How to Open a Daycare

We have compiled licensing procedures for New York City. Make sure to follow your state’s specific requirements. Regardless this will give you a general idea of what you will have to do Read More »

What Daycare Owners Must Know About Lead Based Paint

The most common cause of childhood lead poisoning is the dust that comes from lead based paint. While lead paint was banned for NYC residential use in 1960, and nationwide in 1978, Read More »

How to Manage Abuse & Molestation Risks – Part 1

Above all else a school’s primary responsibility is to keep their children and teens safe at all times. Unfortunately this is not always the case as during the past few years several Read More »

Proper Insurance Claims Follow Up Procedures Yield Big Dividends for Schools & Non Profits

If you read our first article in the series “Managing Insurance Claims First Reports Can Have Big Impact  for Schools  & Non Profits” then you know that it’s a two part process, Read More »

 

Category Archives: Residential Care

Using Facebook for Non Profit Fundraising

Every Non Profit business should be utilizing Facebook to some extent. It is a great tool to help with fundraising whether you collect your donations through it or not. The major benefits Facebook brings to your business are increased awareness and efficiency. In this article we will get those of you who do not currently utilize Facebook for fundraising started. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Step 1. Obviously step one is to create your Facebook page. Under “Company, Organization, or Institution,” make sure to categorize yourself as a “non profit.” Add a description about your cause, and start inviting employees, friends, family, etc. Gaining followers or “likes” is an exponential process so invite as many as you can to start out. Periodically ask for your fans to invite their friends to “like” your page.

Step 2. Setup a Paypal account if you don’t already have one. There are no startup, cancellation, monthly or annual fees.

“PayPal has partnered with FundRazr to bring you an app that helps raise money and awareness for causes you care about. Reach out to your friends on Facebook, your Website, blog and more. Get the FundRazr app now

It’s Shareable – Your friends can share your FundRazr with their friends. Before you know it, your cause can go viral.

It’s Easy to Donate – Friends can donate right from their Facebook News Feed, your Website, your blog-wherever they view your FundRazr.

It’s Flexible – You can personalize app content, colors and payment options. Add a picture or a video. FundRazr works for personal causes, groups and other organizations.

Pricing – No setup or monthly charges-there’s a fee per transaction. (Click the image below)”

You could skip the PayPal badge if you’d like and direct people to your website, or other methods that you currently use. This will avoid the transaction fees which can add up over time (See above). For example an employee of mine recently ran a charity hockey event for wounded veterans. Since it was just a one time event they created a Facebook page, invited hundreds and hundreds of people over time and directed most donations to at the door ticket sales, in game events, and old fashioned checks. They ended up raising over $12,000 in just about 1 month! They did sell some tickets and collect some donations ahead of time by using a site called ticketriver.com. Worth checking out if you plan to have an event where tickets are needed. They also take a transaction fee, but a smaller one than Paypal. The Facebook page became the source of information for media outlets and the hub for people to find out what was going on.

Step 3. Now that you have your page and possibly a means of collecting donations, the hard stuff is done. If you plan to hold charity/fundraising events, make sure to create a Facebook event (hosted by your business page) for EVERY event you are planning. To spare the length of this article here is a great resource on setting up a Facebook event.

Step 4. Continue to update your timeline with comments, LOTS of pictures and videos, and track your metrics. Finally, send a friendly email to your contact list asking for people to “like” your page.

We hope this is a good starting point for you if you haven’t yet thought about using Facebook for fundraising. We will add a few more articles on the subject. In the meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions.

Did You Know That Non Profits Can Avoid Unemployment Insurance?

In case you didn’t know, 501(c)(3) organizations are not obligated to pay unemployment taxes.  Non profit organizations typically are not aware of this option since the state unemployment office rarely provides this information. Nonprofits can choose to protect themselves by participating in a private unemployment trust such as The Nonprofit Trust. Funding unemployment obligations this way can help nonprofits substantially reduce their costs, especially if the organization has over $1,000,000 in payroll.

The option has existed since 1972 which was when nonprofits were required to provide unemployment benefits to their employees. They were given an option that the private sector does not have – Becoming a reimbursing employer.
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Lets go in to a bit more detail. The employee laid off from a reimbursing employer still files a claim at the unemployment office and still receives checks from the department. The difference is a reimbursing employer does not pay unemployment taxes, but instead reimburses the state for actual unemployment claims paid on their behalf.
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So the only change is in how the organization funds the benefit. Typically they fund it by paying the unemployment tax, but this is rarely the best way for a nonprofit organization to fund unemployment claims because of the following:
  1. Nonprofit employees often make less in wages yet nonprofit employers are still charged just as much, if not more, than private sector employers.
  2. Nonprofit employers tend to have more part-time labor which actually increases unemployment tax expenses.
  3. Nonprofits usually have lower unemployment claims than private sector employers.
Contact a Risk Advisor at Metropolitan Risk Advisory to get more information about the program as well as our other cost saving programs.
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The tax system as a whole has contributed to the problem because:
  1. Due to the economy, unemployment taxes increased in 29 states last year. (Increases were as high as 161% in certain states).
  2. Over 25 state unemployment departments are now insolvent and borrowing money from the Fed. just to pay claims, increasing the need to increase tax rates. This number is expected to climb to nearly 40 by the end of 2011!
  3. States are overpaying claims in error by more than $1,000,000,000 per year!, and the problem is increasing due to the sheer volume of claims being processed due to the economy.
The Nonprofit Trust, mentioned above, offers your clients a safe, secure and cost effective alternative to the unemployment tax system in every state. In addition to the savings, the Nonprofit Trust offers a variety of services not available through State Tax systems:
  1. Savings average between 40% and 50% EVERY year.
  2. Claims administration handles all communications with the unemployment office including initial notifications, claims protests, hearing representation, etc., reducing staff time spent on unemployment, driving claims costs down by winning more cases than employers do on their own (94% vs. less than 50% for employers) and by auditing every single claim processed, catching overpayments made by the states and they are corrected.
  3. Free Human Resources Hotline that assists with any type of HR issue, not just unemployment related issues, which can save the nonprofit time and money in getting the answer they need.
Contact a Risk Advisor at Metropolitan Risk Advisory  to get more information about the program as well as our other cost saving programs for non profits. 

