Addressing Board of Foundation of Financial Planning

Chia-Li Chien to address the annual board meeting | March 17, 2011

In 2009, FPA of Charlotte Pro Bono team was approached by an African American church near Charlotte, NC. The purpose of the meeting was to address the institute level financial distress. This 5-year old church bought its own church building and lot 2 years prior and did have about some fund set aside in case of any financial distress. Due to the late 2008 financial crises, many of the members lost jobs, and gave smaller donations due to the tight economy. The church has about 6 months emergency fund left to subsidies the net loss from the donations.

We assemble a team of FPA Pro Bono volunteers who have specialty in church administration and a paster to discuss options to save the church. Two solutions from the group was suggested; 1) diversity revenue from leasing facility to other type of business during the down time 2) provide financial literacy workshops for the member to help them gain better knowledge.

As a southern conservative church, they took on the number two suggestion and not discussing the other just to save face. Together we decided to provide 4-series of workshops in 2009 and the church is responsible for marketing, location setup, etc. Let’s take a look at their marketing Video. (private video)

On average we have about 35 attendees throughout 2009 and they agreed to do the same in 2010. In addition to that, we were introduced to another non-profit that is affiliated with the church. We delivered 4 teen-workshops from 2009 to 2010. On average we have about 20 teens in the workshop. As matter of fact, as much as they don’t want to talk about the institution level, they took our advice. By end of 2010, the church has growing revenue and positive cash flow. The paster pull me aside at one of the workshop to thank our recommendations.

We want to thank the Foundation for continue support FPA Pro Bono. The church and non-profit teen group both benefit directly from the Foundation investment in Money 101, Football financial bootcamp, and Money matters materials. We sincerely thank the foundation to help 100+ families in 2010 in Charlotte.

Let’s switch gear to look at Goodwill, we started working with Goodwill early 2010 through introduction of CharlotteSave. The majority of the employees in Goodwill are at poverty level and many are living paychecks to paychecks and many have two jobs. The Goodwill and CharlotteSave partnered in 2009 and all employees at headquarter and 20 retail stores all have the basic budgeting course. However, the employees felt they need to have one-on-one counseling to gain momentum.

The goal of Goodwill is to help employee maximize their wonderful employee benefits which includes 401(k) contribution, credit union savings, etc. We proposed to have a 4-series of the meetings to introduce Money 101 as well as 1-on-1 counseling sessions. As a pilot program we agreed to have 20 employees at the headquarter to participate. Based on the result of the pilot then we can plan how to roll out to the retail stores where most employees don’t have access to the computer.

In front of you, you’ll see the Critical Success Factors we established during our MOU process.

  • Number of attendees %
  • Spouse participation %
  • Returning % at 30-day and 90-day review

Once again, Goodwill is a benefactor from the foundation’s investment for Money 101. This program is in the process of planning stage to roll out. It was well received in the pilot and employees keep asking when is the FPA planners coming back. One employee Jody, saw me substituting one absence volunteer, and shout “you’re not my planner.” As you can see during the 3 private sessions, Jody establish bonding with the volunteer.

Thank you for vising Charlotte, we sincerely thank the foundation’s continuous supports for all Pro Bono related materials, software, etc. Please continue to issue grants that will benefit many needed families in the future throughout pro bono chapters nationwide.


About Chia-Li Chien, PhD candidate, CFP®, PMP®

Chia-Li Chien, PhD candidate, CFP®, PMP®; Chia-Li “like JOLLY,” Succession Strategist of Value Growth Institute, dedicated to helping private business owners increase their company equity value. She is the award-winning author of the books Show Me The Money and Work toward Reward. Chia-Li is an Instructor & CFP® Program Director at Ball State University and Adjunct Faculty of the American Management Association. Her blog and newsletter were named a Top Small Business Resource by the New York Times You’re the Boss blog. Schedule your appointment today!
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