Current CEO Melody Bell was inspired to launch a financial literacy nonprofit after her experience working in several facets of the financial industry. She repeatedly dealt with individuals who had failed to properly protect themselves financially, leaving little money for savings and personal security, and delaying life goals such as higher education, retirement, and home ownership.
Firmly believing that sound financial decisions are a result of early education, Bell was determined to create an organization to provide unbiased personal financial education to young people. Financial Beginnings was founded in Portland, Oregon in 2005 to educate high school students about all aspects of personal finance.
Shortly thereafter, Financial Beginnings expanded to serve youth adults and adults, and later added programming to educate and empower elementary and middle school students, high-risk college students, and to better serve Spanish-speaking participants. Financial Beginnings launched regionally in 2015 with the opening of its satellite office in Seattle, and then nationally in 2017.