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’ll be using this page to post helpful information, resources, links and opportunities that can help planners and families as the situation develops.
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:
- Protecting your credit during the coronavirus pandemic
- Dealing with debt: Tips to help ease the impact
- Tips for financial caregivers
In this article, the CFPB also provides steps for individuals to take in the following situations:
- You have trouble paying your bills or meeting other financial obligations
- You experience a loss of income
- You think you may be targeted by a scammer
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also offers Bulk Publications and other resources for practitioners. Nonprofits and pro bono financial planners can use these publications and resources to help the people they serve increase their understanding of key areas such as credit, saving, debt, retirement, and more.
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:
- How unemployment insurance works
- Who is eligible for the foreclosure moratorium
- Help for renters trying to stave off eviction
- How the tax payment deadline extension works
- What to do if you need Social Security help
- Ways to keep the lights on and the phones working
- More things that might help
The University of Wisconsin-Madison provides answers to frequently asked questions on common financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The answer to each question listed has links to government websites and the types of assistance that might be available.
Talk to a Nonprofit Financial Expert:
- 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.
- HUD Approved Housing Counselors: HUD-approved housing counselors are available nationwide to provide mortgage delinquency counseling aimed at preventing mortgage delinquency, as well as other housing counseling services.
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 the $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill. Find answers about…
- Cash payments to Americans
- Expanded unemployment benefits
- Student loans
- Retirement Accounts
- Extended deadlines for 2019 IRA contributions, waived RMDs for 2020, and additional relief provisions: Financial Planning Magazine highlights how the Stimulus package helps retirees.
- NPR breaks down the Coronavirus Aid Package
- Moratoriums on Evictions in several cities across USA
- COVID-19 Legislation by State
- U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Federal tax filing deadline extended to July 15
- State tax filing relief in response to COVID-19
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.
Letter of Engagement for Pro Bono Service
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 and Worksheets for Pro Bono Engagements
- 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.
- Accomplishing Your Financial Mission Workbook PDF (military population)
- Navigating Your Financial Roadmap Workbook PDF (all populations)