Pro-bono Financial Coaching

Volunteer to provide financial coaching services to families facing cancer.

Free financial coaching for cancer patients and caregivers

When a family is going through cancer treatment, the last thing they should have to worry about is money. And yet, 65% of cancer patients experience clinically significant distress due to financial concerns. Of these patients, 29% report experiencing financial distress within the high to overwhelming range.1

65% of cancer patients experience clinically significant distress
29% of cancer patients experience high to overwhelming financial distress

This is where you enter the story to flip the script. By volunteering with Family Reach, you can help alleviate this common distress for individuals and families going through cancer – ultimately increasing their chances of survival.

What is financial coaching?

Financial coaching is part of Family Reach’s Financial Treatment Program, which helps patients and caregivers navigate the financial side of their cancer journey.

Developed in partnership with the Foundation for Financial Planning (FFP) and Financial Planning Association (FPA) in 2018, this financial coaching service pairs families with pro-bono Certified Financial Planner professionals for free guidance and education.

If you’re a CFP® professional, you can volunteer your time and expertise to help patients and caregivers manage their finances while going through treatment. With your help, these families can take back control of their finances and focus on healing.

woman smiling at camera

Why Pro-Bono Financial Coaching is Critical During Cancer Treatment

Pro Bono Planning Matters: A Firsthand Account with Robert Sharer, Amanda Maddalone, Jon Dauphiné, Kurt Kaczor

What do our volunteer financial coaches do?

3 clients per year
~3 virtual meetings
per client
Specialized volunteer training

Volunteer role and expected commitment

As a pro-bono financial coach, you will work with about three clients per year, engaging with each one approximately three times. The total time you spend with each client will depend on their needs, though most volunteer planners average about 2-6 hours per client.

Throughout the course of each engagement, you will advise and prepare a brief financial game plan. This can include:

  • Creating and/or examining budget and balance sheets
  • Organizing their finances, tracking and reducing expenses, and managing debts
  • Troubleshooting and anticipating financial challenges
  • Contemplating credit decisions and new uses of assets
  • Examining life, long-term care, or disability insurance questions

You’ll meet with your clients virtually, by phone, email, or video chat. Generally, financial planners have an introductory meeting to get to know the patient or caregiver and gather data on their current financial situation. From there, they will have a meeting for planning and a follow-up meeting to check in with the family.

Training Sessions

All volunteer financial coaches complete two training sessions before they’re paired with their first Family Reach client.

Pro Bono Financial Planning Training

This 50-minute online module helps financial planners understand the basics of how to provide pro-bono services to underserved members of the community. It is approved for 1 hour of continuing education (CE) credit by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board).

You can access this course through FFP and Kaplan here or enroll in a version specially geared to FPA members here.

Family Reach Training

This training provides an overview of the financial coaching service, information about your volunteer role, tips on how to work with clients diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers, and resources to support your engagements with clients. After successfully completing this training module, you will be eligible to receive 1 CFP® CE credit.

You will gain access to this training after you sign up to volunteer with Family Reach.

The impact of pro-bono financial coaching

Words from families and fellow financial planners

Elvirra Garcia

“Preserving my dignity, knowing I can take care of myself without needing handouts, and being able to make wise financial decisions — these are the gifts that financial coaching gave me!”

— Elvirra, 46, breast cancer

Eko smiling

“It’s easy to let finances spin out of control when you’re trying to keep your child alive and everything feels out of your hands. We can’t control cancer, but working with Donna proved the financial side was something that we could control.”

— Naomi, mom of pediatric cancer hero Eko

Marie at the beach

“When our financial planner gave us a call, it was remarkable how quickly he understood. He asked us questions, took his time, and from the uncertainty I talked about, he put together next steps that felt so clear and easy.”

— Marie, 30, esophageal cancer

Ready to be a pro-bono financial coach?


1. Meeker CR, Geynisman DM, Egleston BL, et al. Relationships Among Financial Distress, Emotional Distress, and Overall Distress in Insured Patients With Cancer. J Oncol Pract. 2016