Nineteen Financial Planning Association members from across Australia completed a grueling seven-day, 726-kilometre fundraising ride in Hobart last week in the lead up to the 2017 FPA Professionals Congress and to help those in need.
This year ten FPA members also took part in extreme hiking challenges in Tasmania, all in the name of raising money for disadvantaged Australian children through the Future2 Foundation, the FPA's philanthropic arm.
Beyond its ongoing Future2 fundraising efforts, the FPA has forged three new partnerships in 2017 including Cancer Council, Banqer, and Financial Executive Women (FEW), all of whom were represented at the sold-out FPA Congress in Hobart last week.
The Future2 Wheel Classic endurance cycle ride and Tasmanian Hiking Challenges raise much needed funds for Future2 to bring new opportunity and hope to socially and financially disadvantaged young Australians through its Make the Difference! grants program.
Since 2007, when Future2 was established on the initiative of FPA members, more than $823,000 has been committed in grants to grassroots programs that transform the lives of young people who through no fault of their own, struggle to make a 'go' in life. Funded projects have been in the areas of financial literacy, skills training, work experience, community service and mentoring.
This year also saw the launch of a pilot pro-bono financial planning referral service with the Cancer Council. The nationally structured referral program is helping families affected by cancer who are unable to afford the cost of financial advice, by connecting them with FPA members who can provide their services on a pro bono basis.
With the average cost of a cancer diagnosis estimated to be almost $50,000, these services make a significant contribution to the wellbeing of people affected by cancer by reducing stress and financial burden. By generously offering their time, financial planners are making a huge difference to families in need of assistance.
Another initiative that is helping boost financial literacy in schools is the FPA's partnership with Banqer, an online interactive learning tool designed to assist teaching financial literacy and help boost motivation in primary school classrooms.
Schools introduced to Banqer by FPA members will have access to the online program, as well as support from a financial planner. The aim is to provide the program to 15,000 kids in local schools during 2017/18, allowing them to become curious, creative, and ultimately, confident with money. The Banqer program is currently available to Australian primary schools free of charge.