August 1, 2013
The speed and efficiency offered by the cloud are often too good for many organizations to pass up. In fact, a June 2012 study from the Nonprofit Technology Network revealed more than 9 in 10 nonprofits use some kind of hosted software and about 80 percent use several different cloud-based services. Those numbers have likely gone up in the past year, but organizations still face some problems when it comes to cloud implementation.
Cloud contracts are a cause for concern
The inherent risks of the online storage solution are apparent and cloud contractors need to do a better job of being transparent when forming agreements with their clients, according to a recent Gartner study. The research firm projects that over the course of the next two years, 80 percent of IT procurement professionals will want information for risk management purposes written in their contracts with cloud providers. With all of the critical donor information that nonprofits plan to store in their online storage solution, decision-makers must ensure that they go over their arrangement with cloud companies with a fine-tooth comb.
"Whatever term is used to describe the specifics of the service-level agreement, IT procurement professionals expecting their data to be protected from attack, or to be restorable in case of an incident, must ensure their providers are contractually obligated to meet those expectations," said Alexa Bona, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
Nonprofit decision-makers must be more proactive
Migrating to the cloud can be stressful for nonprofit leaders, but it is imperative that they are able to negotiate with providers to ensure the security of their data. An article from the Nonprofit Technology Network said that before signing any contracts with cloud vendors, decision-makers must make sure they have the latest security defenses, as well as policies in place that require them to perform background checks on their own employees. Furthermore, cloud contracts, or SLAs, should always clearly state whether the client or provider is responsible for things like regulatory compliance or ensuring data is backed up.
"Concerns about the risk ramifications of cloud computing are increasingly motivating security, continuity, recovery, privacy and compliance managers to participate in the buying process led by IT procurement professionals," Bona said.
Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.
The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.
In addition to their money-saving purpose on behalf of nonprofit organizations like AHS, First Nonprofit’s Nonprofit Unemployment Fund streamlines the information we need to efficiently manage unemployment claims. Our relationship with NU Fund gave us access to such things as advice on planning for what’s ahead and how to analyze cost scenarios when unexpected events occurred. Both experiences were very helpful.
We have had a great experience with FNP. During Covid, when there was the chance that reimbursable nonprofits would have to pay 50% of the unemployment costs, FNP went to bat for us. We would receive weekly information on the Unemployment claim and how they were working to reduce the costs to reimbursable nonprofits. They have a great service also working with [our claims administrator] to make sure all the paperwork is completed correctly for any unemployment claim.
PORT Health Services has had a great experience with the Unemployment Savings Program offered through First Nonprofit. Throughout the years we have been involved in the program, we have increased our reserve account significantly through this program and find the reporting we receive both timely and useful. We look forward to our continued involvement with this program and our connection with First Nonprofit for many years to come.
Job One was spending a lot of money on unemployment. Our insurance broker, Mark Simcosky, recommended that we switch over to First Nonprofit. We did just that! This switch has been a huge savings for us! This switch saved us over $10,000 in the first year. Their customer service is Superior! Any time we have a question, we get a response very quickly. Any time we send them a report and they have a question; they call rather than just assuming. They were very responsive during COVID, even when they were in crisis mode their selves. They also were always there when we needed during COVID and very helpful! We would 1,000% recommend First Nonprofit to anybody that could benefit from it!
My experience with FNP has always been positive. Every time I have had to contact them, I’m always put in contact with a friendly and knowledgeable person. If something is missing from our account, they reach out to us to request it. It’s nice to work with a company that makes sure our account is current. I would recommend them to any nonprofit looking to reduce their unemployment insurance costs.
We’ve saved tens of thousands of dollars PER YEAR by changing to become a reimbursing employer, freeing funds for much needed capital investment. FNP has been a valued partner in this process, providing assurance that we have stopgap coverage for extraordinary claims and keeping claims response painless and simple. It’s a huge Win/Win!