Don Fulton, M.Div., M.Th., AFC®, CRC®, FFC® is a financial coach and an ELCA Lutheran clergy who is currently serving on the AFCPE Board of Directors. He describes himself as someone who wears two hats. As a financial coach, Don works with clients to empower them in their financial decision making.  His call as a clergy includes a focus on stewardship.

Don: The two paths have come together in ways I did not anticipate in my personal journey, as well as, in both secular and sacred settings.  I believe we all need to become wise stewards of the gifts we have.

AFCPE: What led you to a career in personal finance?

Don: I started out in ministry.  During a career shift I started to work for an employee assistance program.  As part of that work I provided financial assessments, resources, and referrals.  A dedicated financial team was formed that I expressed interest in joining.  As a member of the financial team I completed Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) certification.  The goal in doing so was that the members of the financial team would share a common body of knowledge.  Having the AFC® designation has opened employment opportunities over the years.

AFCPE: What are you most proud of in your work/career?

Don: I have been fortunate to be in different employment settings over time that have been meaningful.  I use meaningful in the way Viktor Frankel talked about meaning.  In other words, experiences that have been rewarding for me personally and make a positive difference in the world.  Here are two that stand out for me.

  • Starting Money for Two Workshops, LLC. In my workshops I bring faith and finance together for couples to better communicate, explore financial resources, and develop shared financial goals.  This helps in reducing stress and making healthier financial decisions.  In my faith tradition stewardship is more than just talking about money.

  • Being part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Financial Coaching Initiative (with financial coaching colleagues around the country) providing free and confidential financial coaching to economically vulnerable in a legal aid setting was very rewarding. The need is great for consumers to have safe places to get good information to empower them in their financial decision making.

AFCPE: What are you passionate about outside of work (hobbies, causes, etc.)?

Don: I enjoy music.  Some of my favorites include The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Oasis, and Queen.  More recently, I listen to Imagine Dragons and Billie Eilish.  The first concert I went to way back in high school was Kansas opening for Queen.  I really enjoy reading.  My favorite author is Terry Brooks.  He writes Lord of the Rings type fantasies.  I also enjoy movies.  Most recently I saw “1917”, a powerful film about World War I.

Being aware of social causes (i.e. the environment, equal rights) is important to me.  There is a lot of pain in the world that needs healing.  My faith has been a motivation for being engaged about these concerns where and when I can.

AFCPE: How have you been involved with AFCPE throughout the years?

Don: I enjoy attending the AFCPE® Symposiums when I can.  It is a great time to listen, learn, network, and recharge my financial batteries.  More recently I have participated in the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force.  This task force is dedicated to forwarding ways that we can work together with respect for all.  Check out the “AFCPE® Equity Screen” that is an example of their work.  I am excited about being the chair for the Member Services Task Force as part of my responsibilities being a member of the Board of Directors.

AFCPE: What are you most excited about accomplishing during your time on the board?

Don: I think that “setting the standard” and “bridging the gap” are more than just clever phrases.  I hope to help strengthen what AFCPE® does well.  I hope to find ways to reach out and create partnerships that help us to connect as respected professional peers and to reach clients that we have not connected with before.  I see this work as a both/and.   At times there seems to be a missing piece or disconnect between the great research and what practitioners encounter on the front line.  I hope to encourage more conversation to bring the two together to look for common ground and new resources.

AFCPE: What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming an AFCPE Member? 

Don: Do it!  It can open doors.

Don Answers the Friday 5:

  • My Why: I have been guided by three principles:

    1. Be true to Don. This about the journey of discovering who I am in life as a person of faith. Not in a selfish way.  Rather in a healthy way.

    2. Practice selfcare. A work in progress. This ebbs and flows.  Don’t beat yourself up.

    3. Remember you have choices. When we feel we don’t have choices we can feel stuck or trapped. Then we make unhealthy decisions.  There is something freeing and healthy about knowing that there are choices.

  • My Favorite Quote: In response to the question “What is good?”  “To do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8

  • My Hero: Abraham Lincoln

  • My Favorite Personal Finance Resource: PowerPay

  • My Best Advice:
    • For someone starting the journey to financial well-being: In Money for Two Workshops, LLC, l encourage participants to have a weekly time to talk about money, track your spending, get your credit reports, start an emergency fund, and try using only cash.  I see these as the basics to starting.  Of course, these will lead to a deeper dive in your financial journey over time.

    • For a new professional entering the field: Listen, listen, listen, and learn.  Make use of as many continuing education opportunities as you can.  Also engage in the continuing education in other professional fields outside your own to expand your knowledge and seek bridging partnerships with similar goals.

Connect with Don:




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