Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Carly Dodd

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Heather Rasmussen

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Joe Cardot


While benevolence-based programs have been a large part of meeting immediate financial needs of the poor, they lack the relational aspect needed to facilitate long-term behavior change. Recently many social service organizations have adopted financial coaching as a promising replacement for benevolence programming. The field of coaching has dealt with its own challenges. Most coaching practitioners surveyed in 2016 and 2019 acknowledged lack of client follow-through as their number one challenge. Behavior economics offered nudges as a solution. Nudges are cues placed within the physical environment to prod clients toward behavior change. A quantitative field study was conducted to evaluate 2 program models: a traditional financial coaching model and a behavior economic financial coaching model. The goal was to determine if nudges could produce significant outcomes with client goals of becoming banked and/or increasing savings. A sample population of 70 clients was randomly assigned to 1 of the coaching models. Baseline banking and savings data were collected from both groups. Clients in the behavior economics group received priming and framing as nudges at initial and subsequent coaching sessions. The study found that the behavior economic coaching model produced statistically significant differences in savings increases versus the traditional model. Implications of action for community-based nonprofits offering coaching include initially measuring client intentions to complete goals and integration of nudges throughout sessions. An integrated coaching model was produced and serves as the core foundation for improving client engagement and program outcomes.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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