Three Canadian Winners at the 2023 “FinLit Oscars”

Canada Makes Her Mark at the 2023 MAIAs

Stanford University Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) Senior Fellow Annamaria Lusardi coined the phrase “Finlit Oscars” to describe the Money Awareness and Inclusion Awards. We love the idea that people working to make money better for citizens everywhere are getting some of the same enthusiastic treatment that movie makers do. And we doubly love the fact that this year, THREE Canadian-led organizations were recognized as the most impactful in their sector!

Canada, who surpassed 40 million citizens just this month, made her mark at the 2023 MAIAs (in alphabetical order) as follows:

  1. Credit Canada‘s GOLD was the Runner-Up in the category of Best Adult Financial Education Program.
  2. Gifting Sense was the Runner-Up for the SKBI Sustainable Finance Literacy Prize.
  3. Untangle Money was the Runner-Up in the category of Best Fintech Pilot by a For-Profit Organization.

Gifting Sense couldn’t be prouder to stand beside the team at Credit Canada and Untangle Money, two organizations who entered the 2023 Money Awareness and Inclusion Awards as a result of our being recognized as one of the Best Non-Profit School-Aged Financial Education Programs at the 2022 MAIAs.

Being chosen from over 140 global finalists by an impressive group of judges feels great, but more importantly, lets each of us know that we are indeed making the kind of difference we’re committed to: truly helping people (young and old) understand how to use money to build the lives they want to lead.

Gifting Sense users know all about our goal of getting today’s school-aged children ready for all the personal finance decisions that lie in their future – by teaching them how to think before they buy – when their money personalities are still in development.

Credit Canada has been providing debt relief to Canadians who did not receive early financial education for over 50 years. As a non-profit organization and Canada’s first and longest-standing credit counselling agency, they’ve helped thousands avoid bankruptcy, become debt-free and achieve financial wellness. Credit Canada’s CEO Bruce Sellery is also the host of the popular CBC podcast “MooLaLa”, where he and his guests inspire people to get a better handle on their money.

At Untangle Money, Kristine Beese is redesigning financial planning to make it work for women (not just wealthy men), who face unique realities and circumstances when earning and planning for their personal financial futures. She wants to get an effective financial plan into the hands of 1 million Canadian women over the next four years!

Sounds like good company doesn’t it!

“I like this big celebration of financial literacy and giving prizes to those bringing their talent and creativity to this field. Finlit Oscars!” Professor Annamaria Lusardi, (Senior Fellow, SIEPR)

The Money Awareness and Inclusion Awards – the MAIAs – celebrate the increasingly important work being done to help people understand money better, and benefit from the financial system. Learn more about them here.

About the MAIAs

“Two-thirds of the world doesn’t understand how money works. Money worries are the most commonly cited cause of stress and worsening mental health concerns, even contributing to suicide rates. While other world-wide problems can seem more critical, weak financial literacy worsens poverty, accelerates inequality, and destroys social mobility.” 2022 MAIAs White Paper

Michael Gilmore and Co-Founder Trudi Harris created the Money Awareness & Inclusion Awards to recognize and celebrate the increasingly important work being done to help people understand money better, and benefit from the financial system. The MAIAs address 6 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

  1. No Poverty.
  2. Quality Education.
  3. Gender Equality.
  4. Decent Work and Economic Growth.
  5. Reduced Inequalities.
  6. Responsible Consumption and Production.

The Sim Kee Boon Prize for Sustainable Finance Literacy

Impressive work to improve society’s “green” financial knowledge and skills is being done at the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics at Singapore Management University. SKBI knows it is important for not only large investors, but also small players (e.g. individual savers, retail customers, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations) to understand climate-related risks and opportunities moving forward.

The winner of this year’s SKBI Prize is the United Kingdom’s “Green My Pension” entity Make My Money Matter. Headed by United Nations Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals Richard Curtis (the film writer and director responsible for Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Mr Bean, and Love Actually), Make My Money Matter encourages citizens and companies to align their money with their values. This will sound familiar to anyone who has had a child attend a Gifting Sense workshop!

Gifting Sense was the 2023 Runner-Up for the SKBI Prize for Sustainable Finance Literacy because thinking before buying is the easiest way to help protect the planet. When we only purchase, or ask for, items or experiences that we actually use and appreciate, we are automatically reducing our carbon footprint (the amount of energy used to produce and deliver items and experiences) as well as the number of items that eventually end up in landfills.

Most kids expect that thinking before buying will help them save money. They are pretty pleasantly surprised to discover how much it improves family harmony, not to mention being something they can do right now to help protect the planet. To learn more, click on the pink or green buttons below.

So, Happy Canada Day Michael Gilmore and Trudi Harris!

When you’re working on solving a big problem, whether your team is large or small, you are wearing a lot of hats. We’d like to thank the MAIAs for tipping theirs to not only us, and not only our Canadian colleagues, but to everyone around the world working on making money better!

Here’s to financial education and all that it can accomplish – which is a lot.

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