The Financial Planning Association has continued to provide pro bono financial planning services to underserved individuals through its members, and last year it expanded its efforts by conducting workshops partnering with other groups.
FPA members started providing the pro bono financial planning guidance in March 2020. Members who volunteer their time for the pro bono advice do so via phone or video conference. The FPA provides its members with errors and omissions insurance to protect them.
In 2021, 5,731 individuals received services from 960 FPA members who volunteered 17,407 hours — an 18% increase in hours compared with 2020, according to the FPA.
Additionally, 304 workshops with 5,546 attendees were held in 2021, according to the FPA.
The FPA’s pro bono program aims to connect financial planning practitioners with individuals, families and communities in need. The program is supported by the Foundation for Financial Planning, which enables the FPA and its chapters to secure funding for pro bono activities, according to the FPA.
“The willingness of those within the financial planning community to volunteer their time and talent as pro bono financial planners is a cornerstone in building a recognized profession. I am grateful to those FPA members and chapters for their efforts in 2021 to continue to provide these much-needed services in their communities,” FPA chief executive officer Patrick Mahoney said in a statement.
2021 also saw the FPA partner with organizations to provide pro bono financial planning.
The FPA says its financial planning for cancer program — done in partnership with the Foundation for Financial Planning and Family Reach, a nonprofit that focuses on financial support for families facing cancer — connected 89 planners with 191 families.
Another partnership with Homes for Our Troops, which aims to build and donate specially adapted custom homes for severely injured post-9/11 veterans, connected 79 planners with 143 veterans and their families, the FPA says.
Thirty-eight FPA chapters reported pro bono activities in 2021, according to the FPA. The FPA of Orange County received the 2021 power of financial planning award for its work, which included the use of a customized virtual scheduling tool, the use of video to educate members on the importance of pro bono work, recruiting a dedicated onboarding volunteer and creating materials in Spanish to promote pro bono activities and webinars, the FPA says.
“Ever since the 9/11 tragedy, FPA chapters and members have had a consistent presence in their communities to provide access to financial planning advice that otherwise may not have been accessible,” 2022 FPA president Dennis Moore said in a statement. “These efforts are playing an important role in dispelling the myth that financial planning is only for the wealthy. The reality is that financial planning can help anyone regardless of net worth.”
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