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Category Archives: Umemployment Benefits, Taxes & Insurance

Unemployment Insurance for Oregon Nonprofits: There is a safe, cost-effective alternative out there

What do high unemployment rates, increased taxes and negative State Trust Fund Balances mean to your nonprofit? All these statistics mean less money for your cause.

INCREASED TAX COST: 73%

In 2009, the average unemployment tax cost to the Oregon Employment Department, per employee, was about $598. In order to replenish the diminishing unemployment trust fund caused by the recession, factors used in calculating unemployment rates were increased, therefore increasing the average unemployment tax cost per employee. By 2014 that cost had increased by 73%!

IMPROPER PAYMENT RATE: 10.997%

The Oregon Employment Department had a 10.997% average improper payment rate from 2011 to 2014. Over $68 million improper payments were made in 2014 alone.

 

First Nonprofit Group provides more than 1,700 nonprofits around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. Below is a sample savings analysis of one member since 2010.
To find out how much money your organization can save, contact us for an unemployment cost savings evaluation. Evaluations are free, there is no obligation to join, and an estimate of your 2016 unemployment rate is included!
For a PDF version of this fact sheet, please click here.

 

 

Unemployment Insurance for Nonprofits in North Carolina: There is a safe, cost-effective alternative out there

What do high unemployment rates, increased taxes and negative State Trust Fund Balances mean to your nonprofit? All these statistics mean less money for your cause.

NEGATIVE STATE TRUST FUND BALANCE OF $154 MILLION

The North Carolina Division of Employment Security owes more than $154 Million to the federal government (more than $2.7 billion was owed in 2011). This loan is used to pay the excess unemployment claims the State Trust Fund cannot cover.

2009-2014 INCREASED TAX COST: 43% INCREASE

In order to replenish the North Carolina State Trust Fund, factors used in calculating employer unemployment tax rates were increased, therefore increasing the average unemployment tax cost per employee by 43% from 2009 to 2014.

CONTINUED COST INCREASES: 20% SURCHARGE

In 2014, North Carolina’s minimum and maximum employer unemployment tax rates increased. These increases included a 20% surcharge on all unemployment tax rates. The surcharge will continue to be added to all unemployment tax rates until the State Trust Fund reaches $1 Billion.

The unemployment wage base also increased by $300 per employee in 2015.

 

 

First Nonprofit Group provides more than 1,700 nonprofits around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. Below is a sample savings analysis of one North Carolina member since 2005.

To find out how much money your organization can save, contact us for an unemployment cost savings evaluation. Evaluations are free, there is no obligation to join, and an estimate of your 2016 unemployment rate is included!
For a PDF version of this fact sheet, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Clarifying Claimant Unemployment Monetary Eligibility

Aside from being out of work, individuals seeking to collect unemployment benefits must demonstrate that they have met a minimum standard in earned wages just prior to their separation.

Every state agency has its own eligibility regulations and requirements that determine when claimants meet mandatory qualifications to receive unemployment benefits. The fundamental purpose of all state unemployment agencies is to appropriately compensate claimants who satisfy the work and wage credit qualifications, comply with work search and availability requirements, and are out of work through no fault of their own.

Normally, monetary claim eligibility is directly related to a claimant’s prior wages (during the base period). The benefit year maximum award represents approximately 50% in wage replacement. The tangible amount of the benefit compensation award is partially determined by total wages earned (wage credits) and duration of employment during the recent past, or the “base year.”

The most common “base period” is a consecutive 12 months comprising the first four of the last five previously completed calendar quarters preceding the quarter in which a claim is filed. Frequently, states also utilize an “alternative base period” consisting of the four most recent quarters’ wages or another valid time period of covered wages.

 

Unemployed workers that apply for benefits will establish a “benefit year” that continues throughout the ensuing 52 weeks. The total amount of benefits and the duration of time a claimant collects during an established benefit year is calculated by applying the wage credits (total gross pay accrued by the claimant during the base period) to a unique formula created by each state’s law.

All states have established a maximum and minimum amount of allowable benefits during the immediate fifty-two weeks after the date the unemployment claim is filed. The Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount (MWBA) is the most any claimant can collect during a week of the benefit year. The minimum standard or Minimum Weekly Benefit Amount (mWBA) represents the lowest benefit award based on wage requirements for an unemployed worker to receive any benefits.

The current highest maximum benefit award available is found in the state of Massachusetts at $1,047 and the lowest minimum award can be found in Hawaii at $5. For state-by-state unemployment cost information, including benefit award amount, click here.

Watch for the next article on “Qualifying Reasons for Claimant Eligibility”

 

 

New Mexico’s state unemployment tax costs have increase by 60% since 2009!

What do high unemployment rates, increased taxes and negative State Trust Fund Balances mean to your nonprofit?  All these statistics mean less money for your cause.

