Named the Financial Educator of the Year in 2010 by the National Financial Educators Council, Elisabeth Donati has enjoyed worldwide success. Her financial programs have been bought and sold in more than eight countries, and her summer camp program is now at more than a dozen locations. Nicknamed the Financial Literacy Lady, Donati comes to Santa Barbara this March 12-13 to share her financial expertise with women at a workshop titled Celebrating Women & Wealth.
Donati’s mission to spread financial literacy began in 2002, when she started a summer camp program to teach kids about money. “I didn’t understand why it wasn’t taught in school,” Donati said, “and then I realized, ‘Oh, they’re teaching to the test … and there’s no extra time, energy, or money to learn about financial education.’” The summer program, known as the Money Camp, eventually grew into Creative Wealth International, LLC, a company which develops financial-education programs targeted at kids.
That company has since expanded its focus to include women, whom Donati says face distinct financial disadvantages. These include loss of earning potential due to child rearing, health care that is more expensive than men’s, and higher retirement costs due to women’s longer average life spans. This weekend’s workshop will teach women new ways of thinking about money, including an examination of what Donati calls the “Six M’s of Money”: minding, making, managing, multiplying, mending, and mentoring. For moms especially, the latter “M” translates into what first got Donati started on her mission: sharing financial education with the next generation.
“One of the things that I tell parents is, from the get-go, you need to set the very best example you can in terms of how you talk about money, what you do with money, what kids are seeing you do with money, the emotions that you have around money, and the emotions that you put the kids through,” Donati said. And setting that example starts with women getting educated themselves. “An educated woman is a better investor, an educated woman is a better mother, an educated woman is a better wife — better community member — because she’s strong.”
The Celebrating Women & Wealth workshop takes place Saturday-Sunday, March 12-13, at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort (633 E. Cabrillo Blvd.). Call (805) 957-1024 or visit celebratingwomenandwealth.com.