Making financial education fun with Fidelity

Fidelity banner
Fidelity banner with text "If money grew on trees, what's the one thing you'd spend it on?"

Project background

Smart investing isn’t something we’re often exposed to in our youth. But what’s possible when we invest early should be shared with everyone as it can have a huge impact on our futures. That was the impetus behind a project we did with Fidelity that resulted in financial curriculum now taught in high schools across the country. A full agency engagement, this project incorporated curriculum and content development, visual style development, and design.

In concert with launching Fidelity Youth Accounts, Fidelity wanted to provide financial education to their next generation customer. They asked Duarte to develop a 5-week curriculum for teenagers aged 13-17 just beginning their financial journey. It needed to be youthful, engaging, and interactive with the goal of helping young people build smart money habits around spending, saving, and investing.



The big challenge

Appealing to teenagers, IYKYK

Fidelity partnered with community organizations to reach their target demographic (youth experiencing economic hardship and youth of color) through extracurricular programs. The training would be delivered over a 5-week period and would be facilitated by a mix of Fidelity employees and community educators. The challenge was two-fold. First, we needed to build five 1-hour modules that delivered financial education in a way that was fun, interactive, digestible, and actionable. Second, the curriculum had to stand alone, so that anyone picking up the slide decks would be equipped to facilitate an engaging learning experience that would appeal to – make that challenge three-fold – teenagers.

The solution

Choose your own adventure

We started by developing the big picture of the whole curriculum. We focused on highlighting what it would cover, how it would flow, the story it would tell, and demonstrating alignment with Fidelity’s learning objectives, ensuring measurable outcomes. From there, our content and design teams pitched story concepts and mood boards that brought a fresh take on Fidelity’s established brand identity.

They selected Choose Your Own Adventure among the concepts pitched. With this theme in mind, we developed each module from big picture story to fully scripted facilitator notes. We incorporated a mix of interactive activities, beautifully designed slides with checkpoints, iterations, and in-house UX testing along the way. Knowing this would need to be used by educators beyond any initial “Train-the-trainer” service, we also developed a detailed facilitator guide that offered delivery, facilitation, engagement tools and advice, and troubleshooting guidance for each of the modules.

The results

Nationwide financial training

The Youth Account team at Fidelity was able to equip a team of facilitators with a robust audience-centric curriculum to educate the next generation of investors. After a successful pilot with Fidelity facilitators, they were able to make the curriculum available to high school educators nationwide.

Beyond our content and design services, the success of this project was reliant on: Knowledge of L&D best practices; facilitated alignment across multiple Fidelity stakeholders from internal curriculum specialists, to the finance team, to the content and customer inclusion teams, to leadership; deep research on the subject matter and an investment in understanding the audience to ensure the curriculum would be engaging and accessible; and anticipation of facilitator and student needs to ensure roll out would be seamless and self-driven.