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CFP Board Recommends 20+ Hours of Pro Bono Financial Planning a Year

By Alex Padalka, FINANCIAL ADVISOR IQ – July 26, 2023

The CFP Board recommends that certified financial planners invest some of their time into pro bono advice as a way to help others and themselves.

At its meeting this month, the organization’s board of directors unanimously passed a resolution recommending that CFPs perform at least 20 hours of pro bono service annually, according to the CFP Board.

That type of service “not only benefits those served but also enhances the profession and helps build the financial planning workforce of the future,” the board said in the announcement.

Pro bono work is also supported by financial planners, 76% of whom said in the CFP Board’s 2021 survey that it was important for CFPs to offer pro bono services to those in need, according to the board.

The CFP Board said it has partnered with the Foundation for Financial Planning — a charitable organization focused on building out pro bono service in financial planning — to set up pro bono opportunities, training and resources for CFPs.

The FPP will match CFPs with nonprofits in need of pro bono financial advice for their constituents through ProBonoPlannerMatch.Org, the FPP’s “national volunteer opportunity clearinghouse.” The website is used by more than 115 nonprofits and offers 45 different types of pro bono work opportunities, according to the announcement.

The CFP Board also recommends that firms incorporate pro bono “activities” into their workplace culture more broadly, as opportunities to volunteer can help bring in “service-minded young professionals” and foster a culture of giving back in the industry overall.

"CFP Board exists to advance the financial planning profession to benefit the public," CFP Board chair Dan Moisand, who led the development of the resolution, said in the announcement. "Pro bono financial planning does just that — it can strengthen our profession and positively impact individuals and communities for years to come."

The board also said it’s working on “digital badges” that will be given to CFPs who complete 20 or more, 60 or more or 100 or more hours of pro bono work.

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