How Efficiency Boosting Banking Tools Can Help Your Nonprofit Manage Growth

February 15, 2024

Nonprofit organizations like yours provide valuable services and resources to the community. However, we’ve found that as many nonprofits expand their reach, the amount of time committed to managing the business side of the organization increases. That takes time away from your mission. Get some time back when working with bankers who have extensive experience in your industry who have tools designed to help grow and create efficiencies.  

Many tools and services are available to nonprofits to streamline repetitive - but essential - accounting and business management operations. By simplifying many of these actions, nonprofits may reduce the staff time required to handle them, allowing those employees to focus on more critical tasks.

At First Independent Bank, we believe all organizations deserve to understand how banking tools can help protect bank accounts from fraud, create new efficiencies and help organizations make the most from their financial accounts. To further illustrate some of the critical services available to nonprofits, we’ve included four questions every nonprofit should discuss with their banker. 

1. We actively solicit donations from the public. What tools are available that allow us to accept donations securely and efficiently?

With donations being essential to any nonprofits mission. With donors often having a preference for how they wish to make contributions, we've found many nonprofit organizations have benefited from online payment options allowing donors to quickly contribute using a credit card, debit card, or ACH payment. Utilizing a tool like eZePay will enable you to securely set up these services, eliminating the risk and resources required to build and maintain your own payment portal.

Some donors may prefer to pay using a paper check, requiring a manual deposit at the bank. Many organizations have found they can get donations into their account quicker and more efficiently using a service like Remote Deposit Capture. Remote deposit allows your team to electronically deposit checks using a scanner at your office or mobile device, saving money spent on employee time and travel. 

A lockbox can streamline payment processing significantly for organizations that regularly receive a high number of checks. Through a lockbox service, payments and remittances are sent to a dedicated P.O. Box where bank employees’ access and deposit those payments - eliminating direct employee trips to the bank.

2. Some of our account balances exceed the FDIC's $250,000 insurance limit. We want these accounts to remain insured and earn the most they can for our organization. What options are there?

The security of a nonprofit’s financial accounts is essential. Organizations that need to maintain liquidity but want their funds to be FDIC-insured is possible through the IntraFi Network. When a checking or money market account exceeds the $250,000 FDIC-insured limit, excess funds are automatically deposited into a separate FDIC-insured account at an IntraFi member bank. This action extends FDIC insurance to the new account. Your nonprofit maintains access to all its funds through your existing bank but gains FDIC protection up to $150 million. 

3. As a nonprofit, what precautions should we take to prevent fraudulent access to our bank accounts?

Nonprofit organizations that pay their bills, issue payroll and make other payments via paper checks can be at risk for fraud. Mail theft is increasing, according to the U.S. Postal Service, and paper checks are being "washed," allowing thieves to change payee information and the amount of the check. Many organizations have reduced this risk by utilizing tools like Check Positive Pay, which prevents fraudulent checks from being cashed.

Another way nonprofits can ensure the safety of their financial accounts is to utilize a third-party audit. Despite the cost, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or another independent auditor may save the organization money by alerting you to financial irregularities and embezzlement in the worst-case scenarios. Internal theft is more common than people realize. 

4. We’re looking for a more efficient way to track our organization’s expenses. We are considering a company credit card. Are there benefits to doing this?

A business credit card can be an excellent way for nonprofits to track their expenses while giving staff an easy way to purchase on the organization's behalf. Managing a business credit card is simple. Administrators can easily set customized spending limits for individual cardholders, monitor spending activity at a glance, and delete cardholders if needed. Some clients have mentioned their business credit card has been a time saver as expense reporting is simple and quick. 

Complimentary Consultation

First Independent Bank's nonprofit banking team is here to help you and your nonprofit organization thrive. Our bankers work with organizations large and small to provide treasury management tools that allow you to remain focused on your mission. First Independent Bank is proud to offer a community alliance analysis account allowing nonprofits to obtain banking services at very competitive pricing. The best way to determine how First Independent Bank can assist your nonprofit is to schedule a complimentary consultation. Don't hesitate to contact our tenured banking team
 

About Us

Public and Nonprofit Finance

Western Alliance Public and Nonprofit Finance, a national banking group within Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, delivers tailored financing solutions to state and local governments and nonprofit entities across the United States. The relationship banking team offers outstanding, sector-specific expertise paired with superior service and responsiveness. The Public and Nonprofit Finance Group is part of Western Alliance Bancorporation, which has more than $70 billion in assets. Major accolades include being ranked as a top U.S. bank in 2023 by American Banker and Bank Director. With significant national capabilities, the Public and Nonprofit Finance Group delivers the reach, resources and deep industry knowledge that make a difference for customers.