Hot Tips On Finding Public Money For Your Non Profit Or For Profit Business

As a working business or non-profit you should always be on the lookout for opportunities to receive grants. This article will serve as a general overview on how to locate and take advantage of this public money.

Who is Eligible?

Not all business are eligible. For federal grants you must be in a business that is “promoting the public good.” Non profits certainly fit that criteria. State and local governments have a wider range of acceptance but non profits are still a main beneficiary. If you are not sure if you qualify call up the program officer on the announcement to find out. Lastly, remember that once you receive the money you are typically limited in how you can spend it.

Where Should You Look?

Government websites such as grants.gov push out notices of available funding. You could also sign up for various e-newsletters that will alert you of grant opportunities. In addition to federal grants, state and local governments give out money as well. Search for your state’s grants online. For example if in PA go to newpa.com . Look for the RSS orange symbol stand that stands for Really Simple Syndication. I love sites that offer this. If you have a reader like Google Reader, every time the site is updated it kicks the feed to your reader. The advantage being you go to one place to pick up new and alerts from all the different websites like this one that may have posted a new article. For grants, these are invaluable tools because you don’t have to troll to 20 different sites one at a time to see what’s new. The 20 sites you subscribe to send their updates to you. Try it with our site. To sign up look on the top right corner of our home page where it says subscribe.

How to apply?

Applying is usually very basic. Give the details about your business, your goals, what you would use the money for, and other sources of financing. Federal apps require more paperwork such as a copy of the previous years financial audit and a statement about your accounting practices.

We recommend that you be specific. Back up your argument with research. Explain the good that will come from the money and use numbers to support your argument. “This money will lead to ___ more beds for the elderly” etc. Facts are the most important part of the application.

Who can help you?

Grant writers are available to help you with your application. Some charge a flat fee and some charge by the hour. These writers can cost several thousand dollars and unfortunately still have to be paid if you do not win the grant.

Be aware that scammers exist. Never pay a writer that wants a commission if your grant is approved or one that is promoting free money. Go to a professional and remember there is no reason to pay for information about the grants themselves because it is all obtainable online.

At Metropolitan Risk Advisory we can help you as well. We specialize in non profit insurance and risk management techniques that will lower your costs. Have an insurance question, or want a second opinion on how cost efficient your insurance program is? Call us for a free consultation and let us help you save thousands.

The Reward of Risk Management v.s. Simply Buying Insurance for a Non Profit

I was recently reading an op ed piece in the NY Time entitled A Bad Deal on Malpractice . Whether you agree with their premise is not the point. What was interesting to someone who practices risk management is the enormous moral, social and financial benefits from using smart techniques and risk management protocols within your Non Profit Organization.

The article referenced New York Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical Center and the enormous improvement they have seen in their malpractice claims when they simply stopped buying and paying for insurance and began to look at the correlation between the cost of their malpractice claims, insurance costs, patient care, and  employee moral. By utilizing the time tested techniques of risk management they achieved amazing results. Simple things like focused staff training after polling staff and doing a simple trend analysis as it relates to their losses and claims, electronic documentation, and follow up. The hospital focuses on collecting the right data, reading what the data results, and then taking sustainable corrective action.

The amount the hospital spent annually for compensation payments and legal expenses to defend allegations fell by more than 90%. From 2003 to 2006 there average expense load was $27.59 million between 2003 and 2006. By 2009 costs fell to $250,000 in 2009, a remarkable drop of 99% reduction in losses. Folks, you don’t achieve that kind of result by taking your poor claims history, giving it to 4 brokers and have them come back to you with 4 insurance quotes, whereby you pull the trigger on the cheapest one. If your claims are bad enough the end result of your effort is the least of the highest price increases. Remember  insurance companies don’t like to lose money and insurance for the most part is simply a very expensive credit line.

You don’t have to be the size of New York Presbyterian, nor do you need to have their resources. If you are a small NY Non Profit, a NY Nursery School, a NY Group Home, or a NY Supportive Housing Non Profit, same goes for NJ Non Profits & CT Non Profits;  you have so many opportunities to reduce costs and losses sometimes by as much as 90%. Remember every dollar we save on the expense side can be allocated to your constituents. The key is to simply stop buying insurance and talk to an insurance brokerage firm that has a background in Risk Management. A talented insurance brokerage firm can help you identify the fricitional points on your balance sheet, and then come up with smart, intutive strategies to re-capture these critical resources so you can re deploy them  back into your Non Profit Organization.

For those of you nodding , who believe that this is not just possible, but an absolute neccessity for your non profit we would like to suggest you call a Risk Advisor at Metropolitan Risk Advisory, anyone that practices the craft. We also suggest taking a hard look at your workers compensation insurance as we have found that to be a very rich area of ours since many non profits can be labor intensive , riddled with employee injuries, surcharges, incorrect experience modification factors, and error laden workers compensation payroll audits.