Announcing the Spring 2020 Grant Recipients

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the Plutus Foundation’s Spring 2020 grants. We received a significant number of outstanding submissions for this round, and, after careful consideration, we’ve decided to expand our grant program to satisfy the needs of more communities.

Here are the grant recipients for the Spring 2020 cohort.

Know Money Better

Know Money Inc. will be conducting Financial Management Workshops to homeless men, women, and youth in Columbia, SC, and the surrounding areas. Steven Hughes

This year-long program will be held at Transitions Homeless Community where Know Money has developed a continuing collaboration to help those in poverty reach financial stability.

About the Founder

Steven M. Hughes is a money expert, speaker, and social entrepreneur. After making every money mistake imaginable as a college student, Steven took massive action over the course of the next four years to improve his financial situation. He’s now a financial psychology and behavioral finance nerd and weekly on-air money expert for the CBS morning news show in Columbia, SC.

In 2014, Steven founded Know Money Inc, a nonprofit that teaches college students how to think and talk about money positively, so they can live carefree, responsibly. He has worked with companies to educate their employees and groups, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Verizon Wireless, Clemson University, Rutgers University, and others. He’s here to show you how to financially map your money.

** The Know Money Better program has been indefinitely postponed due to the pandemic. We hope to be able to work with Steven in the future. **

Girl Scouts Get Fin LIT

Through Girl Scouts Get Fin LIT, ReisUP will pilot web-enabled and video-based personal finance programming with Girl Scouts’ Southeastern New England chapter in order to help members earn their financial literacy badges.

ReisUP will be tailoring its flagship program, LIT, to meet specific Girl Scouts badges by age group. This pilot version will house the educational videos and resources for three identified badges and age groups. Girl Scouts will be able to log in, complete the lessons, and earn these badges at their leisure.

Because the platform is accessible 24/7, girls will be able to learn about money when it’s convenient for them, rather than having to block off time and travel to an in-person workshop. This program will serve as a testing ground to determine the viability of and desire for online financial literacy programming for Girl Scouts nationwide.


About the Founder

Tara Falcone is a CFP® professional, CFA® charterholder, and Founder of ReisUP. ReisUP is a financial services company committed to increasing financial education and access. Its flagship program, LIT™, teaches students how to properly manage their personal finances.

After graduating from Yale as a first-generation, low-income student in 2011, Tara started her career as an investment analyst in New York City. In 2015, she left to dedicate her time and knowledge to a larger audience through ReisUP. Tara’s mission is to empower young adults, especially women, to “rise up” and achieve larger life goals through a solid financial foundation.


Money Lit

Money Lit will be publishing a financial literacy curriculum for use by homeschooling parents and teachers. This curriculum will teach the basic life skills needed by youth to learn to earn, manage, save, and invest money so they can become financially independent adults.

Their goal with targeting this specific age population of kindergarten through eighth grade is to ensure that they have a solid foundation on making smart money goals and setting long and short-term goals before they enter high school, start their first jobs, begin planning for college. The curriculum will be based on a school year calendar and will be broken down into monthly activities, discussions, and projects.


About the Founder

Stephanie Pyke is the owner of Money Lit. She studied societies and social structure in undergrad (Psychology and Sociology). She went on to obtain her MBA with a concentration in Marketing. She worked as a Senior Case Manager at a local non-profit for almost 7 years, where she was able to create budgets with people daily and give them resources to cut their expenses. She also volunteered in the schools through her Fin Lit Project, financial literacy activities with kids in grades 3-8.

Stephanie has also given her time to many programs for children in her community. All of these experiences lead to her starting her own company where she could host learning programs, workshops, and begin to write curriculums, and hopefully books of resources, for kids to learn more about this important life skill.


We are in very trying times and the Plutus Foundation wants to support those in the community who are doing extraordinary things to help during this COVID-19 crisis. For this reason, we have decided to offer a special grant for projects that are making a difference during this time.

Here is our first recipient:

Jacob Wade of IHeartBudgets.

Jacob has been working hard to keep an up-to-date resource for those who have lost their income, job, or are in any way financially impacted by the current health crisis. Whether you have questions about rent relief help or unemployment, this is an exhaustive resource for COVID-19 financially-based concerns.

About Jacob

Jacob Wade is the budgeting expert who started iHeartBudgets, a place where Millennials and young families come to learn EXACTLY how to build a budget that WORKS. Jacob quit his job in 2018, sold his house and 95% of everything they owned to take off on an adventure of a lifetime. He is traveling full time in an RV with his wife and 3 kids. He is now on a mission to spread the message of Financial Freedom around the country, and help others build a “Freedom Plan” of their own!


Congratulations to this season’s grant recipients. If you are interested in receiving support from the Plutus Foundation for your financial literacy project, subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear when the next round of grants is available for submissions.

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