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Financial literacy volunteer FAQs

Find answers to your questions about our financial literacy volunteer program.

How long has the financial literacy volunteer program been in operation?
Our program was launched in March 2013.

What are my responsibilities as a volunteer?

  • share your knowledge in a way that is easy to understand
  • register your session with us
  • coordinate with the host organization
  • learn about the target audience/host organization/school
  • check if you need a police check for the school board you are volunteering with
  • find out about the session requirements
  • review the session overview
  • familiarize yourself with the session materials (PPTs, handouts, and so on)
  • submit completed evaluation forms to us

Is there an orientation package I can refer to?
Yes, when you register to become a volunteer, you will receive the financial literacy volunteer orientation package. If you have not received it, please email us.

Do I have to present a specific number of session per year?
No, there is no set requirement for presenting sessions. It is up to your discretion and availability. We do ask all our volunteers to try to do at least four sessions per year.

Can I partner with other volunteers to do the sessions together?
Yes, you can partner with other volunteers to do the sessions.

Can I attend the sessions as an observer to learn more about the process?
Yes, please email us to find out which sessions are being hosted in your area.

How do I find volunteer opportunities to do sessions?
You do not need to organize sessions on your own to be an active volunteer. Our monthly Financial Literacy Volunteer newsletter highlights the volunteer opportunities across the country. We receive requests from organizations and actively outreach to set up sessions. We also encourage you to reach out to your networks to find opportunities.

Can I get CPD credits for presenting a session?
Our sessions are eligible for CPD credits, for the presentation only, in most provinces. However, since CPD credits are given at the provincial level, you must contact your provincial body to check if your session qualifies.

How long is a session?
A session is set to be an hour, including a 15-minute Q&A at the end. School workshops are 45-60 minutes (including a 15-minute Q&A), depending on the grade.

Who is the target audience?
Our general target audience is middle income individuals with a steady income who need help with managing their money. This audience is divided into the following key areas:

  • adults
  • seniors
  • new Canadians
  • school (elementary and high school students)
  • post-secondary students
  • small and medium businesses
  • entrepreneurs
  • not for profits
  • low-income Canadians
  • women

For specific session details, review the session overviews for each topic to see the objectives and the recommended audience.

Are the sessions free?
Yes, the sessions are free.

Do the sessions have to be done consecutively?
The sessions can be done on their own or consecutively based on the needs of the host organization.

How many people should be in the audience?
There is no set amount for audience size. We recommend 20-25 people per session for effective engagement.

What languages are the sessions available in?
Our sessions are available in both English and French. The materials will not be translated to any other languages. However, you may present the session in a different language if you feel comfortable doing so. If we receive a specific request, we do our best to match a volunteer who speaks that specific language to the opportunity.

Who can present a session?
Our sessions can only be presented by you, the financial literacy volunteer. The program gives our members the opportunity to give back to their community by teaching financial literacy from an unbiased perspective.

Can I bring in an expert to help present the session?
The only individuals who can present sessions are our financial literacy volunteers. If you do wish to bring an expert to the presentation, (for example, a lawyer), the only way they can contribute is by answering questions in the Q&A portion of the presentation.

What level of language should I present in?
It’s important to use basic language while presenting. It’s recommended that you keep terms simple and avoid complexity. A rule of thumb is to write and speak to a Grade 8 level. A key component is to understand your audience. Use stories and words that resonate with them. See our facilitator’s guide (included in the session package) for more tips.

How should I be dressed for the sessions?
Dress to your audience. We do recommend business casual as a suitable choice of attire.

How long do I need to prepare a session?
The recommended preparation time, especially if it’s your first time, is at least two hours or until you feel comfortable with the content. Friends and family can be great “practice” audience members.

For school workshops, do I need a police check and am I required to pay the fee?
Yes, you do need a police check and are asked to cover the fee. Please email us should you require a volunteer letter.

How can I inform the public about upcoming sessions?
You will find outreach and simple marketing materials in each session package.

Will the host organization provide AV equipment, venue booking and materials?
It is the host organization’s responsibility to provide these items. Check with them prior to the session.

Can I brand materials with host or sponsor logos?
If a session is being sponsored by another organization, you can use their logo on any invites that you send out. But any presentation materials, such as PowerPoint slides or worksheets, cannot be altered as they are developed and copyrighted by CPA Canada. You may put your contact information into the PowerPoint presentation.

Can I host a session at my workplace?
Yes, we encourage you to present to your colleagues. At CPA Canada, we host regular lunch and learn sessions with our staff.

What do I do if I am unable to answer a question from the audience?
If you are unable to answer a question during or at the Q&A portion of the presentation, there is nothing worse than making up an answer. Tell the audience member that you are unable to answer the question at that time and offer to follow up after the presentation. Alternatively, you can reach out to us for help in answering the question.

What do I do if attendees want me to become their financial advisor? Can I give them a business card after the session?
As this is a volunteer initiative, you cannot sell personal services during the session. If a participant requests additional services after the presentation and as he/she initiates it, you are allowed to provide further information. But check with the host on whether or not it would be appropriate.

What do I do if an organization wants to pay me for presenting the session?
Our sessions are considered a community service. The materials were developed by CPA Canada and therefore no payment should be accepted. You may accept a token gift or ask that any compensation be made to a charitable organization on your behalf.

How do I deal with a difficult or disruptive audience member?
Most difficult people give up when their behaviour does not bring a lot of attention. Find a way to meet the difficult person individually (for example, learn their name and don’t be afraid to pleasantly tell them if their comments or questions are making it difficult for others to learn and enjoy the session). Refer to our facilitator’s guide for more tips.

What information and materials can I share?
Overviews and lesson plans may be shared. PowerPoint slides, facilitator guides and speaking notes cannot be shared.

What additional resources can I offer?
Our financial literacy resources, that is, books and worksheets, are available to everyone. 

If you have additional questions, please email us.