About

Financial Nutrition is a non-profit organization that specializes in financial education for girls’ economic empowerment. The primary focus of Financial Nutrition is providing curricula, and teaching the basics of money management and entrepreneurship to girls, so they can learn to make educated decisions, and maintain future financial health and independence through investing, financial management, and entrepreneurial thinking.

Portrait of Melissa Donohue

Why Teach Girls About Money?

It is a groundbreaking time for women and finance given educational and employment trends. However women continue to be deemed one of the less financially literate groups. College graduate women are still negotiating lower salaries than men, and women are demonstrating a lower comfort level with risk and investing. At the same time, women are taking on greater financial responsibility in their own lives, within their families, and in society. By educating girls about money, we seek to close the financial gap that women continue to face through the development of financial knowledge, entrepreneurial thinking, and a positive disposition toward money.

The Financial Nutrition® Method

The Financial Nutrition Method, developed by our founder Dr. Melissa Donohue, is a unique approach to teaching girls about money. The pedagogy involves knowledge acquisition and skills development, as well as critical work around disposition toward money. Through teaching foundational concepts of finance as well as practical applications, students become confident and well-versed in their understanding of money and the financial system. Instruction in the area of entrepreneurship involves the key elements of entrepreneurial thinking — creative analysis, idea generation, opportunity recognition, and goal setting — that are important work and life skills in the new economy. The Financial Nutrition Method provides a foundation for girls to both acquire knowledge and behavior, resulting in confidence in money management, and educational and career development. Please contact us for more information about our programs utilizing this approach.

Our Founder

Founder Dr. Melissa Donohue is a financial education specialist, developing financial education curricula and consulting on financial education program content at all levels and for the classroom, online platforms, and textbooks.  Dr. Donohue’s primary research areas are adolescent girls’ and women’s financial literacy and capability (see Research and Publications for additional information).

Dr. Donohue was the founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurial & Global Studies at Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Massachusetts. In that role, she developed and taught an innovative curriculum in finance, economics, global studies, and entrepreneurship. She has also worked with a number of different organizations in the area of financial education curriculum development, including the New York PBS affiliate Thirteen and EverFi.

Prior to her work and research of the last 12 years in financial education, Dr. Donohue worked in finance and financial journalism, most recently at Bloomberg LP in New York, and in finance at Swiss Bank Corporation and Wasserstein Perella, both in New York. Dr. Donohue has a Doctoral degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a Masters degree in International Affairs with a specialization in Banking and Finance from Columbia University, and a Bachelors degree in Government from Oberlin College. Dr. Donohue is the Treasurer on the Board of The Parents League of New York, and is also on the Board of CISV-New York. She is a committee member of the Alumni Association at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and her professional associations include 100 Women in Hedge Funds, and 85 Broads, a global women’s network.