How to Keep Your Nonprofit Financially Sustainable in 2021

First Republic Bank
March 16, 2021

2020 was a turbulent year that presented unique challenges for the nonprofit sector. The pandemic and the resulting economic downturn dramatically reshaped how many nonprofit organizations fundraise, operate programs, and connect with their communities. And in 2021, financial decision-makers at nonprofits who responded to these challenges last year will now face new questions about long-term sustainability as the situation continues to evolve.

In 2020, we teamed up with Rahul Tripathi, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of The Brearley School in New York City, to create a guidebook for nonprofits on what he calls a “Surgical and Strategic Financial Plan,” a framework to help organizations with limited resources critically assess their current financial standing, make short-term adjustments and set a course for long-term sustainability.

Seeing an ongoing need for this resource as the situation continues to evolve, we updated the guidebook to reflect lessons learned from 2020, and to help organizations plan successfully for 2021 and beyond.

This guidebook aims to help Executive Directors, financial officers and Board members make informed decisions about the financial future of their organizations by considering two modes of financial planning.

  1. The Surgical: Ways to address your organization’s short-term budget shortfalls, including:
    • Assessing diverse revenue streams and program goals for financial stability;
    • Managing loans from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program; and
    • Managing overhead and staffing to reduce expenses while still delivering mission-oriented programs.
  1. The Strategic: Ways to strengthen your organization’s financial foundation to create long-term sustainability, including:
    • Reintroducing programming with the mission in mind and an eye towards efficiency;
    • Assessing Board governance and participation in crisis management;
    • Implementing external management of endowments or investments to shore up the organization’s financial future; and
    • Evaluating the expertise, services, and sustainability of the organization’s banking partner.

Extraordinary causes deserve extraordinary service — especially in extraordinary times.

For your organization to successfully navigate challenging circumstances, you need a financial partner who understands both your organization and your industry inside and out. At First Republic Bank, we pride ourselves on being a banking partner who understands the importance of your mission and the value of exceptional service. If you are looking for a mission-driven banking partner to help your organization reach its full potential, we want to hear from you. 

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