The business of doing good: How to manage your non-profit’s finances (Part 2)
The non-profit sector is a growing field and an important part‡ of the economy. With so many organizations for people to choose from, how does a non-profit gain continuous support from donors? How do they attract associates and maintain staff enthusiasm for the organization? One answer is something you might not expect: cards.
UMB hosted a group of almost 40 representatives from Colorado Springs non-profits to talk about a variety of financial management tips for non-profit organizations.
In my previous post I highlighted the first idea covered in this forum: stream-lined, full-service fundraising options for your supporters. Two additional ways to develop and maintain support from both groups are affinity card‡ programs for the donors and a commercial card (also known as a corporate card) program for the staff.
Affinity card programs give your supporters an easy way to donate to your organization. Every time they use the affinity card to make a purchase, a certain amount of money is donated to your organization. The amount will vary based on the card provider you use.
You can even personalize the card to display your logo or another image that represents your organization.
Sometimes organizations avoid programs like this because they think it’s too much hassle to maintain the program. Actually it’s easier than you think. The most important thing to remember is to research the program, the bank that sponsors it, and the terms and conditions of the card.
Like affinity cards, some non-profit organizations avoid using commercial cards. They’re concerned it will cost them money and be more of an obstacle than a useful tool. Actually, you can use commercial cards to bring money back to your organization, not just to pay expenses. For example, if you sign up for a card with a rewards or rebate program, you could make money using your card. Or you could earn points toward other purchases for the organization.
Many cards offer a comprehensive set of payment solutions you can use to pay for everything from basic expenses to financing full-scale fundraiser events. These payment solutions often offer automated purchasing/payables for your bookkeeping, allowing you and your staff to be more efficient and focus on the work you’re doing in the community.
Other features and benefits of commercial cards include:
- Spending Controls
- Reporting Capabilities
Creating enthusiasm from your donors and associates is easy because they’re passionate about supporting your organization and its mission. Maintaining that enthusiasm is sometimes more difficult and it often involves thinking about processes from their point of view. One way to do this is to establish programs that remove obstacles and allow them to focus on supporting the organization.
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Mr. Doyle is community bank president for UMB’s Colorado Springs region. He is responsible for guiding strategic direction in the Colorado Springs region as a member of the Colorado management team. He joined UMB in 2011 and has eight years of experience in the financial services industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. and a master’s degree in business administration from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.