The FEC Academy is an opportunity for local governments to learn about the key building blocks of bringing the FEC model of integrated, professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service to their communities – including through leveraging federal funding streams like the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The CFE Fund’s FEC Academy guides cities and counties through each step of planning to launch the model locally, and includes significant CFE Fund technical assistance, access to planning resources and information, and participation in a robust learning community.

FEC Academy is a 15-month planning process broken into two phases. The first phase provides partners with an overview of the FEC model and tools to explore the feasibility of launching a FEC in their locality. Upon approval to move to Phase 2, partners receive more in-depth technical assistance and access to a $20,000 grant to support the FEC planning process.

FECs have already helped over 150,000 people reduce their debt by $225 million and build $46 million in savings. There are already 31 cities and counties offering FEC counseling, with dozens more working towards launching a FEC program – and your city or county can join the movement!

FEC Academy Eligibility and Enrollment

Representatives from local governments (cities or counties) with more than 50,000 residents are eligible to enroll in FEC Academy. We are unable to accept enrollment from non-municipal entities.


By enrolling in the FEC Academy, local governments receive the following support from the CFE Fund in preparing to launch their FEC initiative:

  • Trainings and webinars to provide in-depth overviews of the FEC model and share best practices.
  • Access to the FEC Planning Platform, an online hub of technical assistance resources, including fundraising and budget templates, talking points, best practices on program design, contract templates, marketing guidelines, and other resources.
  • Direct support from CFE Fund staff including weekly office hours.
  • In-person site visit to meet partners, facilitate stakeholder discussions, and provide targeted assistance.

In addition to the $20,000 planning grant, partners who complete Academy are eligible to apply for up to $150,000 in match funds for program implementation from the CFE Fund.