Helping People with Cancer

    Why Pro Bono for Cancer?

    Studies show that individuals with cancer often face “financial toxicity,” manifested by a mix of severe economic stress, depression and anxiety that can worsen the underlying health condition. Even with private health insurance or coverage through Medicare or Medicaid, families are at substantial risk of financial catastrophe. 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. We believe that financial planning can help.

    Research shows that financial issues are the second most frequent source of distress identified by cancer patients.

    37% cut back on groceries

    36% deplete their savings

    24% borrow against their retirements

    86% of cancer survivors reporting serious financial burden had health insurance

    Cancer patients are 2.65 times more likely to go bankrupt than people without cancer

    Those experiencing bankruptcy are 80% more likely to die from any cause than others with cancer

    How We Are Helping

    FFP’s Pro Bono for Cancer Campaign is raising funds to help grow our support of pro bono efforts for families affected by a serious cancer diagnosis. Over the next several years, FFP will continue to award strategic grants focused on addressing the financial toxicity of cancer. Our goal is to test, refine and grow outstanding program models so that this work can be replicated and scaled, eventually helping thousands of families across the country.

    Funding for our Cancer Program will help cover:

    • Grants to great nonprofits administering pro bono financial planning programs for cancer patients.
    • The recruitment of Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) professionals to provide their services, pro bono, to patients and their families, helping them plan for anticipated expenses, loss of income and more.
    • A specialized online training program to educate volunteer financial planners on the unique financial and other challenges faced by cancer patients.
    • 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.
    • Ongoing programmatic support of the various FFP-funded programs around the country.


    If you are a Certified Financial Planning professional (CFP®), then you have the opportunity to serve as a volunteer for our Financial Planning for Cancer program, lending your skills and knowledge to help patients manage their finances so they can focus on getting well.

    Current Grantees

    Family Reach

    Family Reach,  in partnership with FFP and the FPA, developed the Financial Planning for Cancer Program which pairs cancer patients and their families with pro bono financial planners to help them manage cash flow and debt during cancer treatment. This program leverages a digital hub that matches CFP® professionals with patients and caregivers to ensure consistent professional standards, and an eLearning program that ensures CFP’s®  are equipped to provide families facing cancer with the best support possible.  By year end, Family Reach seeks to expand its referral network to at least 27 hospitals across the country. For an update on the impact FFP and Family Reach are making through the Financial Planning for Cancer Program, see Family Reach’s 2018 Annual Report.

    CENTS (Consumer Education & Training Services)

    CENTS also receives support from FFP as part of the Financial Planning for Cancer program. Through this program, CENTS trains CFP® professionals and connect them with cancer patients for individual financial consultations and planning. CENTS’ programs reach patients receiving treatment at hospitals in the Seattle area, including the Swedish Cancer Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Through CENTS, patients and families can also access patient advocates who can help with health insurance and pharma assistance, and if needed, volunteer bankruptcy attorneys.

    Atrium Health’s Levine Cancer Institute

    With support from FFP, the Atrium Health’s Levine Cancer Institute, in Charlotte, NC, is offering comprehensive multidisciplinary financial planning and support for patient with hematologic malignancies.  Oncologists expect that by decreasing the financial stress and difficulties these greatly at-risk patients are experiencing, there will be not only improvement in their quality of life, but also increase their survival.