One of the things that we have been talking about over the past few months is the importance of developing our strategic communications to work on relationship-building. Strong relationships with clientele, stakeholders and communities can help ensure that our audiences know what we’re doing for them and help us make a difference in our communities. Sometimes, the most important strategy is just to say thank you, as evidenced by a recent meeting between the Michigan State University Extension Financial and Homeownership Education work team and state Sen. Darwin Booher.
In 2012, Booher was instrumental in passing legislation that provided resources to struggling homeowners. One part of the bill included funding to help MSU Extension provide a larger net of resources to individuals and families across the state. This funding has given more than 11,500 Michigan residents and their families access to education or counseling from the Financial and Homeownership Education work team.
When the team met with Booher earlier this month, they presented him with an infographic that showed just how many Michigan residents had worked with our staff with the help of the funds he had helped procure. See the full-sized infographic.
This infographic went a long way toward educating Booher about his impact on MSU Extension. It showed that with his legislative work, we were able to help prevent foreclosures and provide information to new homeowners across the state. By sharing our stories with those who have helped us, we can help them feel more confident in helping us again in the future, so that they aren’t only hearing from us when we need something from them.
So consider sharing some of your success stories next time you’re given the chance, because the work you’re all doing is making serious impacts on your communities! Great job, team!
This week, April 18-25, is Money Smart Week 2015. While the week may be more than halfway over, that does not mean you have to miss this excellent opportunity to get your finances in order with your colleagues in the Financial and Homeownership Education Work Team. In partnership with Money Smart Week Michigan, Michigan State University Extension staff members are hosting events going on across the state through Saturday, many of which you may complete online from the comfort of your own home. Visit Money Smart Week to see the events available.
Additionally, if you have a Michigan State University student in your family, you might want to let them know about the possibility of a $1,000 prize if they participate in “GeoCache for College Cash,” a hunt for personal finance treasures. While each of the colleges that participate in this program handle the contest differently, the event organizers at MSU decided to keep the contest to one location instead of all across the sprawling campus in East Lansing. The MSU event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight, April 23, in Room 300 of the Human Ecology building on campus.
If you aren’t available this week, but still want to help support your colleagues, you can find them at MIMoneyHealth.org, and on Facebook and Twitter.
The Michigan State University Extension Financial and Homeownership Education Work Group has just launched a radio campaign to promote its programming across the state. The 30-second commercial produced by Dave Ellis from Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications features Coach Tom Izzo from the Michigan State University basketball team.
You can view the ad here:
The ad will run from January to March 2015 on statewide radio stations, including during March Madness, to promote MIMoneyHealth.org. The Financial and Homeownership Education Work Group has updated its information and resources about money management, homeownership and foreclosure on their website. Their new postforeclosure curriculum, Starting Over After Foreclosure Toolkit, will launch on this site in early January.
One of our values at Michigan State University Extension is the commitment to reaching out to diverse clientele and finding ways to adapt our content to their needs. This November, Wanda Roberts, Extension educator in Oakland County with the Financial and Homeownership Education Team, taught a Money Management Workshop Series at Faith Assembly Deaf Church in Pontiac.
The program reached 21 people who are deaf, three who are deaf and blind, and three who are hard of hearing. The program engaged eight sign language interpreters each week to work with the group. Topics presented during the series included making money decisions, creating and managing a spending plan, managing credit and debt, as well as saving and investing.
The participant feedback was very positive. Two participant responses follow:
- I enjoyed learning. I’m prepared for the future. I can now protect myself and my family. The three classes were worth it! Many deaf and hard of hearing wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn these details.
- I’m very impressed since I actually understood all of it. I’m not even anxious a bit. I like the way the instructor was patient with all questions and was open about our concerns.
Our commitment to Michigan individuals and families extends to many diverse audiences, and it’s exciting to see how the partnerships we make can help facilitate that.