|Founded||2006 by Walter Cronkite and a group of young people in the US|
|United States & world|
|Method||Consumer life skills, healthy skepticism, online education, peer-to-peer education|
|Malcolm Kirschenbaum, President|
Roberta Baskin, Director
Will deHoo, Founder and Executive Director
Drew Guthrie, Chief Operating Officer
Remar Sutton, Founder and Emeritus President
The FoolProof Initiative is a project by the FoolProof Foundation that teaches consumer life skills and healthy skepticism to consumers. It teaches consumers to question anyone who wants to impact their money or welfare. Its resources are generally listed under financial literacy resources.
FoolProof was founded by Walter Cronkite and a group of young people. It provides free, advertising-fee, and comprehensive consumer life skills curriculums for middle and high schools, as well as a consumer newspaper.
The peer-to-peer curriculums use video and audio, games and music in a modular system to teach critical thinking skills and habits that can travel with a consumer through life. It also includes complex as well as basic financial concepts such as understanding credit (finance) and credit score, getting a checking account or savings account, and knowing how to use credit cards.
The Initiative, for instance, appears to be one of the most effective in reaching vulnerable young people with meaningful education, rather than programs sponsored by business.
Its motto is "Use Caution. Question Sellers. Rely on Research."
FoolProof is a program designed by young people from across the world to help educate students about financial decisions in a friendly video format using real-life stories. The best part is that FoolProof can be used for free by anyone, no matter their financial aptitude, to help (young) people learn about money and the power of healthy skepticism.
Young people generally make common mistakes when it comes to their money. The FoolProof Initiative addresses these problems.
Here is a list of the most common mistakes:
- I impulse buy and don't practice healthy skepticism.
- I don’t have to worry about credit (finance) yet.
- News is news, whatever the platform or source.
- I believe advertising generally tells me all I need to know about a product or service.
- Bad credit can’t keep me from getting a job.
- All loan companies have the same rates.
- Posting sensitive and personal information online is okay.
- All credit cards are alike.
- It’s OK to bounce a few checks.
- It’s OK to make minimum payments on a credit card.
- Paying late occasionally can’t hurt my credit.
- Fine print isn’t important.
- Young people don’t have a credit score.
Available are a variety of educational programs/curriculums that are tied to state financial literacy standards and guidelines, listed in every state by the United States Department of Education. FoolProof also teaches financial literacy topics required by the Council of Economic Education. All programs are available to any consumer for free.
The FoolProof Initiative is endorsed by many consumer-oriented organizations throughout the United States:
- Consumer Federation of America (CFA), a non-profit organization founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, education and advocacy.
- National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) is a nationwide organization of more than 1500 attorneys and consumer advocates who represent and have represented hundreds of thousands of consumers victimized by fraudulent, abusive and predatory business practices.
- The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood educates the public about commercialism's impact on kids' wellbeing and advocates for the end of child-targeted marketing. CCFC’s endorsement of FoolProof’s middle and high school curriculums were its first endorsements ever of a screen curriculum.
- Public Citizen serves as the people’s voice in the nation’s capital.
- Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) Program is a national program founded by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, WDNY and the Bankruptcy Committee of the Monroe County Bar Association. It was founded in 1997 by Bankruptcy Judge John C. Ninfo, II, and as of 2008 has a presence in all 50 states.