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How Pro Bono Can Benefit Your Practice
Financial Planning
Friday, February 3, 2012
Partner Insights

Planners everywhere understand that time is one of a practice’s most precious assets. A quick search for CRM, portfolio performance reporting and other time-saving tools are proof of this.

Now imagine giving that precious time away. That is precisely what Lazetta Rainey Braxton, founder of Chicago-based Financial Fountains, does through the Union League Boys and Girls Club. Braxton volunteers with the Foundation for Financial Planning, which recently expanded a grant program at 15 Boys and Girls Clubs across America. The money helps fund Family Finance Night, a series of financial skills sessions followed by individual financial counseling of Boys and Girls Club members and students. 

This is not a marketing gimmick to get referral business, Braxton says. Financial Fountains serves households with annual income between $75,000 and $250,000, decidedly higher than her pro bono interactions.

“People are still struggling to grasp the concept of financial planning,” Braxton says. “I’ve seen people with lots of money who have blown it. They have it and don’t know what to do with it.” On the other hand, some people manage without a lot of money during their lifetimes, but bequeath large sums.

Face time is also important, Braxton says. An African-American woman who grew up in rural Virginia, she did not encounter a lot of financial professionals who were ethnic minorities. She wants the people she helps "to understand that there are people of color who have been where they’ve been, and know what they’re going through,” she says.

The Boys and Girls Club of America is one of 15 non-profit organizations nationwide that will receive a grant from the Foundation for Financial Planning. The NAACP is another. That organization will team up with the foundation to present several Financial Freedom Call-in Days, during which the public can call a toll-free number and reach a financial planner for free financial advice.

It is easy to encounter a planner whose practice is focused on the needs of high-net-worth individuals and institutions. The segment is turning to fee-based business increasingly, bringing with it promises of growth for advisors who serve them. But for planners with energy to spare, pro bono work promotes the concept of holistic financial planning in compelling and, sometimes, immeasurable ways.

(3) Comments
Good for Ms. Braxton and an additional thank-you to her for making our profession look better than Wall Street! From a practical point of view, assisting low-income folks in making good decisions around money promotes prosperity for all of us.
Posted by Curt W | Sunday, February 05 2012 at 1:45PM ET

This bottom breaking job wasnt the kind of work I ACTUALLY enjoyed.It involved holding your cold chisel and swinging a new five-pound infant sledge retracted at it really hard.Often my aim appeared to be bad so the hammer not so great the chisel as well as slammed to my wrist instead.

About twenty minutes immediately after he decide to put me to work breaking a floor, dad came back, expecting to find the job done.It weren't.

"Son, just just what exactly the heck have you been doing all this time? "

"Well, dad, " I ACTUALLY told them proudly, "I discovered a good way to do the following more safely.I just tap a chisel along with move them, tap them and go it.I'm generating a circular image of shock waves down into the cement
Posted by bluetoothblueto a | Monday, February 20 2012 at 10:36PM ET
Financial planning and management needs to be as inclusive as possible.It is only when it is promoted at the grass root level, that its impact is widely felt across the whole economy. The collateral benefits are that it reduces the gap between haves and have-nots and also helps in reducing crime particularly crime driven by aspirations.
Posted by tasha123 s | Saturday, October 26 2013 at 1:35PM ET
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