Tag Archives: non profit insurance

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. 

High Workers Compensation Costs? A Susan Harwood Grant May Provide The Answer

The U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA recently awarded $10.7 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants to 37 new and 32 returning recipients! These grateful recipients include nonprofits, community & faith based groups, business & trade associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, and colleges/universities.

What are Susan Harwood grants?

Typically these grants are awarded with the goal that no man or woman should be forced to risk injury or death for a paycheck. Awarded by the federal government, they provide tools for workers and employers in some of the most dangerous industries in America to identify and eliminate hazards. The money goes towards education and training that will help ensure that every worker returns home safely at the end of their work day.

Who is eligible?

The program awards grants to nonprofit organizations on a competitive basis.Target audiences include under served, low-literacy, and workers in high-hazard industries. Workers that are otherwise vulnerable, and small business employers, are also a primary audience. Since 1978 almost 2 million workers have been trained through the program.

Potential benefit?

In an analysis conducted by Metropolitan Risk Advisory we see an average of 37% cost savings on workers compensation insurance and other related costs that are there for the taking. The problem is that many small businesses and non profits lack the staffing and knowledge to deliver a substantial portion of that savings thus they stay within that escalated cost spiral perpetuated by the insurance carriers. These Susan Hayward grants help fund that discovery process that incorporates training and other resources to help struggling small businesses and non profits reduced cost in perpetuity.

This year:

  • “$3.2 million in Capacity Building Developmental grants to 20 new organizations that will develop their expertise and capacity to provide occupational health and safety education to their constituents”
  • “$400,000 to five organizations for pilot grants to lay the groundwork for a self-sufficient safety and health education program.”
  • “$1.3 million to 10 organizations to provide Targeted Topic Training grants”
  • “$100,000 to two organizations for Training and Educational Material Development grants which must address one of the occupational safety and health topics designated by OSHA.”
  • “$5.7 million in returning or follow-on funding to 32 recipients of prior year Capacity Building Developmental grants that had demonstrated satisfactory performance.”

Visit the OSHA Web site for a complete list of the 2011 Susan Harwood grant recipients. A simpler and equally cost effective way to achieve the 37% savings is to speak to a risk advisor who can analyze your data and help you develop a strategy to capture this savings without paying a fee! In addition please make sure that your employees are protected with a sound and cost effective workers compensation insurance policy. Please contact one of our risk advisors at Metropolitan Risk Advisory with any questions or concerns that you may have.

How Nursery Schools & Non Profits Are Saving Money, Increasing Productivity With Google Apps

Let me first state clearly and emphatically I have no horse in this race. I am approaching this topic purely from a philanthropic, and business acumen standpoint only. Now that the housekeeping is done let me share with you the main point of this article and it’s not necessarily that I love Google, (I do); the point is there are so many new tools on the market that can help a small nursery school, struggling non profit, or a multitude of small businesses grow, become hyper efficient, raise funds, track donors, communicate and collaborate with constituents, parents, donors, board members, whoever, FOR LITTLE TO NO COST!

Let me also state we practice what we preach as we use Google Tools all throughout our organization as well as products from 37 Signals which is also a fabulous resource for most small businesses. For those keeping score at home this is the third company I have had the pleasure building. My last one I helped grow to $50 mill a year in sales before I wanted to embark on a different set of challenges. In that prior company we had the following cost we incurred while maintaining a technology infrastructure that supported 35 employees.

 Old School Infrastructure:

Microsoft Exchange Server – 500 Gigs $10,000

Software License for Exchange – $ 5,000

Maintenance of Exchange Server – $ 3,500 a year

In- House WIKI ( Company Knowledge Base housed on internal servers using VM Ware) – $3,000

Company File Server $ 5,000

Tech To Maintain Whole System: $ 15,000

Please note I am leaving a lot out here as the list would be really long, like all of the Microsoft software licenses we had to buy, install and maintain. Down time dealing with viruses, spam, e.t.c. , as well as the limitation of having most of the data not be collaborative. 

 New  School Infrastructure :
Google Apps is a zero cost full suite of applications that lets students, faculty, and parents work together more effectively. No cost and no hardware mean money saved for more important things like books and fundraising. Schools that implement Google Apps can save up to 90% on their IT costs. In addition to lower costs, below are 7 reasons why Google Apps rocks:

