Foundation for financial planning drives a major expansion of Pro Bono financial planning and advice amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Foundation for financial planning drives a major expansion of Pro Bono financial planning and advice amid the COVID-19 pandemic

MAKING IT EASIER TO VOLUNTEER “We were so pleased to see the financial advisory profession and our nonprofit partners rally to help the many Americans facing a loss of employment or income, mounting debt, and other economic challenges that wiped away their security and peace of mind,” added FFP Chair, Kate Healy. “Good financial advice can make all the difference in navigating these kinds of setbacks.” To make it easier for financial advisors to help those in need, in 2020, FFP also launched ProBonoPlannerMatch.org – a first-of-its-kind digital platform designed to connect CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals to nonprofits with pro bono opportunities. FFP thoroughly vets each opportunity posted, helping ensure that advisors registered with the platform are donating their time to vulnerable groups who could not otherwise access or afford quality financial advice.

To respond to the pandemic and related economic fallout, FFP: “One year ago, we watched what was happening across the country and knew that FFP and our partners were in a position to help,” said Jon Dauphiné, Chief Executive Officer of FFP. “We quickly pivoted and expanded our efforts, focusing as much as possible on bringing guidance to those most impacted by this crisis.” By the end of 2020, more than 70 percent of Americans reported financial hardship stemming from the pandemic, with three-quarters of that group saying they struggled to pay basic bills.

Awarded more than $800,000 to local and national pro bono programs for 2020 and 2021, including more than $60,000 in emergency grants to enable partners to pivot to virtual service;Activated approximately 1,737 financial advisors to volunteer their time;Developed an online Coronavirus & Pro Bono Planning Resource Center and educational webinars that attracted more than 4,800 visitors and participants; andExpanded its work to reach those made most vulnerable by the pandemic, including at-risk seniors, healthcare first-responders, people with serious illness, and lower-income front-line workers. Of particular note, FFP and its partner AARP expanded their Retirement Resilience Program to reach more than 23,000 financially vulnerable seniors through virtual events and engagements. BRINGING HELP TO THE MOST VULNERABLE

More details can be found in FFP’s 2020 Impact Report, available at FFPprobono.org/our-impact.   “FFP is committed to growing our impact by making it as easy as possible for advisors to volunteer and by expanding programs that serve those most in need of pro bono planning and advice,” said Dauphiné. “COVID-19 presented a critical test, and we were gratified to work with our volunteers, partners, and their end-clients to expand our collective reach in the face of this unprecedented crisis.”

In 2020, FFP was also proud to introduce an E&O liability insurance for all qualified financial advisors offering pro bono service via FFP’s grantees or through connections made on ProBonoPlannerMatch.org. Coverage is made available automatically and at no cost to the advisor. Over the last nine months, more than 700 financial advisors have created profiles on the platform, allowing them to browse opportunities posted by more than 30 nonprofits around the country. Volunteer opportunities have included everything from providing just-in-time advice to lower-income seniors to helping newly unemployed New York City workers create a short-term financial plan. In just a few months, 375 financial advisors “matched” to opportunities through the platform, and FFP continues robust outreach efforts to add more nonprofit opportunities to those currently posted.

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