The Alliance is highlighting its Spring Symposium Education Sponsors by exploring what they offer and how they can help our fraternal members. Alliance CEO Joe Annotti interviews Charlie Schaitberger from askAFS.
Joe Annotti: AskFinancial Wellness is a longtime supporter of the Alliance and of our meetings – thank you! And we were saddened by the loss of your founder, Bud Schaitberger. Tell us how Bud first come across fraternals and how your company helps them.
Charlie Schaitberger: Thanks, Joe. We definitely miss Bud’s presence on a daily basis, but we are just incredibly honored to carry on with his work with the Alliance. Bud’s involvement goes all the way back to 1980s as his wife Jeanne is a 2nd generation Sons of Norway member! When he was introduced to the Alliance through SON, he quickly realized how much our organizations have in common.
Joe Annotti: Why do you think your model aligns well with our members’ missions? It seems obvious, but please spell it out for us!
Charlie Schaitberger: Your members’ missions are based around serving others, while building financial security for families and communities, and that’s how askFinancial Wellness began as well. We basically help to fill in the gaps in education and financial literacy with programs your members are already providing. By supporting members and agents through unbiased coaching on debt, college expenses and many other topics, we help to build the literacy necessary for members to become financially fit and ready to fully invest in their society’s products. If the member is stressed and frustrated about making ends meet, then they are less likely to invest in their future. That’s where we help agents and members together!
Joe Annotti: I understand that askFinancial Wellness has a new product offering? Tell us about it.
Charlie Schaitberger: We do! We’re always working to improve our service offering, but this latest service fits perfectly for your fraternal members. The Financial Wellness portal helps societies educate their members, and the younger generation has much to gain with the College Financial Center. The service tracks and “gamifies” the education, which societies can use as part of their college scholarship program or to offer rewards of their choosing based on the completion of the Financial Wellness Portals’ assessment and literacy courses.
Joe Annotti: Member engagement is a challenge for all of our members. How can your service start creating strong bonds between a society and its members?
Charlie Schaitberger: From our College Financial Center which helps scholarship hopefuls and their families find additional resources and tips for affording higher education, to our member-focused webinars and community resources, we have found lots of ways for organizations to engage their members! We see societies introducing our financial literacy courses into local communities which could then be promoted and offered for free through high schools, churches or other community services. And again, offering rewards for interaction and completion keeps members and communities engaged with societies.
Joe Annotti: What is the biggest challenge you see for fraternals? Your company has been on the scene for many years – what are your observations?
Charlie Schaitberger: I believe reaching the younger generations is a key challenge. Finding the right mix of services sponsored by the society becomes a challenge because different generations looks for different benefits. We are asked from time to time if our service can be purchased by members, but we think we’ve found a better way. Because our services are already heavily discounted for fraternal organizations, when a society sponsors our service, it builds loyalty and fulfills the fraternal nonprofit mission of giving back to their members.
Joe Annotti: I am sure you will have some great dialog with our Spring Symposium attendees. What type of conversations are you looking to have there?
Charlie Schaitberger: I would really like to meet all the great people my father had developed relationships with while sponsoring all the events over the past years, as well as forming new relationships. We feel that there is no reason the fraternals need to spend the time and effort to develop Financial Literacy when we have that available already. We want to discuss what the needs are for getting the members financially fit to invest in their futures!
Joe Annotti: Thank you so much for spending time with us and for supporting the Spring Symposium. See you soon!
Charlie Schaitberger can be reached at
Phone: (888) 312-9466
|Charlie Schaitberger, CEO, askFinancial Wellness|
|Joseph Annotti, President and CEO, American Fraternal Alliance|