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. Topics covered below include Financial Resources for Individuals & Families, COVID-19 Legislation & Policies, Coronavirus Coverage in Advisory Profession Media, Trainings & Webinars, and Resources for Pro Bono Engagements.
As the situation develops, we will post additional 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:
- Mortgage and Housing Assistance
- Tips on managing your finances
- Understanding fraud and scams
- Resources for service members
The CFPB has developed a guide for nonprofits and community organizations to help their clients claim their Economic Impact Payment. 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 resources and basic information on topics such as government benefits, free services, financial strategies, and more.
- The New York Times discusses several steps that renters can take to avoid eviction, even as eviction moratoriums end.
MoneyGeek.com has created a comprehensive Housing Insecurity guide with helpful information, links, and resources on eviction moratoriums, rental and housing assistance, mortgage assistance programs, and more.
Bankrate offers guidance on what to do if you’ve lost your job due to coronavirus.
FFP grantee Family Reach has released a comprehensive Financial Guide to COVID-19, providing budget worksheets, helpful resources and more, to help Americans, especially those impacted by cancer, navigate the COVID-19 crisis.
- FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
- The IRS has launched a stimulus payment tracking portal where tax filers can track their payment status and payment type.
- AARP has compiled the contact information for all 50 state unemployment agencies.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering several relief options to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), including the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created a Emergency Loans for Small Business Guide.
- Small businesses can apply here for an emergency loan through SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
- SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application is available here.
- If your nonprofit received a PPP loan, Network For Good’s webinar “Staying Afloat: PPP Loan Forgiveness, Accounting, Tracking and Reporting For Nonprofits” provides comprehensive instructions to properly account, track, and report PPP loan funds.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a list of resources that could help individuals with their energy bills.
- Benefits.gov has developed a Coronavirus Help Center to help Americans navigate government benefits and assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.
- MilitaryOneSource provides information on how COVID-19 affects service members’ pay, benefits, and more.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
- The NY Times explains what is in the 3rd pandemic relief package, including stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, health insurance, tax rebates, and more. March 11, 2021
- The 3rd COVID-19 relief bill included a $10,200 federal tax break on unemployment benefits. CNBC explains which states are extending that tax break to state taxes as well. March 30, 2021
- CNBC explains the extended federal eviction moratorium through June 2021. March 29, 2021
- CNBC details the extension of payment pause for federal student loans through October 2021. January 20, 2021
- COVID-19 Legislation by State
- SavingForCollege lists the states and student loan companies who have agreed to provide forbearance to borrowers with private student loans.
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
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.
Using Financial Counseling Skills to Better Serve Pro Bono Clients: A CFP® professional can advise clients on complex financial matters such as financial planning, taxes, and retirement while an advisor with an AFC® designation focuses more on assisting clients with everyday financial challenges and spending habits. This webinar will explore the ways in which AFC-centric skills can complement the CFP® designation, especially in pro bono financial planning, where the advisor is serving low- and moderate- income clients.
Using Financial Empathy to Help All Clients Achieve Financial Well-being and Empowerment: Race, ethnicity, and gender play a significant role in how consumers interact with the financial services industry. This webinar explores financial well-being across a diverse set of identity groups and discusses the how financial planners can use financial empathy to empower individuals to improve their well-being. The webinar deck is available here.
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.
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.
- Secure your Financial Future: Building Wealth is a personal finance education resource that presents an overview of wealth-building strategies for consumers, community leaders, teachers and students.
- CFPB’s Your Money, Your Goals toolkit, and related videos, helps practitioners have money conversations with their clients. A companion to this toolkit, the Your Money, Your Goals Military Guide, provides resources to help military families overcome the unique financial challenges they face and improve their financial well-being.
- Navigating Your Financial Roadmap Workbook PDF (all populations)