The COVID-19 crisis has produced many reports of volunteers helping their communities with food assistance, errands, prescription delivery and other aid.
Some financial planners have also been extending their services, free of charge, to people have been hit hard in the current market.
On Friday, the Financial Planning Association began an outreach campaign for more than two dozen certified financial planners who have signed up so far to work pro bono for people who need the most help.
With the stock market down more than 30% over the past several weeks and a potential recession on the horizon, there will likely be plenty of people in need of planning help.
“In these unprecedented times, FPA aims to help vulnerable populations gain hope and stability and come out stronger than before,” Lauren Schadle, executive director and CEO of FPA, said in a statement announcing the pro bono initiative.
The association began offering pro bono training to planners following 9/11 and has since expanded its program.
“This is probably the first time we’ve ever dealt with anything quite like this,” Ms. Schadle said in an interview.
“Over 70% of our chapters do pro bono programs on an ongoing basis,” she said. “Our members are passionate about what they do, and they are also passionate about giving back.”
FPA will be promoting the pro bono services via social media, though interviews with the press and with outreach from its local chapters to community groups, she said.
As of the end of 2019, there were about 1,250 FPA members who had taken the association’s pro bono training and were eligible to provide such services, Ms. Schadle said. Last year, FPA members provided about 18,500 hours of pro bono work.
The current COVID-19 pandemic and related financial crisis could prompt more planners to sign up for training and volunteer, she said. Those who would like to volunteer their services should contact FPA pro bono director Kurt Kaczor, the announcement noted.