3 important considerations for any nonprofit

June 19, 2014

3 important considerations for any nonprofit

Asking questions that reveal the technical details of operations, as well as the attitudes and ideas of employees and volunteers, can help nonprofits become more effective at fulfilling their missions. By reconsidering the usefulness of certain programs, outreach materials and fundraising efforts, charitable organizations can trim the fat from operations and put themselves in a better position to further their missions. By adapting an inquisitive mentality, organizations can challenge long-held perceptions – not to intentionally disrupt operations, but to make sure their methods are still valid.

Here are three big questions nonprofits can ask themselves to stay agile and focused:

  1. What progress has been made? MarketingProfs highlighted this question as one nonprofits need to ask themselves on a regular basis. By measuring the development of fundraising efforts and programs, charitable organizations are better able to understand where their strengths and weaknesses lie. Achieving a balance between contributions and program effectiveness, while also considering volunteer involvement and staff members' professional development, can help managers better understand where to focus resources. MarketingProfs suggests having explicit goals written down that can be compared to actual progress on a regular basis, be it monthly or quarterly. The important part is to chart these measurements over an extended period of time.
  2. Are we prioritizing the right approaches? There are plenty of low- or no-cost avenues that nonprofits can pursue to raise money, attract volunteers and develop awareness of their causes. However, charitable groups also need to make sure they're using the most effective paths and methods to reach their goals. Spreading employee responsibilities too thin or using too many different channels to try to attract donations can negatively impact overall effectiveness. By determining which non-essential activities are providing the least return on investment, nonprofits can better focus their efforts.
  3. Are extraneous expenses being reviewed and reduced? Getting rid of unnecessary costs allows more money to flow into programs or the hiring and retention of staff. Nonprofits can avoid the often unpredictable and onerous costs of state unemployment insurance (SUI) taxes by electing to become reimbursing employers. By matching unemployment claims on a dollar-for-dollar basis, organizations will have better financial control. However, nonprofits still need to account for spikes in unemployment. Using an Unemployment Savings Program or Bonded Service Program helps charitable groups prepare for jobless claims without having to surrender budgeted funds to pay unemployment taxes.

For information on how your organization can cost-effectively meet its unemployment insurance needs, contact First Nonprofit Group at FNCUI@firstnonprofit.com or visit www.firstnonprofitgroup.com.

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NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

We were introduced to First Nonprofit through another housing authority. In our analysis and comparison to what we were paying the State, our first year savings was $5,800 plus. We have been with them since the end of 2008 and I am glad we have been. I consider them an arm of our HR department.

Kankakee County Housing Authority, Kankakee, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools

Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Hugh Parry, Retired President of Prevent Blindness America