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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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

The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.

Ensight Skills Center, Inc, Fort Collins, CO

In addition to their money-saving purpose on behalf of nonprofit organizations like AHS, First Nonprofit’s Nonprofit Unemployment Fund streamlines the information we need to efficiently manage unemployment claims. Our relationship with NU Fund gave us access to such things as advice on planning for what’s ahead and how to analyze cost scenarios when unexpected events occurred. Both experiences were very helpful.

Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA

We have had a great experience with FNP. During Covid, when there was the chance that reimbursable nonprofits would have to pay 50% of the unemployment costs, FNP went to bat for us. We would receive weekly information on the Unemployment claim and how they were working to reduce the costs to reimbursable nonprofits. They have a great service also working with [our claims administrator] to make sure all the paperwork is completed correctly for any unemployment claim.

ACLA Libraries, Pittsburgh, PA

PORT Health Services has had a great experience with the Unemployment Savings Program offered through First Nonprofit. Throughout the years we have been involved in the program, we have increased our reserve account significantly through this program and find the reporting we receive both timely and useful. We look forward to our continued involvement with this program and our connection with First Nonprofit for many years to come.

PORT Health Services, Greenville, NC

Job One was spending a lot of money on unemployment. Our insurance broker, Mark Simcosky, recommended that we switch over to First Nonprofit. We did just that! This switch has been a huge savings for us! This switch saved us over $10,000 in the first year. Their customer service is Superior! Any time we have a question, we get a response very quickly. Any time we send them a report and they have a question; they call rather than just assuming. They were very responsive during COVID, even when they were in crisis mode their selves. They also were always there when we needed during COVID and very helpful! We would 1,000% recommend First Nonprofit to anybody that could benefit from it!

Job One, Independence, MO

My experience with FNP has always been positive. Every time I have had to contact them, I’m always put in contact with a friendly and knowledgeable person. If something is missing from our account, they reach out to us to request it. It’s nice to work with a company that makes sure our account is current. I would recommend them to any nonprofit looking to reduce their unemployment insurance costs.

Family Counseling Center, Gloversville, NY

We’ve saved tens of thousands of dollars PER YEAR by changing to become a reimbursing employer, freeing funds for much needed capital investment. FNP has been a valued partner in this process, providing assurance that we have stopgap coverage for extraordinary claims and keeping claims response painless and simple. It’s a huge Win/Win!

NC UM Camp & Retreat Center, Garner, NC