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    Coronavirus & Pro Bono Planning Resource Center

    The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all Americans and the U.S. economy. In this fluid and rapidly developing environment, there’s a strong need for credible, accurate information delivered in a timely manner. FFP is committed to providing pro bono financial planners, their clients, our grantees and partners with necessary tools and resources to help navigate the crisis as it relates to personal finance and pro bono financial planning.

    We have developed this downloadable COVID-19 Financial Resource Guide to provide pro bono advisors and clients with a comprehensive, yet concise, overview of the stimulus package provisions related to unemployment insurance, rent/mortgage, retirement accounts, taxes, and much more.

    As the situation develops, we will post other information, resources, links and opportunities on this page that can help planners and families.

    Financial Resources for Individuals & Families 

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides a list of resources to help individuals and families protect themselves financially from the financial impact of coronavirus, both in the short and long term. This includes:

    The CFPB provides guidance on what to do if you received your Stimulus Payment on a prepaid debit card.

    The CFPB also has a free, downloadable Financial Toolkit that contains several useful worksheets to help individuals create a budget, track their spending, prioritize bills, create a debt payment plan, and more; it also provides Bulk Publications and other resources nonprofits and practitioners can use to help people in need.

    In “Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis,” the New York Times provides basic information on topics such as government benefits, free services and financial strategies. The guide is organized into the following categories:

    The New York Times also provides answers to common consumer questions about Social Security and the coronavirus, including if you should claim your benefits early and how to file for benefits.

    CBS answers questions on being furloughed due to coronavirus.

    Bankrate offers guidance on what to do if you’ve lost your job due to coronavirus.

    • GreenPath, Inc.: GreenPath, Inc. is a non-profit, financial wellness organization that has been empowering people to lead financially healthy lives since 1961. It offers free credit counseling and debt management solutions that are personal and tailored to each situation. Call 1-800-550-1961 to speak with a team member.
    • National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC): NFCC promotes the national agenda for financially responsible behavior. Call 1-800-388-2227 to speak to a counselor near you. Para ayuda en Español llama al 1-800-682-9832.
    • Britepaths and the Financial Empowerment Center at South County (in Virginia) offers free virtual financial coaching and classes. Please call 703-704-6101 or email info@fecsoco.org to make an appointment to speak to a qualified financial coach or to inquiry about upcoming classes.
    • The CASH Campaign of Maryland also is available to provide virtual financial coaching to those in need. Please visit http://cashmd.org/financial-coaching/ for more information.

    COVID-19 Legislation & Policies

    Federal, state, and local governments are working to respond to the growing public health threat of coronavirus, or COVID-19. The following resources provide some information on what the United States government is doing in response to the virus.

    Coronavirus Coverage in Advisory Profession Media

    FFP’s media partners are covering top stories and trends as COVID-19 takes a daily toll on the market and American economy. Visit their sites for the latest financial news on the crisis:

    Trainings & Webinars

    Trainings

    The Pro Bono Financial Planning Volunteer Training is a free, 50-minute online module that helps financial planners understand the basics of how to provide pro bono service to underserved members of the community. The Pro Bono Financial Planning Volunteer Training is approved for one hour of continuing education (CE) credit by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board). After viewing the training in its entirety, volunteers must take and pass a self-assessment to receive their CE credit. The Pro Bono Financial Planning Volunteer Training is Presented by Capital Group.

    *A version of the Pro Bono Financial Planning Volunteer Training specially geared to FPA members is also available on FPA’s site here

    Webinars

    Pro Bono Financial Planning During the COVID-19 Crisis: What Advisors and Clients Need to Know provides advisors with information relevant to pro bono service during COVID-19, including: an overview of the stimulus package; discussion of legislative provisions such as unemployment insurance, rent/mortgage, retirement accounts, taxes, and more;  and additional resources for pro bono advisors and their clients.

    Public Benefits & Other Social Services: What Pro Bono Advisors Need to Know provides a comprehensive overview of public benefits and social services, including: detailed explanations of entitlement and welfare programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance and SNAP, eligibility criteria, and how to apply. The webinar deck is available here.

    Tip Sheets

    If your nonprofit does not currently recruit pro bono financial planners, we have developed 5 steps Nonprofits Can Use to Get Started to help you engage volunteer financial advisors in your programs.

    Resources for Pro Bono Engagements

    Sample Client / Planner Letter of Engagement: A letter of engagement, which must be signed by the financial planner and the client, is an important tool in a pro bono relationship. The Foundation for Financial Planning provides a letter of engagement for pro bono financial planners. The Financial Planning Association also provides a letter of engagement for FPA members that engage in pro bono financial planning.

    Workbooks

    Worksheets