New Pro Bono workshops on the horizon for current and would-be volunteers

Submitted by
Chris Davis, CIMA ® - Committee Member

At some point in our lives we have all felt the reward of helping someone in need for free. Perhaps it was timely advice, being there to help someone take a first difficult step to recovery, or just offering a listening ear and encouragement. It can truly make your heart sing.

For me, helping my dad work through questions as he neared retirement is what first drove me to work with financial advisors of integrity in delivering great advice. Unfortunately for my dad, his options were limited because he only sought advice once there was little chance of catching up. While we are taught throughout life that it is better to prepare than to repair, for so many people a step towards recovery is their only current option.

Perhaps you too feel this calling to help those for whom life circumstances are not ideal. Like you, there are inspiring financial professionals who seek the spiritual and tangible rewards of offering that same expertise gathered over years of experience and study to those who really need it, but cannot afford it. And while they are doing it for “free,” what these advisors tell me is quite the contrary. They feel rewarded by experience in navigating subjects that they don’t get to discuss with regularity in their practice. Subjects like debt reduction, addressing credit report issues, and more. Seems like a win-win to me.

Yet where experienced Pro Bono volunteers and newbies alike agree is that these subjects can be daunting and unfamiliar. Message received. We have heard you want education on these subjects to be better prepared to help in the moment of need. If this speaks to you, then your wait is over.

In recognition of this need for a deeper dive in more non-traditional planning subjects, the folks of FPA MN Pro Bono and Financial Education committees have teamed up to help.

Join us on September 16th immediately following the Monthly Chapter meeting for the first of a series of 45-minute Financial Workshops taking a deeper dive into subjects more common to Pro Bono. Whether you have dabbled in Pro Bono arrangements in the past or are brand new to it, you are going to want to be involved in the discussion.

And great news, the September workshop is covering the problem you are likely to encounter every time: Debt Management. In the workshop we will deliver strategies to address many types of indebtedness, from credit cards, to medical bills, payday or title loans and much more. You can also expect clear takeaways regarding which community or web resources are worthwhile, as well as those to guide folks away from. In short, you will have tools to walk confidently into any Pro Bono meeting with a road map to help them right off the bat.

Future workshops will help you further fill your Pro Bono repertoire. One meeting will be dedicated to budgeting, from tracking expenses to changing habits. Another subject is credit management. In that talk we will overview details of running one’s credit report, disputing errant transactions, and avoiding the pitfalls of companies offering to do it for you. And there is plenty more to follow!

Are you fired up to learn more? Here are a few good next steps.

  1. Join us for the fun and informative guided discussion on September 16th immediately following the Chapter meeting. We believe you will walk away with some great information, and comfort regarding the most commonly encountered curve-ball subject of debt management.
  2. Consider volunteering for Financial Planning Day on Saturday October 25th at the Wilder Center in St. Paul. The format makes it easy to test out your new skills in a low-risk environment. It is a great way to get acquainted with the unique needs of the Pro Bono population.
  3. If you are jazzed up to jump right in, visit the Pro-Bono Committee page of the FPA MN website to see what interests you most. Then be sure to let us know about it through the contacts on the website.

Want to be contacted when individuals from within your community directly request Pro Bono assistance? Reach us via the above-mentioned website. We will let you know when we receive such requests in the future in an area near you.