Nonprofits benefit from collaborative efforts that reduce costs and share resources

October 3, 2013

Nonprofits benefit from collaborative efforts that reduce costs and share resources

There are many benefits for nonprofits that participate in collaborative efforts to achieve their mission. When multiple nonprofits come together – for a single event or continuous program –  they can extend their reach, share financial resources and learn from each other.  This concept is certainly not a new one, but may be more tempting as nonprofits face funding shortfalls.

The extent to which two or more nonprofits collaborate will vary greatly depending each organization's goals and resources. In some cases, it could be as permanent as a merger or as simple as splitting the rent on a shared space for a fundraiser. The decision to fully merge with another NPO and share a corporate structure should not be taken lightly and may even require an outside consultant, according to Forbes. A merger is more likely when two nonprofits with similar missions are both in dire financial straights or struggling for resources. While mergers provide many benefits beyond budget relief, financial strain is usually the driving force.

Small-scale collaboration
The decision to collaborate and remain separate organizations requires less consideration, as the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks. Two organizations serving the same area may have different missions, but share some intersections of programs and services. A nonprofit committed to fighting diabetes and another committed to helping the elderly may both offer free blood glucose tests. Instead of finding different locations and hiring different diagnostic services, the two could easily share costs and resources for a more efficient program. If both organizations have offered free screenings before, they will bring unique experiences to the collaborative effort. 

An example of a large collaborative effort with a common goal is the First Nonprofit Unemployment Savings Program.  A partnership among over 1,000 nonprofits utilizing an alternative funding option not available to the private, for-profit sector to reduce their unemployment insurance costs.  The program allows numerous nonprofits to opt out of the state unemployment tax system without being exposed to the risk and uncertainty of self-insuring and at the same time achieve savings that may be redirected to support their mission and community.

A large number of organizations working together on a single initiative creates a great forum for an exchange of ideas. Nonprofits can evaluate how each achieves its goals when given similar funding and programs in a group initiative. Even in a broader effort, which does not require nonprofits to work directly with one another, organizations should make the effort to communicate. 


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Working with Marshal Whittey at First Nonprofit has been a great experience. He handles our request as a priority and goes above and beyond to resolve any issues we have in a timely manner. Marshall follows through to the end and ensures our needs are met. He has been a great resource for LSC and our “go to” for any tax questions we may have. With LSC transitioning several facilities into one federal tax identification number, First Nonprofit was able to assist and provide guidance with best practices resolving claims to each entity. Additionally First Nonprofit provided knowledge (information materials) and one on one training to HRS group with best practices to handle claims state adjudicated, fraudulent claims, and appeals. And processing information in the First Nonprofit [unemployment claims] system allows for timely information can be collected.

Lutheran Services Carolinas, Salisbury, NC

My experience with FNP has been wonderful. Unemployment in general is quite confusing and FNP has simplified the process for us. Everyone we have reached out to or worked with has been very helpful and follows up to be sure we understand the information. I am so happy we made the switch to FNP!

Stone Valley Community Charter School, Huntingdon, PA

First Nonprofit smoothed the unemployment perils for our organization during Covid. Without the ability to cap our UI exposure, we would not have been able to weather the storm. The program worked perfectly and we have come out of the pandemic ready to forge on. Thanks FNP!

Jewish Silicon Valley, Los Gatos, CA

My experience with the FNP has been fantastic. The idea of setting funds aside for the unemployment tax liability is a bedrock for nonprofit organizations like mine, namely ASHBA; what is even more advantageous is having the FNP as a custodian of those funds. 100% recommended!

American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association, Inc., Lexington, KY

I would like to comment on my experience with FNP….to date our District has saved $1,000’s of dollars by being enrolled in the First Nonprofit program. My only regret is that we did not know about this method of paying unemployment tax years ago….as I had figured about five years

ago, had we enrolled 15-20 years ago, we could have saved our small school district upwards of $500,000 in payments to IDES. Also we would have had a pretty hefty sum of money in our Reserve Account. Thankfully I attended a workshop hosted by First Nonprofit back in 2015 which got the ball rolling!

Beardstown Community Unit School District 15, Beardstown, IL

I have worked with the First Non-Profit Team for many years, and I appreciate the quick response and care that Cecilia and the team provides anytime I have questions. While there are other providers that may provide like services, First Nonprofit will always be my first choice! I appreciate you!

Innovative Services, Inc., Green Bay, WI

First Nonprofit has been easy to work with and makes the administrative process easier and smoother. We enjoy working with you.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

Luckily for us, our interactions regarding any issues with staffing has been very minimal! I can say that all other interactions with regards to billing, 941 reporting, etc. have been extremely pleasant, accommodating and easy to work with. Kim Ghanayem is always prompt, professional and friendly. Thank you so much!

Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