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Colleges & Universities Resources

See below for tools and resources to support the efforts of CFP Board Registered Programs seeking to develop or grow curricula, practicums, or clinics that can serve students and underserved community members through pro bono financial planning.

Apple Seed Program: Developed under an FFP grant, members of Texas Tech University’s Department of Personal Financial Planning created this curriculum and program model as a framework for students in Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) registered programs and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals to use in efforts to shape practicums and clinics that can serve students and underserved people from the community. You can link to supporting materials here.

The Pro Bono Financial Planning Volunteer Training is a free, one-hour 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. *A version of the Pro Bono Financial Planning Volunteer Training specially geared to FPA members is also available on FPA’s site here.

How to Start a Pro Bono Financial Planning Program: CFP® professionals meet rigorous education, training, and ethical standards and are committed to serving their clients’ best interests to prepare them for secure financial futures. Their expert assistance can help empower pro bono clients, helping them prioritize and manage debt, save for emergencies, create and follow a budget, navigate employee and government benefits, and much more. This webinar explores how nonprofit organizations, CFP® professionals, and FPA® chapters can start pro bono financial planning and guidance programs to bring much-needed expert advice to underserved members of their communities.

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.

CFPB Bulk Publications and other Practitioner Resources: The mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for consumers by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.

Nonprofits and pro bono financial planners can use CFPB publications and resources to help the people they serve increase their understanding of key areas such as credit, saving, debt, retirement, and more. CFPB also offers a number of prerecorded webinar series that pro bono financial planners can use to support their clients, including:

FFP Grantee Franklin University, in partnership with Columbus State Community College and Ohio University, created this guidebook for CFP® Program Directors or faculty members at colleges/universities who are interested in providing their financial planning students with an experiential and service-learning opportunity through the implementation of a pro bono financial planning community project with local financial planners. The guidebook also supports CFP® volunteers who provide pro bono financial guidance to underserved student clients and mentorship to financial planning students. We hope this guidebook helps other CFP Board Registered Programs to replicate the program in collaboration with local CFP® professionals.