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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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