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Nonprofit Resources

See below for tools and resources to support the efforts of nonprofit organizations seeking to develop or grow pro bono financial planning programs. Get started with Pro Bono Financial Planning: An Overview for Nonprofits to learn how CFP® professional volunteers can support your nonprofit organization’s constituents, and 7 steps Nonprofits Can Use to Get Started for actionable recommendations for developing a program.

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.

ProBonoPlannerMatch.Org helps bring free, quality financial advice and planning to people in need by matching CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals with volunteer opportunities nationwide.

CFP®’s can register here and browse opportunities to volunteer. Nonprofits can register here to connect with CFP® volunteers who want to provide free, no-strings-attached financial planning and advice to underserved populations. Check out 7 steps Nonprofits Can Use to Get Started to learn more.

This deck provides additional information about many key aspects of building a pro bono financial planning program, from promoting the program to potential clients to recruiting and training pro bono financial planners. Other tools and resources, several developed by nonprofit grantees of FFP, include:

These disclosures can also serve as important tools in a pro bono engagements:

  • Sample Pro Bono Financial Planning Engagement Letter: Used to define the terms and objectives of the relationship as well as the limitations of service. FFP recommends that the Letter of Engagement be signed by the financial planner and the client, with a copy retained by each, and if feasible by the nonprofit host of the program.
  • Sample Verbal Disclosure: If it is not possible to use a written Letter of Engagement due to the nature of service delivery (for example, if there is only a brief, one-time consultation using video conference or telephone), FFP has developed a Sample Verbal Disclosure for the planner to share with the client verbally. Note however that the abridged version is not as protective as the Letter of Engagement, and does not include a Privacy Policy, a requirement per the CFP Board’s Standards of Ethics and Conduct when a CFP professional is providing financial planning or advice.
  • Sample Privacy Policy: If needed by the volunteer, FFP has also developed a customizable Privacy Policy.
  • Sample Volunteer Agreement Disclaimer:This disclaimer, developed by the Foundation for Financial Planning, ensures that pro bono financial planners and nonprofit organizations agree to a set of terms as they engage with one another.

Resources focused on a specific population, like military/veterans, people affected by serious illness, or domestic violence survivors.

WORKBOOKS

WORKSHEETS

  • FindHelp.org: A comprehensive, location-based network of free and reduced-cost resources for food, housing, goods, transit, health, money, care, education, work, legal assistance and more. It includes listings for both social services provided by nonprofits and government benefits. Visit findhelp.org, and enter a zipcode to find resources.
  • Benefits.gov: The official benefits website of the U.S. government, where consumers can find public benefits they may be eligible to receive and information about how to apply. Examples of public benefits include Medicaid, Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), LIHEAP (utility assistance), Section 8 (rental housing vouchers), and much more!

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: