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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We first started using First Nonprofit’s Unemployment Savings Program when we were a small startup nonprofit.  We didn’t have an HR department and needed expertise in the event that an unemployment claim was made.  We knew we were eligible to be a reimbursing employer, but weren’t sure how to navigate that process.  They made it easy to set things up, plan for, and then manage claims when they came at a very reasonable cost. The amount of time and stress they’ve saved us dealing with all this has been worth way more than the cost.  We’ve now grown to a large nonprofit and do have an HR department but have no plans to stop using their services.  I highly recommend them to every nonprofit I come into contact with!


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.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, 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, Chicago, IL

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios.

Thresholds, Chicago, IL

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

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

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

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