Here for Good: Serving Nonprofits Then, Now, and in Times Ahead

  • Industry trends
  • 1/14/2022
Nonprofit professionals having discussion during meeting in open space.

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A recent website inquiry came in with the title “Are you open for business?” — after so many other firms told them they just couldn’t serve nonprofit organizations any longer. As we look to 2022, with other firms backing out of serving the nonprofit sector due to labor shortages and strategic changes, CLA is doubling down on our nonprofit practice. We are here for good.

Nonprofits around the globe had every reason to operate with a scarcity mindset in 2021, having to deal with a continued pandemic, civil unrest, turnover, and hard-hit underserved communities. Yet time and again we were amazed by the ways our clients rose to the challenge, operated from a place of abundance, and bettered their communities. We have been honored to play a small role in our clients’ impact over the past year.

Our nonprofit team of 575 members across more than 120 locations help nonprofits in many ways. In addition to audit, tax, and outsourced services, in 2021 we were able to help many of our nonprofit clients secure resources, navigate changes, and protect their organizations in new ways. Here are a few of our favorites.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs have served kids and teens by providing safe spaces, caring mentors, and life-enhancing programs. Comprised primarily of in-person, on-premise youth-mentoring locations across the country, Boys & Girls Clubs were hit hard by COVID shut-downs — programmatically and often financially. As a long-time advisor to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, CLA:

  • Helped the national organization respond to pressing questions from individual Clubs regarding employee retention credits
  • Hosted a series of four relief-program related webinars for over 1,500 total participants
  • Issued Club-specific FAQ guides on financial relief programs
  • Offered packaged services to help Clubs assess eligibility, calculate, and claim tax credits

Over the course of the year, CLA consulted with more than 75 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide and is assisting more than 20 claim an estimated $10 million of tax credits — and counting.

National Dance Institute (NDI) New Mexico

NDI New Mexico serves 7,500 children annually through award-winning in-school and afterschool programs, summer programs, and advanced classes. Inherently, their programming and two dynamic facilities were impacted by mandated closures and limited in-person events due to COVID-19.

Shortly after the onset of the pandemic, CLA approached NDI to conduct a review of utility invoices for the two facilities — and discovered state and local taxes were inadvertently being charged. CLA worked with utility vendors to obtain refunds of previously paid taxes and stop future withholdings.

NDI New Mexico was able to obtain almost $30,000 in refunds, with an estimated $10,000 in recurring savings on an annual basis. These funds can now be applied more directly to the in-person children’s programs scheduled to return in 2022 and beyond.

“The initial $30,000 in refunds came at a critical time,” says Russell Baker, Executive Director at NDI New Mexico. “We needed to upgrade our IT resources significantly so that our teachers, musicians, program producers, fundraisers, and administrators are able to work efficiently and effectively. Many of those improvements allowed us to continue working through the pandemic and helped us to evolve our programming.”

The cost of a 30-week outreach program class in a public school is around $10,000, so the recurring savings to expenses means that NDI has funding resources to support an additional 30 students in a full-year class — giving low-income, at-risk children the opportunity to experience a positive, engaging, and, in some cases, life-changing experience.

Evans Scholars Foundation

Can being a golf caddie change a life? At the Evans Scholars Foundation (ESF), a long-time CLA client, more than 1,000 students each year receive full housing and tuition scholarships to top universities nationwide. These students all have financial need and have shown outstanding records of academics, leadership, and caddying. Funding for the ESF comes primarily from golfers at clubs around the country, as well as the BMW Championship, a FedExCup TOUR playoff event.

The ESF was the target of a malicious phishing attempt. Though the attempt failed and no funds were lost, it put ESF on notice that it — like most nonprofit organizations — was a likely target for cybercriminals.

To be proactive and help fend off future attacks, CLA’s cybersecurity team ran a series of penetration tests, phishing schemes, and other assessments to identify potential cyber risks. Based on recommendations from the project, ESF leaders implemented training, enhanced its information technology architecture, and continue to run phishing campaigns to better protect the organization’s assets and mission.

How CLA can help

With one of the largest nonprofit practices in the country and decades of experience serving the nonprofit sector, our committed nonprofit consultants can help you develop strategies rooted in sound business fundamentals, strengthen communication between staff and boards, and sharpen overall execution.

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