Nonprofits should turn to experts to save money

January 28, 2014

Nonprofits should turn to experts to save money

As nonprofits look to improve their budgets in the coming year, they should consider enlisting the help of consultants – both pro bono and paid. While volunteers were once expected to perform the more mundane tasks at a nonprofit, such as handing out fliers or making phone calls for donations, times are changing. The aging baby boomer population is highly educated and many are looking for ways to give back in their retirement.

Reaching out to volunteers who can help with more big-picture duties, such as legal issues, can save nonprofits expenses on needed services.  However, there are also some risks associated with giving volunteers too much responsibility. They will not have any obligation to stay with the organization, so make sure someone is available to take over the work if they suddenly leave. Regardless of how long they stay, their help may provide you the chance to gain some ground in other areas.

Paid experts can also save nonprofits money
Many organizations may be struggling with the more complex issues of fundraising, financial planning and tax obligations. While there are many consultants that can help businesses with back-office operations, nonprofits need people who know the terrain. For example, nonprofits have a rare opportunity to save on unemployment insurance costs.

While nonprofits must pay state unemployment insurance taxes, they can opt of tax pools that could be costing them more money than they need to pay. By opting out, organizations are responsible only for the actual amount that is paid out in unemployment claims. Organizations with no unemployment claims would actually have no cost.

Opting out of state unemployment insurance tax pools requires guidance
However, the option to leave SIU tax pools is not without risks and organizations that do so without consultation can expose their companies to unexpected liabilities. For this reason, it is in a nonprofit's best interest to enlist the help of professionals that can navigate the confusing rules regarding the decision to self-reimburse.

Companies such as First Nonprofit offer services that can help organizations select the funding plan for unemployment insurance. Membership in their savings program is often less risky than self-reimbursing, but only experts can determine the best way to meet UI responsibilities.

For information on how your organization can cost-effectively meet its unemployment insurance needs, contact First Nonprofit Companies at or visit


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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.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

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.

Ensight Skills Center, Inc, Fort Collins, CO

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.

Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA

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.

ACLA Libraries, Pittsburgh, PA

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.

PORT Health Services, Greenville, NC

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!

Job One, Independence, MO

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.

Family Counseling Center, Gloversville, NY

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!

NC UM Camp & Retreat Center, Garner, NC