INCREASED TAX COST

In 2009, the average unemployment tax cost to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, per employee, was about $232. In order to replenish the diminishing unemployment trust fund caused by the recession, factors used in calculating unemployment rates were increased, therefore increasing the average unemployment tax cost per employee. By 2014 that cost had increased by 60% to about $372.

IMPROPER PAYMENT RATE

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions had a 13.973 average improper payment rate from 2011 to 2014. Over $49 million improper payments were made in 2014 alone.

 

First Nonprofit Group provides more than 1,700 nonprofits around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. Below is a sample savings analysis of one member since 2010.
To find out how much money your organization can save, contact us for an unemployment cost savings evaluation. Evaluations are free, there is no obligation to join, and an estimate of your 2016 unemployment rate is included!
For a PDF version of this fact sheet, please click here.

 

Attn. Florida nonprofits: Could your organization use an extra $21,659*?

First Nonprofit’s (FNG) provides 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and governmental entities with safe, cost-saving alternatives to the State Unemployment Insurance Tax (SUTA). More than 1,700 nonprofit organizations, representing all sectors of the nonprofit community, rely on us to maintain and manage their unemployment insurance costs.

Nonprofits, on average, pay more in SUTA than what their employees actually collect in unemployment benefits. *New 2015 members saved an average of $21,659 (29%) in FNG’s unemployment programs in their first year alone.

**These are just a few member savings samples. FNG’s programs are available to nonprofits in all 50 states. Contact us for more state-specific information!

For more savings examples, click here.

NEW Association Partnership: Illinois Association of Housing Authorities

First Nonprofit Group is proud to announce our new partnership with the Illinois Association of Housing Authorities (IAHA). IAHA strives to ensure the availability of decent, safe and sanitary affordable housing for all people in the State of Illinois through collaboration among its more than 100 housing authority members, including this issue’s Member Spotlight Feature: Springfield Housing Authority.

IAHA was formed in the early 1960s when its founding members recognized a growing need for a membership association where housing authorities could evaluate, educate, exchange ideas, and address their individual and collective needs. Today, IAHA provides numerous resources to its members, both in person and online, including various trainings, clinics and membership meetings held throughout the year.

IAHA joins our existing 29 association partners across the country on our mission to save nonprofit organizations and government entities money on their state unemployment tax (SUTA) costs. Our partnership comes at a crucial time for organizations in the State of Illinois. Since 2009, Illinois employer’s average SUTA cost, per employee, has increased 81%!

Randy McGill, 2nd Vice President of the IAHA (and Executive Director of Unemployment Savings Program member, the Kankakee County Housing Authority) explains how the Program has benefitted their organization: “Kankakee County Housing Authority has been in the First Nonprofit program since 2008 and it has saved thousands in unemployment fees that we paid to the State previously. They have served as a liaison for any claims that have come up and taken that responsibility off us. We are very pleased with the service they have provided and continue to provide.”

We look forward to helping our newest partner and its members save money on their State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) cost to free up funding that can be used in other areas of operation to help individuals and families find housing.

To learn more about the Illinois Association of Housing Authorities, please visit their website at www.iahaonline.org.

 

Oklahoma has increased unemployment taxes by a whopping 259% since 2009!

What do high unemployment rates, increased taxes and negative State Trust Fund Balances mean to your nonprofit? All these statistics mean less money for your cause.

INCREASED TAX COST: 259%

In 2009, the average state unemployment tax cost to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, per employee, was $97. In order to replenish the diminishing unemployment trust fund caused by the recession, factors used in calculating unemployment rates were increased, therefore increasing the average unemployment tax cost per employee. By 2014 that cost had increased by 259%!

 

 

First Nonprofit Group provides more than 1,700 nonprofits around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. Below is a sample savings analysis of one member since 2010.
To find out how much money your organization can save, contact us for an unemployment cost savings evaluation. Evaluations are free, there is no obligation to join, and an estimate of your 2016 unemployment rate is included!
For a PDF version of this fact sheet, please click here.

 

 

Data Breaches and the Threat to Nonprofits

It seems like every week we hear about another major data breach. But it’s not just large retailers that are being targeted. In fact, most cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses. The reality is that small businesses – nonprofits included – are targeted because they’re less likely to have the kind of sophisticated cyber protection and safety protocols large companies have in place.

Why would hackers attack charities and nonprofits? Nonprofits generally store sensitive information such as volunteer and donor data including bank accounts, credit card and social security numbers on their computer system. Hackers can more easily gain access into a less protected computer system and sell them to identity thieves on the dark web. Hackers won’t necessarily know how many or the value of your records, but if they can gain access to your network, they can find out.

Even if your organization has the latest firewalls and cyber security, the threat can come internally from employees or volunteers. They may have direct access to donor records and more. If just one employee is lured by the temptation of easy money, it could have devastating consequences to the organization. According to Experian’s 2015 Data Breach Industry Forecast, employees and negligence will continue to be the leading cause of security incidents in the next year.

