WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Foundation for Financial Planning (FFP) has announced a major fundraising campaign to help grow its support of pro bono efforts for underserved people in critical need of financial advice. The Pro Bono for Cancer Campaign seeks to raise $1,000,000 in new funding to help raise awareness around the financial burden of cancer and to fund a special series of grants to programs across the country connecting cancer patients and their families to free financial planning services.
“The Foundation is always seeking to identify how we can focus our grant-making on issues and populations where we can have the biggest impact,” said Jon Dauphiné, FFP’s Executive Director. “Many of us have seen among our own families and neighbors the terrible financial toll that cancer treatment can take on people without a great deal of resources. We believe that access to free, objective financial advice can offer a huge benefit and relief as these families navigate loss of income, new expenses, and other complex financial issues that come with diagnosis and treatment.”
Studies show that individuals with cancer often face “cancer-related financial toxicity” (CRFT), manifested by a mix of severe economic stress, depression, and anxiety that can exacerbate the underlying health condition. Even with private health insurance or government coverage through Medicare or Medicaid, families are at risk of financial catastrophe due to high deductibles and co-pays or uncovered treatments and providers. These families experience not only a major increase in daily expenses, but often a significant loss of income due to patients’ and their caregivers’ inability to maintain full-time work.
The problem is widespread. Research shows that financial issues are the second most frequent source of distress identified by cancer patients: 36% deplete their savings, 37% cut back on groceries, and 24% borrow against their retirement funds. Cancer patients are also nearly three times more likely to go bankrupt than people without cancer, and cancer patients experiencing bankruptcy are 80% more likely to die from any cause than others with cancer.
Additionally, of nearly 20 million cancer survivors, 29% reported serious financial burden, and of those, 86% had health insurance during their treatment.
Funds raised through the Pro Bono for Cancer Campaign will be used in part to support a series of grants to programs seeking to mitigate the financial toxicity of cancer through pro bono financial planning and other support services. Over the next three years, a portion of FFP’s grant-making will help support:
- Program start-up and development costs to make services available at leading cancer centers;
- The recruitment of Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professionals to provide their services, pro bono, to patients and their families;
- A comprehensive training program to educate volunteer financial planners on the unique financial and other challenges faced by cancer patients and their families; and
- Research and evaluation activities that will measure the impact of pro bono financial planning on the lives and financial health of families, enabling us and our partners to finetune programs for maximum effectiveness and to raise awareness around the issue.
FFP has offered early support to an important new initiative that in partnership with national nonprofit, Family Reach, and the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) will bring comprehensive financial supports and interventions—including pro bono financial planning—to at-risk families battling a serious cancer diagnosis. A grant from FFP will fund the development of a pro bono financial planning component, and the initiative will also include patient education, specialized health insurance and pharma assistance support, and emergency cash grants. The program will formally launch later this fall.
To date, the Pro Bono for Cancer Campaign has raised more than $200,000 to help drive this work. Major supporters have included: Scott M. Kahan; Armstrong, Fleming & Moore Inc.; Aspiriant; Ilene & Kent Brostrom; Glassman Wealth Services; Yeske Buie Inc.; Norman and Linda Boone; Dan and Kelly Moisand; and Silver Lane Advisors. Each of these leading firms and practitioners – making up the campaign’s Leadership Circle – has contributed or pledged $10,000 or more to the campaign, creating a pool of critical seed funding for FFP’s cancer work over the next several years. FFP will continue its efforts to grow the Leadership Circle in the coming months.
“Armstrong, Fleming & Moore is proud to be a part of this work,” noted firm Chair, Alexandra Armstrong, CFP®. “People with serious cancer are in the fight of their lives, and the last thing they need is to navigate complex financial challenges on their own. We hope that having an expert on their side will offer these families some level of relief and comfort.”
To learn more or to support the Pro Bono for Cancer Campaign, please visit ProBono4Cancer.org.
About the Foundation for Financial Planning
The Foundation for Financial Planning (FFP) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and the nation’s only nonprofit solely devoted to supporting the delivery of pro bono financial planning to vulnerable people, including wounded veterans, domestic violence survivors, people with serious medical diagnoses, and many others. Dedicated to Powering Pro Bono Financial Planning, FFP has provided more than $6.2 million in grants to nonprofits to support financial capability programs, worked with partners to activate more than 15,000 volunteer financial planners to serve their communities, and acted as a leader and catalyst to embed a rich commitment to pro bono across the financial planning profession. Visit FoundationForFinancialPlanning.org to learn more.