Nonprofit Finance Leaders Share How They’re Adapting to COVID-19 [V-log Series]

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Nonprofit leaders have expressed interest in hearing how other nonprofits have been managing during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Inspiring Leaders in Nonprofit Finance Video Blog Series, nine resourceful, creative, and inspiring nonprofit finance leaders share their stories, provide insight into how they have been pivoting their operations to respond to the crisis, and offer encouragement and inspiration to other nonprofits during these challenging times.

Watch these five- to ten-minute video conversations to gain inspiration and tips for navigating the challenges of nonprofit leadership in a pandemic world.

Roger Bayramian, Controller, Children’s Hunger Fund

Roger Bayramian - Children's Hunger FundChildren’s Hunger Fund partners with churches around the world to deliver food and hope to suffering children and families. The finance team supports the mission by ensuring financial accountability through its use of Sage Intacct to track all donations and expenses and provide transparent financial reporting and dashboards.

“Stay focused…there’s opportunity right now to fulfill your mission and your purpose in a world that seems to be spinning out of control.”


Shari Freedman, CFO, Room to Read

Shari Freedman - Room to ReadAt the start of the pandemic Room to Read’s leadership quickly moved their entire global workforce—operating in 19 countries—to remote work. They conducted their single audit and their global consolidated audit fully remotely. After re-budgeting twice this year, they’re ready to focus on 2021 plans.

“For every obstacle being thrown at us, we at Room to Read are looking at them as potential opportunities to deliver our programs more effectively, reach more children in pursuit of our mission to end illiteracy and gender inequality.”


Kote Lomidze, CFAO, World Learning

Kote Lomidze - World LearningWorld Learning seeks to serve the world through international education exchange and development programs. Before the pandemic, the finance team deployed cloud-based solutions that enabled them to be paper-free and switch smoothly to remote operations in the U.S. and other nations impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns.

“Don’t get discouraged. The mission we’re all focusing on has impact on the world. Double down on the mission and core values of the organization. Keep believing what we’re here to do is important.”


Alliah Mohamed, Dir. of Accounting & Financial Operations, DonorsChoose

Alliah Mohamed - DonorsChooseDonorsChoose is a cloud-funding platform for giving to public schools in the U.S. Normally, teachers request materials and DonorsChoose ships them to the classroom. As schools across the country shut down, the organization had to adapt quickly, developing new online technology to deliver shipments to teachers’ homes.

“Using Sage Intacct, we’re able to continue scaling our processes on the finance team… saving time there so we can work on these urgent needs that come up.”


Curtis Ruder, CFO, Meals on Wheels San Antonio

Curtis Ruder - Meals on Wheels San AntonioMeals on Wheels San Antonio provides meals and companionship to seniors, normally visiting each client’s home five days a week with a hot meal. The pandemic meant a risk of exposing the client every time a driver delivered a meal. They switched to cold meals, delivered twice weekly, and Sage Intacct nonprofit accounting software helped them build a cost model for groceries and delivery as they adapted the program.

“It has really proven to be crucial during the pandemic to have more control over those costs because our programs had to change very dramatically and very quickly.”


Michelle Naus, CFO, Tri-County Mental Health Services

Michelle Naus - Tri-County Mental HealthTri-County Mental Health Services is a community behavioral health center. In mental health, most services get delivered face-to-face. But as the pandemic set in, the organization realized it would have to shut down its normal operations and stand up telehealth services practically overnight.

“Our organization is considered an essential healthcare organization, so we had to quickly provide financial data, reporting data, operational data to the state and federal levels.”


Glenn Wood, Pastor of Administration, Seacoast Church

Glenn Wood - Seacoast ChurchBefore COVID-19, Seacoast Church averaged 15,000 people in weekly attendance across thirteen physical worship locations. After a rapid transition to online only services, their message now reaches 25,000 to 30,000 people each week. Cloud-based Sage Intacct helped the finance and administration team transition to remote work without missing a beat.

“As we went from fully staffed in the office to working remotely in a matter of days, it was a big change…and honestly from an operational standpoint…it was actually kind of a painless transition.”


Lora Winchell, CFO, Hunter Health

Lora Winchell - Hunter HealthHunter Health is a federally qualified community health center that provides primary care, optometry, dental, pharmacy, lab, and imaging. During the pandemic, patients have needed more services, but many have struggled to pay, so the finance team has obtained extra funding sources.

“Sage Intacct has given us the ability within our General Ledger to track all of our different funding sources…it allows us to code everything specific to the funding source—the department, the location—so it’s very easy to run reports on our information.”


Chace Holland, Dir. of Programming & Business Operations, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi

Chace Holland - GRAMMY Museum Mississippi-1Cleveland Music Foundation is a nonprofit that owns and operates GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. One of two GRAMMY Museums in the world, their mission is to educate and inspire the next generation of music innovators by exploring the past, present, and future of music through interactive exhibits, public events, and education programs.

“I think everyone’s in a different situation than they found themselves in from the beginning of this year. But I’ve always been told to work smarter and not harder…As long as you have the right tools in place, that can make all the difference.”


Conclusion

We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing from peers about how they are leading their organizations through this period of change. We’ve been inspired by the stories of how these nonprofit finance leaders are meeting the pandemic head on and finding opportunities to deliver on their missions in new ways.

Sage Intacct provided each of these nonprofit finance leaders with the flexibility to pivot easily to remote work and the real-time visibility to adapt their financial strategy as conditions rapidly changed. Learn more about these important advantages by reading our eBook, The Benefits of Cloud-Based Nonprofit Accounting Software.

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