Q1.      What is the background of our pro bono project?

A1.      From 2001 to present, Society of FSP was instrumental in developing a pro bono project (named Project for Financial Independence or PFI) with other financial planning organizations, including AICPA, FPA, and NAPFA.  The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) spearheaded the project for the purpose of providing one-on-one financial counseling to needy individuals referred to us through the NEFE relationships.

Q2.      How did the Financial Education Partners™ program come about?

A2.      FSP found that we were getting most of the referrals from two sources: American Cancer Society (ACS) and National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS).  We felt that instead of being of occasional help to several organizations, we should focus our attention on developing ongoing relationships with just a few organizations where we might make the greatest positive impact.  Thus, the Financial Education Partners™ (FEP) program was established, with support from our Foundation for Financial Service Professionals.

Q3.      Which organizations is FEP working with?

A3.      We are currently working with three organizations: National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), American Cancer Society (ACS) and Habitat for Humanity.  NMSS and ACS know us nationally and we had a successful financial planning project with Habitat for Humanity in Philadelphia.  We wanted to focus on a few organizations so that we could concentrate our resources and serve the needs of their constituents effectively.

Q4.      Can I provide pro bono work with organizations other than NMSS, Habitat and ACS?

A4.      Absolutely.  It is important that you continue to provide pro bono services that reflect the needs of your local community.  We encourage you to work through your Chapter so that these pro bono services can have a greater impact at the local level. 

Q5.      How can I be of help to NMSS locally?

A5.      Consider being a FEP volunteer counselor or the FEP Coordinator for your chapter.

Q6.      Who solicits the volunteers?

A6.      The Society’s FEP Director will maintain a database of members who are willing to volunteer time for this program.  The Director will also recruit additional volunteers, a necessary.

Q7.      What kind of things might I be called on to do for as an FEP volunteer?

A7.      This could include individual one to one financial counseling or group educational programs in the community.  Some areas that are of interest are:

  • Basic budgeting and bill paying strategies
  • Credit card management
  • Savings vehicles … pros and cons of various instruments
  • Insurance analysis, claims assistance
  • Employee benefit analysis … retirement planning, medical plans, disability coverage and life insurance.
  • Retirement planning …  analysis of adequacy and tax effectiveness
  • Estate planning … strategies to maximize inheritances
  • Legal planning … wills, special needs trusts, living trusts, etc.

Q8.      I sell financial products and services.  Will my involvement with the FEP prevent me from assisting pro bono clients in this area?

A8.      Providing fee-based products and services is not the purpose of the FEP project and it undermines the integrity of the relationship if we are viewed as salespeople who are using this as a unique way to prospect.  Many of the referrals have no ability to buy anything, regardless of their needs.  We would anticipate that if a pro bono client wanted to purchase a financial product, the FEP counselor would be given due consideration.

Q9.      What support does the Society provide for a financial planning seminar?

A9.      We have 8 hours of financial planning seminar topics and handouts.  These could easily be adapted to a one-hour or longer presentation.  The presenter would be expected to amplify major points with personal experiences.  We will continue to develop additional presentations as the need arises.

Q10.    What other support materials will the Society provide?

A10.    Materials, workbooks, presentations will be developed in collaboration with our member experts.  We expect that materials developed locally will be shared with the FEP Director, so that we can develop a library of materials that can be shared across all Chapters.

Q11.    Is there someone at the Society's national office who will be a resource for Chapter FEP coordinators?

A11.    Yes.  Call the Foundation for FSP @ 800-927-2427 ext 2504 or by email at FEP@financialpro.org and you will be contacted to handle your request.