From Financial Integrity
About the New Road Map Foundation
The New Road Map Foundation (NRM) began informally in the late 1970s when Joe Dominguez, Vicki Robin, Monica Wood and others traveled in their motor home to volunteer with a variety of service projects. The formal beginning came in 1984, when New Road Map became a 501c3 “educational and charitable” organization.
At the core of New Road Map’s educational work was (and is) the nine step program for financial intelligence, integrity and independence created by Joe Dominguez. Joe was born in 1938 in Spanish Harlem, New York City. Education was his ticket out of the slums, and that included a self-directed education on money -- what it was and how it worked. After learning and working his way up to a successful career as a Wall Street financial analyst, he retired at the age of 31, having cracked the code not of Wall Street but of money itself. His retirement funds weren’t acquired through a “killing” on the stock market, but merely from his own salary and a diligent method he created that combined classic financial principles with practical daily actions. He never again needed to accept money for any of his work and, having achieved “enough,” Joe dedicated himself to a life of voluntary service. He informally began teaching friends and acquaintances what he had learned so that they too could free themselves from jobs in order to pursue callings.
A growing phenomenon
Others joined him in this work –- first Monica, then Vicki, with others coming on board over the years. By 1980 Joe developed what had been informal advisory sessions to associations and individuals into a formal seminar -- “Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence” -- introducing people to a new road map for conducting their economic lives. From this came an audio/workbook course, originally published and distributed by New Road Map and now published through Sounds True, Inc. In 1984 Vicki led the move to incorporate as a nonprofit, and a cohort of newly financially independent volunteers founded and staffed NRM to organize the dissemination of the “FI” program and to funnel income received from it back into the world in the form of grants and volunteer-based projects.
In 1992 Joe and Vicki co-authored the book Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money And Achieving Financial Independence. Quickly becoming a New York Times best-seller, the book not only outlined the nine-step process for achieving financial independence but also spoke to Vicki’s realization of the environmental imperative of breaking free from auto-pilot consumerism. Many of their prescient predictions and provocative insights into the global impact of over-consumption and the American lifestyle are now a standard part of the conversations around the interrelations between economics and environment.
The primary work of NRM expanded to include an ever-increasing network of hands-on mentors and instructors, giving grants to environmental and social justice organizations, and helping launch other education and research associations like the Simplicity Forum, the Turning Tide Coalition and the Center for a New American Dream.
Vision for a new century
By 2007, 10 years after Joe Dominguez died, the personal transformation process that has been the core of NRM’s sustainability work was more relevant and necessary than ever. Vicki retired from management of NRM and charged the new generation of leadership to develop a plan for bringing the nine step program into the 21st century. With Monica still on the Board of Directors and holding the institutional memory, old and new were combined to honor the founding principles of the program and to adapt the program for use by modern audiences.
To do so, NRM developed a guide to the core of the nine step program that can be used for both individual self-guided learning as well as in educational settings. Program adherents who wish to teach others this rewarding practice of personal economics have access to a professionally developed curriculum to do so. This suite of products is the Financial Integrity Program.
The original ethic of the founders -- to freely contribute to the benefit of others, sharing knowledge and resources wherever possible -- is alive and well in the Financial Integrity Program. NRM has dedicated its resources to making this core material available free of charge to individuals and to organizations who are dedicated to spreading the Financial Integrity approach far and wide.
The New Road Map Foundation and the tremendous impact it has had in the world exist because of the people who have contributed their time, money and personal experience with the program. Everyone who has been involved has helped to expand the reach, the effectiveness and the larger supportive networks related to this powerful method for self-directed change. Those who have participated in this work have been awestruck that engaging in such simple, mundane practices of daily financial transactions can have the ripple effect of building stronger families and communities, and more sustainable economies – as well as personal prosperity. When Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” he was referring to just this ripple effect.