EARN Workshops


About the Program

EARN Saver participants are required to attend 18 workshops over the course of 2 years.  The Workshops cover a range of topics, including, Organizing Your Financial Documents, Debt Management, Taxes, Holiday Survival Guide, etc.  For a complete list of scheduled Workshops, see Events Calendar.

What Do Volunteers Do?

FPA member volunteers lead the Workshops.  They use prepared PowerPoint presentations for each topic.  A volunteer will typically “shadow” a Workshop with another leader before leading one on his/her own.  The volunteer is responsible for reviewing the PowerPoint ahead of time and for making any updates to the slides that might be necessary.  The volunteer will be comfortable with the topic and be able to answer questions that will come up in the Workshop. The time commitment for leading a workshop is roughly 3 1/2 hours – an hour to prepare and 2 1/2 hours for the class.  There are usually 10 to 12 participants in a Workshop and the volunteer should expect a casual classroom environment with eager students and lots of questions during the presentation.

Who Should Volunteer?

Volunteers can be at any stage in their career, but should have a high level of comfort with the Workshop content.  The Workshops are a safe place to practice presentation skills, the art of explaining complex concepts, and fielding a myriad of questions.  Volunteers need be sensitive to the participants’ economic status and to keep the conversation relevant.

How To Get Involved

Workshops are normally held from 6 – 8:30 pm at the San Francisco EARN building located at 235 Montgomery St.  To volunteer, one must first participate in the general EARN training program and then “shadow” a scheduled Workshop.  Once this is completed, the volunteer should be ready to go solo!

For more information, contact Saundra Davis.


Working as an instructor in the EARN educational program has been a very rewarding experience, and the EARN Savers are really an inspiration to me. They work hard to support themselves and their families, while saving whatever they can in their EARN accounts so they improve their lives by investing their matched savings after two years in education, a house, or a business. Their motivation to learn and become responsible for their finances is what keeps me coming back to teach more classes. Being a volunteer with EARN is truly an opportunity to help people who need you, but who are also doing what they can to help themselves. -Gretchen Hollstein, CFP®

I wanted to volunteer in financial literacy, so I joined the FPA San Francisco Chapter Pro Bono Committee where I learned about EARN. My first step was to visit an EARN Saver Workshop in 2007. Since then I have led several workshops. For most of the workshops, EARN provided me with existing materials which I could choose to revise. One of the workshops I volunteered to lead was new, so I wrote the materials. The audience of EARN Savers was very appreciative of my efforts. They asked lots of questions, both general and about their own situations. At each workshop there was another FPA member attending to help answer questions. The EARN staff is very supportive of the efforts of volunteers. Teaching at EARN is a great way to give back to the community and to connect with other members of the FPA. – Holly Galbrecht, CFP®

 It was satisfying to be part of the first Marin EARN workshop.  It was particularly rewarding to work with participants who were focused on taking the right steps to improve their family finances.  The workshops are provided in both English and Spanish to ensure that participants have the highest probability of understanding and implementing recommendations.  I found everyone eager to learn – with plenty of thoughtful questions.  The words of appreciation from participants make it clear that a little bit of our time to provide guidance goes a very long way towards helping them move their financial lives forward.  Volunteering with EARN is a rewarding way to contribute to our local communities.  -Edi Alvarez, CFP® MS