Strong board = strong nonprofit

June 10, 2014

Strong board = strong nonprofit

In addition to the hard, steady work by a nonprofit's staff members and volunteers, organizations can thrive even more when collaborating with their strong and informed boards. Since those performing the majority of the day-to-day tasks for a charitable organization take their instructions from the top, having a solid executive strategy in place is particularly important.

Research from McKinsey & Company that polled private and public businesses, as well as nonprofit groups, showed that executive groups can range from being disorganized to very successful. Common habits shared across executive committees at different performance rating levels (low, medium and high) included a regular commitment to discussions on innovation and working on the diversification of investment portfolios. In general, low-performing boards were deficient when it came to assessing the specifics of what drives value, understanding the allocation of resources and debating operational alternatives.

To succeed in the long run, organizations should have a thorough understanding of how resources are distributed. This is especially true for nonprofits, as budgets are often tighter and there is less room for error than at a for-profit enterprise. Similarly, being able to craft alternate paths to an objective is important for nonprofits that need to stay agile despite the cyclical nature of fundraising and the general scarcity of resources.

Boosting efficiency and slimming operating budgets
Organizations of all kinds have two major paths for increased effectiveness: reducing extraneous spending and improving decision making. Data analysis can help nonprofits find useful alternatives for a variety of operational needs, such as improving donor outreach efforts or raising awareness of operations. As nonprofit magazine Leader to Leader points out, using metrics and data allows organizations to measure progress, and analysis of this information can guide more successful practices and reduce or eliminate less-efficient ones.

Nonprofits can focus on very specific tasks to consistently reduce unnecessary costs. One clear strategy nonprofits can take to save money and boost efficiency is opting out of state unemployment insurance (SUI) pools and becoming a reimbursing employer. By becoming a reimbursing employer and paying out unemployment claims on a dollar-for-dollar basis, charitable groups avoid the fluctuations in unemployment taxes, increasing table wage bases, plus the shared liability of such programs. Using a service such as an Unemployment Savings Program provides the security of having funds available for paying out claims without the undue financial obligations associated with SUI pools. Stop-loss insurance included in the program can increase confidence in times of financial hardship as well.

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.firstnonprofitcompanies.com.

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Testimonials

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