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ASEC Spring 2007 Partners Meeting: April 18, 2007

Dallas Salisbury, chairman of ASEC, opened the meeting of over 100 Partners gathered at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, with introductions of all present and his report.


Salisbury noted that the ING Direct Kids Foundation had become the newest Charter Partner; that the ASEC Policy Board met on April 17 to review ASEC public- and private-sector Partner progress against the ASEC mission of making saving and retirement planning priorities for all Americans; and asked the full group to join in thanking Fidelity Investments for its 10 years of support for the Choose to Save® public service announcement (PSA) program. He asked all Partners to provide feedback on the Choose to Save® program and suggestions for organizations that might be prepared to provide funding for the program in 2008 and beyond. The next full ASEC Partners meeting will be in Washington, DC, on October 23–24, 2007.


Dr. Jack VanDerhei, EBRI Fellow and professor at Temple University, gave an overview of the 2007 Retirement Confidence Survey, which was released on April 11, 2007. The press release and the full report can be accessed here. View the VanDerhei slide set here.


Dr. Ellen Taylor-Powell, University of Wisconsin Extension, gave a presentation on the logic model and its efficacy in planning and evaluating programs. Dr. Taylor-Powell noted:


--> A logic model is a graphic depiction of a program that shows the relationship between activities and intended results. It is a tool which helps with both planning and evaluation by integrating the two components. A logic model is designed to answer the question “so what?”: If an investment of time and dollars is being made, what is actually being achieved? A logic model begins with inputs: What are the investments, programs, staff time, and dollars. The next steps are the outputs: activities, what is implemented, participation, who is reached. The final steps are the outcomes: These are short-term (learning, has awareness and knowledge been increased?), medium-term (action, has behavior been altered?), and long-term (conditions, have social, economic conditions been altered for the better?). These are the results that answer the question, “so what?”


--> When implementing a logic model, start with the end in mind: What are the desired results and how will those results present themselves? When planning a program, it is helpful to keep evaluation in mind. Plan a program with answers to the following questions in mind: What do you want to know? What data will you want to have? When will it be appropriate to collect data? What evidence will be credible to various consumers? Is it your program or something else that is making this difference? To view Dr. Taylor-Powell’s slide set, click here.


John Sullivan, WJLA/ABC 7 in Washington, DC, premiered Episode 6 of the Savingsman™ PSA, with the introduction of a new villain, “Unexpected Man.” The episode brings to light in a funny, entertaining fashion a critical component of savings: The need to be prepared for the unexpected, i.e., a sudden illness, results of a major catastrophe such as Hurricane Katrina, etc. A DVD of Savingsman™ PSAs was distributed at the meeting. To view the PSAs, go to www.choosetosave.org and click on the PSA link at the top of the Web page.


Jean Setzfand and Jon Dauphine, AARP, gave an update of AARP’s Divided We Fail campaign for improved health care and financial security in the United States.


--> The basis for the campaign is the reality that the nation is polarized politically, socially, and economically. Americans have many views of what should be done, but not how to pay for it, and they are not optimistic for their children. Eighty-six percent of voters believe that health care should be a basic right for all Americans. Seventy-six believe the health care system needs structural change, not more money. Forty-eight percent of voters think they will have little or no money to retire. Fifty-nine percent strongly believe that Social Security will run out of money without significant changes. Only 34 percent of voters believe the next generation of Americans will have a better quality of life.


--> Divided We Fail is AARP’s call-to-action program to bring attention to the issues of the economic insecurity being felt by American citizens to the leadership of the government, business, and non-profit organizations. AARP has taken steps to partner with the Business Roundtable and SEIU. Organizations that would normally have opposing viewpoints are seeing the need to work together to come up with solutions to common problems, i.e., health care financing.


To view Jean Setzfand’s and John Dauphine’s slide set, click here. To learn more about the Divided We Fail campaign and get updates on the campaign, visit the AARP Web site at http://www.aarp.org/issues/dividedwefail/


Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers University, gave an update on "Small Steps to Health and Wealth: The Total Package." They have come out with a new program book, “25 Days to Health and Wealth,” which is available on CD-ROM and as a free download to extension educators. There are two consumer PowerPoint presentations, complete with marketing material and worksheets. A second new tool is “Small Steps to Health and Wealth Workbook,” designed as a classroom handout. To obtain a copy, click here.


Cheryl Gravis Reynolds, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), gave a presentation on their financial literacy campaign.


--> 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy is a national effort by CPA professionals to improve financial literacy. The idea behind 360 Degrees is to provide information individuals will need at each stage of their lives, from cradle to grave. For further information on the 360 Degrees campaign, visit http://www.360financialliteracy.org/


--> A new component of the 360 Degree campaign is a “Feed the Pig” PSA campaign. “Feed the Pig” was created in conjunction with the Ad Council. The idea behind the campaign is to show the target audience—individuals ages 25–34—that making smart financial decisions is not as hard as they may think. “Feed the Pig” utilizes print ads and a Web site www.feedthepig.org. The campaign uses radio and TV spots. Since the target audience of 25–34-year-olds is Internet-savvy, “Feed the Pig PSAs” are posted on YouTube and a My Space page: http://www.myspace.com/benjaminbankes


--> AICPA commissioned a study on the target audience of individuals ages 25–34. Among the findings about this demographic group are that they have the second-highest rate of bankruptcy; spend nearly 24 percent of their income on debt; graduate with $20,000 in debt, of which $2,000 is in high-interest credit card debt; and that Income for this group increased 17 percent from 1985–2004, but net worth increased only 5 percent.


--> To view Cheryl Gravis Reynolds’ slide set, click here.