Preparedness key to nonprofit success when a crisis arises

April 16, 2014

Preparedness key to nonprofit success when a crisis arises

With a large number of people depending on the assistance of local nonprofits, organizations must prepare to not only meet greater demand when disasters strike their area, but they must also protect themselves to help those in need. According to The Coloradoan, a daily newspaper in Fort Collins, the American Red Cross reports 80 percent of businesses and nonprofits that are doing well when a disaster strikes end up running out of funding within one month. However, nonprofits can prepare for any type of disaster so that a sudden change in demand or staffing does not put them in a bad situation. If there is one thing the nonprofit community has illustrated time and again, it's the ability to stay viable when times are rough.

Nonprofits should prepare for high unemployment
One cyclical type of disaster that can strike nonprofits is high unemployment insurance (UI) claims. Many nonprofits are committed to helping those impacted by loss of income, housing or money for food. However, if a nonprofit loses funding, it will eventually raise the unemployment rate at the nonprofit itself. While this can be challenging for many organizations, having the right plan in place can help ease them through the difficult time so they can successfully recover while maintaining a high level of service.  

One way nonprofits can protect themselves from sudden increases in unemployment costs is to become reimbursing employers and join an unemployment insurance savings program. By making planned, quarterly payments into a fund that they own, nonprofits will have the money to meet increasing UI costs. Without these programs in place, nonprofits expose themselves to the risk of paying a high, unplanned unemployment expense. The ability to prepare for and effectively manage these costs when they arise is integral to a crisis preparedness plan. 

Becoming a reimbursing employer is a great cost-saving measure for most nonprofits. However, to be done correctly, it requires the aid of nonprofit UI specialists that can manage claims and prepare organizations financially. By working with experts in the field, the nonprofit community can continue to face crises knowing that they can still deliver their services while also protecting their organizations from financial harm. 

For information on how your organization can cost-effectively meet its unemployment insurance needs, contact First Nonprofit Group 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