Coaching on financial and career choices and opportunities is a key component of many integrated services delivery models, including LISC’s Financial Opportunity Centers. While there are varying interpretations of the term, coaching is widely considered distinct from traditional counseling and case management. Coaching is client-driven and rooted in the philosophy that clients are already “creative, resourceful and whole.”

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Want Your Financial Coaching Clients to Succeed? Don’t Give Them Advice!

This article in the Philadelphia LISC blog is a first-hand look at the coaching approach, describing the training experiences of community-based organization staff as they prepared to join the Financial Opportunity Center network and learned about coaching.

Overview of Financial Coaching

This two-page factsheet from the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison gives the big picture on financial coaching, with a focus on its “A|4 Model,” which structures the process with alliance, agenda, awareness and action.

Financial Coaching: An Asset Building Strategy

Published by the Asset Funders Network, this 14-page report explains how the technique arose from research in positive psychology and compares the approach to financial counseling, education, and planning or consulting. It also explores different models for coaching and how funders can support financial coaching.

Financial Coaching: Review of Existing Research

This brief summarizes research into the theories underlying financial coaching and the effects of financial coaching on participant behaviors and outcomes. Published by the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this 2015 paper is an academic overview that summarizes the state of existing research on financial coaching.

Using a Financial Coaching Approach to Help Low-Income Families Achieve Financial Success

This 2010 paper by J. Michael Collins and Karen Murrell summarizes elements of coaching and examples of financial coaching approaches.

Training for Coaches


Central New Mexico Community College

The CNM Workforce Training Center at Central New Mexico Community College offers customized trainings in financial coaching, career coaching and advanced coaching. The basic financial coach training typically consists of two 2.5-day modules (five days total) that integrate coaching topics (and small-group coaching practice) with finance-specific content.


NeighborWorks offers financial coach training at their quarterly Training Institutes. The training currently includes a three-day course on “Delivering Effective Financial Education for Today’s Consumer” and a two-day course on “Financial Coaching: Helping Clients Reach their Goals.” (NeighborWorks may also offer customized place-based trainings, upon request, in addition to the regularly-scheduled Institutes).

Tribe Coaching

Tribe Coaching offers a six-day Introduction to Financial Coaching program that includes overviews of coaching skill sets, interactive financial literacy games, and coaching practice both in person during the trainings and via telephone between modules.

Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives

Used as a training manual by CNM and other providers, this book covers some of the concepts, strategies, and tools of the “co-active” approach to coaching. (The book is not specific to either financial or career coaching for low-income individuals, but rather focuses on coaching generally.)