Zero-cost planning tools and data aggregation help advisors volunteer life-changing service
To encourage advisors to volunteer their expertise in a time of extraordinary need, Orion Advisor Solutions now offers Orion Planning, an intuitive, modern financial planning tool for advisors, free of charge to all advisors serving pro bono clients, regardless of whether they use Orion’s comprehensive wealthtech platform.
“Pro bono clients have very different needs that traditional wealthtech tools often struggle to address,” said Brian Morgan, CFP™, Product Director, Financial Planning at Orion. “Advisors who volunteer their time quickly discover how much they have to offer, and Orion Planning’s focus on immediate value and an engaging client experience makes it ideally suited for pro bono work.”
Having already made Orion Planning a part of its core technology offering, Orion now waives data aggregation costs for pro bono clients of advisors already using its technology. Advisors who do not currently use Orion’s platform can now access Orion Planning and data aggregation services at no cost when used for the benefit of pro bono clients.
By waiving data aggregation fees for pro bono clients, Orion makes it easy for advisors to connect outside accounts, such as credit cards, bank accounts, and 401(k)s to Orion Planning. With a complete picture of account balances and transactions, advisors can get right to work building a financial plan that can help improve outcomes for pro bono clients on day one.
With Orion Planning, advisors can address the top-of-mind needs of pro bono clients:
● Budgeting and Cash Management – Insights into regular expenses and spending
habits allow advisors to help clients regain control of their finances.
● Debt Management – Tools to quickly build payment strategies for credit card debt, student loans, and other major obligations.
● Stability and Financial Goals – Orion Planning helps clients plan toward major financial goals, like home purchases or automobiles they can afford.
● Clear, Actionable Next Steps – An easy-to-understand summary of next actions gives clients direction and momentum to stay engaged with their financial plans.
Orion Planning works hand in hand with the Orion Client Portal, giving pro bono clients a onestop mobile app to understand and control their finances. The portal’s integrations eliminate the need for clients to juggle multiple logins and apps, increasing engagement and warding off “portal fatigue.” With the Orion Portal, pro bono clients can access their financial plans, consolidated balance sheets, vital documents, and credit monitoring services. The pandemic fueled a surge in demand for financial planning that addresses both the immediate and long-term goals of clients. Over the last 12 months, the adoption of Orion Planning has increased 250%. By expanding access to these tools for pro bono clients, Orion eliminates barriers of access to volunteer service at a time when millions are still recovering from the economic impact of COVID-19. According to the Pew Research Center, about half of non-retired adults now say the pandemic has made it harder for them to achieve their financial goals, and half of U.S. workers who lost wages during the pandemic are still earning less money than before the outbreak.
A strong advocate for pro bono service, Orion is a major supporter of the Foundation for Financial Planning (FFP), the nation’s leading nonprofit charity devoted to bringing pro bono financial planning and advice to people in crisis or need, and Orion CEO and founder Eric Clarke sits on FFP’s board of trustees and Corporate Advisory Council. “We are pleased that with today’s announcement, Orion has gone even farther in helping support FFP’s pro bono mission, and we applaud this commitment to expanding access to great technology that can help advisors assist their pro bono clients,” said FFP CEO Jon Dauphiné. “As pro bono service grows across the profession, access to tech solutions that can drive more scale and impact will be critical.”
“Last year, I joined my colleagues on FFP’s Corporate Advisory Council in calling for advisors to pledge at least 25 hours of pro bono service every year,” Clarke said. “The lasting financial hardships of COVID-19 make it clear that we need all hands on deck to help the people in need. At Orion, we will continue to do everything we can to help volunteers transform the financial lives of pro bono clients.”
To learn more about how advisors can use Orion Planning to guide pro bono clients to better outcomes, register for our upcoming webinar, Giving Back: Free Orion Planning for Pro Bono Clients, on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 1 PM CT.