The consequences of a data breach can be devastating:

Notification. It starts with informing all of your members, employees, volunteers and donors. Most small businesses and non-profits do not have the resources or plans in place to respond to data breaches and may need to hire a public relations firm to help react to negative headlines in the press.

Time. A data breach diverts attention from the daily activities of running an organization to the process of recovering from the event. If your time is normally devoted to serving your members and overseeing operations, you can expect to delegate that work to others while you (and perhaps other employees) respond to the breach.

Financial cost. In addition to the loss confidence by donors and members, a data breach can be quite costly. The University of North Carolina said a 2013 data breach of just 6,000 records has cost the school nearly $80,000 in working with affected parties. The external costs to date include notification letters, credit monitoring and operating a call center.*

In the coming weeks we will provide more insightful articles on our website about data breaches and how we can help you prepare and respond. Look for our next article: “Are You Prepared for a Data Breach”

*Small Businesses: The Cost of a Data Breach Is Higher Than You Think, First Market Data, Insight Study, 2014

 

Member Spotlight: Springfield Housing Authority

“Changing Lives One Key at a Time”

The Springfield Housing Authority (SHA) will soon be breaking ground for a new 92-unit complex in the Vinegar Hill neighborhood of Springfield, IL. With the addition of the Villas at Vinegar Hill, the SHA will now be able to provide 781 public housing units to a broad range of persons, inclusive of but not limited to, senior citizens, individuals, families, and persons with disabilities within Springfield and its surrounding areas. SHA also administers 2,066 Housing Choice vouchers that include Mainstream, Family Unification, Near Elderly Disabled (NED), Homeownership, and Veterans (VASH).

The SHA celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2013, and the services they offer to their community continue to grow. They also provide its residents with programs to develop self-sufficiency. Through their Family Self-Sufficiency program, residents receive assistance with earning their GED, Associate and/or Bachelor degree, job skills, and obtaining a job, among several other opportunities. In June of 2013, the SHA disbursed over $1 million to Family Self-Sufficiency program graduates.

Other programs include a literacy program offered to children, as well as two Homeownership Programs that make purchasing a home more affordable for low-to moderate income families and individuals. Resident activities include an Annual Resident Fair and Charlie Brandon Day which offer resources to residents, food, entertainment, and prizes. SHA also celebrates Father’s Day to encourage participation of children with their fathers in various activities. in Over 50 bicycles were given away to children at this year’s Resident Fair, while this year’s Charlie Brandon Day provided book bags with school supplies, haircuts and groceries.

Success with First Nonprofit

SHA enrolled in First Nonprofit’s Unemployment Savings Program in 2009. Since then, SHA has saved more than $120,000 on state unemployment tax (SUTA) costs! This savings helped maximize their operating budget over the years. “The SHA has been impacted by federal cuts to our operating and capital fund programs at less than 100% funding that has made balancing the budget annually more challenging,” says Michelle Sergent, Director of Finance. “We have been able to maintain the same level of excellent service that our clients deserve by maximizing and diversifying revenue streams and decreasing or maintaining operating costs. The savings in unemployment insurance helped to decrease operating costs and to maintain a positive financial position.”

Some of First Nonprofit’s program features most enjoyed by the SHA are budgetary certainty and the unemployment claims administration provided by our third-party partners. “The SHA has been able to budget for unemployment costs with certainty by having equal quarterly payments that are a known value when budgeting,” says Sergent. In addition to day-to-day claims processing, online training or in-person assistance is also available to members to help maintain unemployment costs. “The training that is available is excellent and the annual reviews on-site have helped the SHA streamline processes and save funding.”

We look forward to many more years of success with SHA! For more information about their services, please visit their website, www.springfieldhousingauthority.org.

 

Utah’s SUTA costs have increased by 178! There is a safe, cost-effective alternative for nonprofits

What do high unemployment rates, increased taxes and negative State Trust Fund Balances mean to your nonprofit? All these statistics mean less money for your cause.

INCREASED TAX COST: 178%

In 2009, the average unemployment tax cost to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, per employee, was $157. In order to replenish the diminishing unemployment trust fund caused by the recession, factors used in calculating unemployment rates were increased, therefore increasing the average unemployment tax cost per employee. By 2014 that cost had increased by 178%!

IMPROPER PAYMENT RATE: 8.425%

The Department of Workforce Services had a 8.425% average improper payment rate from 2011 to 2014. Over $13 million improper payments were made in 2014 alone.

First Nonprofit Group provides more than 1,700 nonprofits around the country with unemployment insurance at affordable rates. Below is a sample savings analysis of one member since 2009.
To find out how much money your organization can save, contact us for an unemployment cost savings evaluation. Evaluations are free, there is no obligation to join, and an estimate of your 2016 unemployment rate is included!
For a PDF version of this fact sheet, please click here.

 

 

 

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