It’s a busy time for the Foundation for Financial Planning.
Not only did the organization just start its annual evaluation of applications for FFP grants, it’s also getting ready to judge nominations for its inaugural Pro Bono Awards, which will recognize both individual advisors and investment advisory groups who have helped provide professional financial services, including pro bono advice and financial life skills, to those in need.
The FFP is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to help provide financial planning services to military personal, lower-income families, and individuals in crisis situations such as domestic violence or medical emergencies – the “underserved” population, as James Penston, the organization's executive director, calls them.
The foundation provides grant money to charities and non-profits, such as the United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Center for Women and Families, so that those associations can organize events where people can meet with advisors and get a better handle on their finances. The grant money is used for outreach activities, such as promoting and setting up pro bono events with financial planning professionals.
The Pro Bono Awards will recognize the contributions financial planners and advisors have made helping the underserved. Nominees must be active or retired financial planners, registered representatives, or registered investment advisors. The final deadline for nominations is May 18.
The awards, which are being presented by the FFP and Financial Planning magazine, will be announced in the publication’s August issue. The full criteria for both the Pro Bono Planner of the Year and Pro Bono Team of the Year, which could be won by an office, practice or chapter of an organization, are posted on Financial Planning’s web site.
In addition to the awards, the FFP’s grants committee is currently reviewing submissions and will announce this year’s recipients before the end of July. Applicants for grants must be classified as “not-a-private” foundation and submit a “concept” document that outlines how they’ll use the money.
This year, the FFP received 67 grant requests, according to Peniston, who says the organization will most likely award eight to 10 grants totaling in the neighborhood of $510,000.
Money for the grants comes from investment advisors and corporations serving the financial community. Among current and past contributors: Amerprise, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, LPL Financial, and Cetera Financial.