Non-Profit Counseling Academy Offers Online Roadmap to Financial Stability

Haley N. By Haley N. | February 11, 2022

Debt, financial responsibility, saving money. They can all be stressful topics.

But Todd Christensen, Educational Manager at Money Fit (a charter of Debt Reduction Services) sought out to help individuals navigate these topics by learning how to establish financial futures and live debt free.

He helped to create the Money Fit Academy as part of a non-profit credit counseling agency that provides learning courses to educate participants about financial responsibility.

Converting to online forms

Christensen began teaching these financial navigation courses in-person. He would give presentations – often 5-10 times a week – to nonprofits, government agencies, prisons, and schools.

But as they began to grow in popularity, he wanted to expand his scope from in-person only to include more accessible online courses.


So, he began exploring online form options. And after vetting complex and simple form builders for solutions, he stuck with Cognito Forms.

It was the only solution he found with the capacity and complexity he needed to reach a larger audience. And it’s enabled him to reach a global audience on six continents.

Online courses increase accessibility

Christensen developed an interactive online program using Cognito Forms, My Life My Choices, in response to the ongoing financial challenges that young people encounter as they start to spend and save their own money.

It takes future college students through scenarios in their first month of school, away from home, and fully in charge of their financial priorities and day-to-day cash management. And only takes about 30 minutes to complete.

“They prioritize their expenses. And based on the choices they make, they either earn more money or spend it,” says Christensen. “It’s completely hands-off for us now.”

They prioritize their expenses. And based on the choices they make, they either earn more money or spend it. It's completely hands-off for us now.

Todd Christensen, Money Fit

Based upon their personal preferences, events of their first month will lead to spending or earning more than expected. The goal? To avoid incurring negative fees while ending the month at or above where they started with their account balance.

Because the course is now online, it’s globally accessible. And in 2019 was given the “Outstanding Consumer Financial Information” award by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning (AFCPE) – powered by Cognito Forms.

Using smart forms to make smarter financial decisions

Christensen utilizes features like Conditional Logic and Calculations on his forms to change the experience depending on what participants choose.

Can they survive the financial burden of food poisoning, job loss, sick animals, tow trucks, possibly even a flood? If they make the right decisions – by prioritizing the choices they make on the form – they are able to see positive results.

He even built a second version of the program for military service members transitioning to civilian life, which won the same AFCPE award in 2020.

“Cognito Forms has allowed us to create an engaging online course where the students actively have to think about the decisions they’re making and understand the consequences,” says Christensen. “The possibilities are endless.”

The courses now have over 15,000 entries (and still growing) from all over the world.

Haley N.

Haley N.

Haley, the Content Specialist for Cognito Forms, helps customers discover how they can use the product to elevate their business. She knows that when it comes to getting things done, Cognito Forms is the perfect tool. When not at work, you can find her hiking, listening to podcasts, or buying plants.