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OneFPA Beta Test Chapter Shares Four Essentials for Launching an Award Winning Pro Bono Program

This year, FPA and the Foundation for Financial Planning awarded FPA of Metro New York, a OneFPA beta test chapter, with the 2020 Power of Financial Planning Award to celebrate their exemplary pro bono efforts. The Power of Financial Planning Award recognizes an FPA chapter and its’ members efforts to provide free, no-strings-attached, objective financial planning advice to underserved populations during the preceding 12-month period.


In the spirit of OneFPA and enhanced collaboration, FPA of Metro New York pro bono co-director, Martisha Patterson, CFP®, shares the essential steps their chapter has taken to make their pro bono program stand-out as one of the best.


1. Establish a Pro Bono Committee: To ensure the FPA of Metro New York is fulfilling its pro bono commitment, the chapter formed a Pro Bono Committee. This Committee allows the chapter’s pro bono directors to lean on their peers and Program Champions to advance longevity of chapter pro bono efforts and coordination of programs, scheduling, and materials. It’s important for the pro bono directors to pull together a diverse Committee that represents the community and identify volunteer strengths and passions to maximize efforts.

2. Adapt Quickly: Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the FPA of Metro New York was able to quickly adapt by transitioning to virtual pro bono programming via technology and resources from partnering organizations. The chapter also embraced popular platforms, including Zoom, GoTo Meeting, and Google Forms to host virtual events, create sign-up sheets, and track appointments.

3. Build Partnerships: The FPA of Metro New York engages with a number of community-based organizations, including the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Family Justice Center, the New York Public Library, and Wi$e to provide free, no-strings-attached, objective financial planning advice to underserved populations via educational workshops and one-on-one financial planning consultations. Partners are essential in supporting logistics, including venue, technology, promotion of the event, and more. To improve programming year-over-year, the chapter requests written feedback from partners to identify opportunities where efforts can be expanded and improved.

4. Get Funding: Through the Foundation for Financial Planning (FFP), the FPA of Metro New York secured grant funding to support chapter pro bono activities. In 2020, more than 90% of FFP’s grant funding supported FPA and community partners of FPA chapters.


Learn more about the FPA of Metro New York’s pro bono efforts.


FPA’s nationwide network of 86 chapters and state councils lead the way in helping thousands of Americans struggling to financially achieve their goals and dreams through a variety of community outreach programs. To explore ways your chapter can build a successful pro bono program, contact FPA Pro Bono Director Kurt Kaczor.

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