  1. Google Docs – The word processing application gives students the chance to work on the same document at the same time from anywhere in the world. No more USB keys! Docs also includes spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and more.
  2. Gmail – An elite email service for free
  3. Calendar – The class calendar can be accessed from anywhere at anytime.
  4. Google Sites: Which let you build Internal Wikis / Sites for Fundraising / Information Sites to communicate with Boards, Donors, Parents
  5. Security and Privacy– Google takes these very seriously
  6. Easy to use – Almost no installation
  7. Students Love It – Gmail and Google Docs make learning fun for students. Check out this video to see why.
  8. Help Resources – Check out the Google Apps for Education community group .
Old School Infrastructure Cost : $41,500 ++ ( many of the costs reoccurring)  / New School Infrastructure Costs: $ 0
When we had to make technology choices starting the new company the first cost we saved tremendously on was email. By migrating to Google Apps Professional edition we could maintain my websites URL within my email domain instead of using gmail. Our  preference was to have our web site URL not  “gmail” attached to the end of our emails as GMAIL does not give the professional image we want for the business. Thus we use the professional edition which costs a whopping $50 per user!
To be fair, Steve Ballmer and crew still exact their pound of flesh from us as we still use Microsoft Products & Apple Products, however this is by choice not by necessity. A non profit or small nursery school that sweats out computer repairs, software license e.t.c. can do away with all of this. Further by bringing everything to the cloud you no longer have to maintain any of it. You get to focus on your business and not fight with technology. That was the biggest advantage for us.
Further our employees can easily work from home or remote sites without hiring a tech to build a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
If you have a legacy system  and data you need to deal with we recommend  hiring a tech to help you migrate all of your data and do the set ups with Google, especially if you will go with the Pro Edition. If you are a new Non Profit, Nursery School, or small business and starting essentially from scratch this is the perfect platform to begin your new venture. Your internal cost structure will ultimately be a fraction of your competitors which is ultimately a key driver of your success.
We will in subsequent articles feature and profile new tools to help you achieve your goals at a fraction of the cost. Why do you ask would I do this as we are “insurance people”? Excellent question grasshopper! Our goal as an organization is to help our clients efficiently and most cost effectively deploy their resources so they can compete better in their native markets. Assessing, managing risk, buying insurance at the lowest  cost point possible  are all consistent with the company objective at Metropolitan Risk Advisory.

Whether you are a day care, a nursery school, or even a college, using a tool like Google Apps can save you money and improve your efficiency. Here at Metropolitan Risk Advisory we practice what we preach as we use Google Apps to run our business. We hope you found this article useful. If you found this valuable please leave a comment to inspire us to keeping writing and sharing. On behalf of the staff at Metropolitan Risk Advisory, thank you for putting others first!

The Results of a 25 Year Study on Early Childhood Education

There was a study conducted over 25 YEARS (yes years) about the benefits of early childhood education programs. The study was published on June 9th, 2011 by Arthur Reynolds (professor of child development) and Judy Temple (professor at the University of Minnesota). The study ended up with overwhelmingly positive results for early childhood programs.  It followed more than 1400 participants, mostly African American. Some of the results for those who participated in these programs are summarized below.

  • 28% fewer were incarcerated or jailed
  • 9% more completed high school; 19% more males
  • 20% more achieved at least a moderate level of socioeconomic status
  • 22% fewer had a felony arrest while the difference was 45% for children of high school dropouts
  • 28% fewer abused drugs and alcohol
  • 19% more carried a level of health insurance coverage

One of the biggest shocks was finding that children who participated in the CPCEP graduated high school on time 55% more than those who did not participate in the program. Lastly, according to this study, the cost benefit analysis of early education resulted in an 18% annual return on investment for society.

What do we take away from this study? That early childhood education is a great investment for society and that not enough money is ending up in these programs. In fact, Only 3% of the $14 billion dollars allocated to school districts under “No Child Left Behind” goes to preschool. That number seems drastically low for a system with such great benefits to society.

For more check out the study in “Science” or the  article from the New York Times which was the original source for this piece. If you represent an early childhood education program we appreciate your hard work which is why we make it a priority to protect your efforts. At Metropolitan Risk Advisory we specialize in childcare insurance, day care insurance, nursery school insurance, and non profit insurance in the greater NYC area. Our risk management techniques will protect your children and facility resulting in lower costs which can then be re-deployed on more important things, like  teachers & children not insurance premiums!

Quick Tips On How To Compete In The Nursery School Day Care Space

Commercial day care centers & nursery schools often face difficulties due to the competition from non profit day cares such as churches and after school programs.  Their cost structures are better because they can subsidize tuition and enrichment programs through donations from their congregation, grant writing, federal & state subsidies. If you are a Non Profit Nursery School, or Child Day Care Facility, understand that your local competition who cannot subsidize their tuition will try to position their facility through the use of enrichment programs to compete on child experience rather than tuition costs.

To better compete, think about implementing some of the following enrichment programs that can give your school or facilities a value edge :

Education Testing
Foreign Language Classes
Tutoring
Martial Arts
Theatre Programs
Gyms (Indoor)
Dance Programs

Parent Lecture Series

Supervised Playgrounds

These are just some amenities that will make your program more appealing against your local competition. If you can’t compete on cost, position your program as a well rounded “educational experience” which has more of an emotional pull to parents than cost might.

You can further lower your cost structure and give your facility a competitive edge by implementing risk management techniques which substantially lower your insurance costs , often far less than your peers who don’t have risk management for nursery schools or risk management for day care facilities in place. For more advice contact an advisor today at Metropolitan Risk Advisory. We specialize in the needs of child care and day care facilities. We can also help increase your profit margins with day care insurance and targeted risk management techniques.