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06/08/2017 at 11:00 AM
April is here and we have a new issue just for you that's all about change. Change is exciting! Change is scary. We have articles this month that provide a little stability.
How do you keep a firm financial footing as a nonprofit? Strong leaders have options when it comes to getting loans and funds to help cover operating costs. If you go the traditional route, we have a helpful article on working with your banker. If that doesn't work or isn't appropriate, we have an article on a new lending program which only serves nonprofits. Worried about federal funding cuts? Take the Blue Avocado survey and we'll share the results next issue.
On top of ALL that, we have a terrific article on resilient leadership and an equally great essay on facing new challenges. Next month, we welcome our new editor, so tell us what you want to see, what's happening in your organization and how Blue Avocado can help! We're always listening at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we get ready to welcome our new guest editor, we want to hear from you! What kind of avocado do you want to see?
Let's face it, sometimes running a nonprofit can feel about as easy as folding a fitted sheet, but here at Blue Avocado, we want to help. For years now, we have been a practical and straightforward source for information related to running a community nonprofit, and now we're moving forward into our next iteration. We're so thrilled that you're still with us as we continue to grow, and we want you to be a part of the process.
With more than 25 years of banking experience and an equal tenure serving the Portland, Ore., community with Catholic Charities, Impact NW and other organizations, Kathy shares this advice for how to help your banker to give your organization as much credit as possible.
In the past, nonprofits tended to be asset rich with limited need for credit. Times have changed, however, now that constrained governmental funding, and lower charitable contributions are continuing for the foreseeable future. No banker wants to be the bad guy or to say no to an organization that is doing good work in the community, but a nonprofit borrower that starts to struggle can fall quickly from an acceptable risk to an unacceptable risk, threatening the viability of the organization and the essential services they are providing to the community.
This article seeks to provide several ideas for how a nonprofit can address the impact of these trends in order to help a bank to assist this transitional period through providing credit lines or term loans. The suggestions and the bank's perspective on financial performance can be grouped under the two distinct concepts: conservative financial management and institutional agility.
Alice Rossignol is a development writer and editor for The Nature Conservancy. Here she puts her pen to paper about a big professional first. She decided to leap or maybe she got pushed. Either way, a story we need to hear again and again!
Hello Avocados! We wanted to share this exciting milestone from the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance of California, founding and ongoing sponsor of Blue Avocado.
In January 2017, the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance of California (NIAC) reached $2 million in lending through its pilot loan program. The Loan Fund offers short-term credit to small and mid-sized nonprofit members of NIAC.
When NIAC first developed the fund we wanted to create an efficient solution to the cash flow needs so common in nonprofits. We received survey responses from 300 nonprofit organizations and found that getting access to cash flow loans through a quick and efficient process that demonstrated understanding of nonprofit financials was darn near impossible. Many nonprofits showed a need for short term loans while waiting for confirmed grants and contracts to be funded. Thirty years ago NIAC took up the challenge of proving that nonprofits were not poor insurance risks and we decided it was time to try to show that nonprofits were also good credit risks. So, we developed a pilot program in 2014 with $1 million of loan capital. Another $500,000 in loan capital was added the next year to meet demand. The NIAC Member Loan Fund provides 12-month loans up to $50,000 at a fixed six percent interest rate.
It's time for our next Blue Avocado Poll. Does your organization rely on federal funding? Are you discussing the possible budget cuts at the federal level? What are your contingency plans? Please take a minute to tell us what you are seeing, and we'll share what we learn in the next issue. (Responses are all anonymous.)
Beyond the multiple-choice questions, we also invite you to tell us your stories about the potential effect of funding cuts for your organization. Sharing your contact information is totally optional, but if you do, we'll follow up to find out more and plan content for Blue Avocado that can help.
2017 has already brought many new challenges for the service sector, and we can expect more to come. So, there is no time to waste in getting ready for whatever changes your nonprofit may face.
As leaders, we are continually using internal and external resources as successfully as we can to solve new problems and rebound from adversity strengthened, and yes, even more resourceful. In this article I suggest ideas to help weather the storm and benefit from the disruptions.
Accusations of fake news are all over the news. So when donors want old-fashioned, honest information, they are turning to nonprofit news organizations they trust. We asked consultant Kevin Davis, who works with many of these nonprofit journalism organizations, to explain how they are working to gain donors' trust by being community-powered. Pro tip: Any nonprofit communications strategy can benefit from these smart lessons!
I’m pleased to write with news of significant developments at American Nonprofits. As many of you know, our organization was established in 2012 with the broad mission to develop programs for supporting the rapidly evolving finance and capitalization needs of the nonprofit sector.
Concurrent with the...
American Nonprofits was formed by a group of nonprofit sector leaders to serve as a platform to address issues of finance, credit, strategy and accountability. As a membership organization that welcomes both nonprofit organizations and individuals, we occupy the intersection of finance and strategy. We are a platform through which members can convene local and national discussions, initiate solutions, and collectively improve nonprofit finance (e.g. the credit union project below).
Online Surveys Powered By QuestionPro
Web Polls Powered By MicroPoll
Do you think nonprofits deserve fair access to credit and loans?
Do you want to discuss and improve nonprofit strategy and finance?
Does it annoy you that big banks make profits from nonprofit customers without offering appropriate credit?
To view the draft business plan for the proposed credit union: Draft Business Plan
The work to found American Nonprofits as well as assist with the research into the credit union is possible thanks to a $100,000 grant from Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group, and an initial $25,000 grant from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation. The Silicon Valley Community Foundation also made a $50,000 grant to forward this work.
Check out this recent Article about us in the Silicon Valley Business Journal
Check out the Article about us in the San Francisco Business Times
Check out the Article about us in the Chronicle of Philanthropy