:
Connect | Expand | Strengthen | Empower
October 23rd & 24th 2023
Everett Community College
Thank you to all who joined us for the Bank On WA Forum 2023! Building on last year’s forum, we explored what it takes to create conditions where all Washingtonians feel they belong and can achieve financial wellbeing.
Take a look at the event program here.
Participants engaged with an Action Squad smaller learning group to process and discuss the content together during the event. The areas of focus are youth, immigrants & refugees, justice-involved individuals, microenterprise, and black homeownership initiative.
Stay tuned - session recordings will be coming soon!
What is the Bank On WA Forum?
Our annual Bank On Forum is more than just an annual gathering; it’s an incubator of new ideas and opportunities to help improve the financial stability of our un- and underbanked neighbors.
Our goal for the forum is that people across sectors will come together to learn together and from one another, engaging in:
- Creative problem-solving
- Imagining solutions
- Elevating positive and successful work happening around the state and country
and will leave the forum with specific, actionable steps they can take in their role to increase the equitable financial inclusion and financial wellness of their community and all Washingtonians.
Who should attend?
- Financial institutions, government & financial regulators, community-based organizations, and educators (K-12 and higher ed.) who provide financial products, services, or programs to low-income and marginalized Washingtonians, and are interested in increasing financial inclusion and financial wellness
- Decision-makers and influencers in financial product and program design
- Those working in financial wellness*, especially those working directly with communities to connect people to safe, affordable, accessible financial products and services
- Those wishing to get more engaged in financial wellness* work going forward
* Financial wellness includes those who offer financial coaching, counseling, education, or other financial services, or who have key financial conversations with clients, customers, or community members
2022 Bank On Washington Forum
Mission to Action: Reconnect, Reignite, Resilience
Bank On Washington was thrilled to host our signature Bank On Washington annual forum in person in 2022 after two years of virtual gatherings! The forum centered on understanding who are the un- and under-banked in Washington, exploring their financial service needs, and crafting community-led solutions together. We explored the experience of folks who are furthest from opportunity and have been historically and are currently excluded from mainstream financial services. On Day One we focused on the strengths of our communities, and on Day Two we tackled structural changes and solutions.
Recordings will be released over the next few months - we will post them here as they become available.
2021 Bank On Washington Forum
Focus On Fintech
In 2021, attendees joined us virtually for our annual Bank On Washington Forum. The forum is more than just an annual gathering; it’s an incubator of new ideas and opportunities to help improve the financial stability of our un-and underbanked neighbors. During this forum, we learned about and engaged in topics such as FinTech, the Color of Banking, and the Psychology of Money.
Community Conversations: Welcoming un- and under-banked community members into financial institutions
Presented by: Becky House, American Financial Solutions, Anthony Powers, Seattle Clemency Project, and Jennifer Quiroz, Financial Empowerment Network
Legal Financial Obligations in Washington State
Presented by: Nick Allen from Columbia Legal Services