Join FJC in celebrating the promotions of Tim Nicol and Karina Xelo, and welcoming new staff Rachel Goldman and Jasmina Uka.

Promotions and New Hires at FJC

We are happy to introduce the FJC community to the new faces and new roles that will bolster our team as we respond to the urgent needs of the nonprofit community.

Tim Nicol has been promoted to Senior Manager, Finance & Investments.  Tim joined FJC in 2015 and has become an integral part of our finance team, overseeing a breadth of FJC’s financial operations and stewarding relationships with multiple financial institution partners.  Please join us in congratulating Tim as he grows into a broader management role. 

Karina Xelo has been promoted to Grants Administrator.  Karina started with FJC in 2019, as Administrative Coordinator, and she was known for years as “the voice of FJC” for donors and partners calling our office.  We are thrilled that as Grants Administrator, Karina has stepped into an even more critical donor-facing role, coordinating the Board-approval of weekly grant recommendations and troubleshooting grant disbursements.

Please also welcome two new staff to FJC:

Rachel Goldman, Program Assistant for the Fiscal Sponsorship Program, joined FJC soon after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in History from Clark University, where she studied health systems and the challenges of implementing effective programs in underserved communities, including mental health. Rachel is passionate about writing, and her published work has covered topics as varied as long form essays, playwriting and analyses of popular culture. 

Jasmina Uka, Administrative Coordinator, earned a BA in Political Science and minor in Legal studies with a Manga Sum Laude distinction at the City College of New York. Throughout her time in college, Jasmina has been active in various voluntary clubs and programs, serving on the Alumni Board of the S Jay Levy Fellowship, which supports students with strong academic performance records and pronounced career aspirations. Jasmina has seen firsthand the impact of non-profit organizations and looks forward to accelerating her non-profit career at FJC.

For more information about our staff and board, as well as our latest financial statements, please visit our About page.

Webinar Recap: Developing a Strategy for Your Giving

Donors large and small can amplify their impact with more intentional, strategic approaches to their philanthropy.  This was the major takeaway from a recent webinar with Lauren Katzowitz Shenfield, founder and principal of Philanthropy Advisors, LLC.  The webinar was moderated and hosted by Sam Marks, Chief Executive Officer of FJC – A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds.

The webinar is first in a series in which FJC, a boutique foundation of Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) and other philanthropic accounts, provides access to expertise from seasoned philanthropic consultants.  As a commitment to making philanthropic dollars more effective and meaningful, FJC allows its donors to pay for limited engagements with philanthropic consultants using funds in their Donor Advised Fund (DAF) accounts.

“The conversation always starts with values, because that underlies the entire practice of philanthropy.”  

Lauren Katzowitz Shenfield, Founder & Principal, Philanthropy Advisors, LLC

Ms. Shenfield’s consultancy works with individuals, families, and private foundations at the intersection of personal, family, and philanthropic goals.  “The conversation always starts with values,” she explains, “because that underlies the entire practice of philanthropy.”  This is true whether she is working with donors who want to begin their philanthropic journey or with long-time donors who have amassed significant assets, the conversations always start with values.

The webinar presented some case studies of client relationships that resulted in more meaningful and effective philanthropy.  These included a family with multiple siblings who needed support aligning their priorities in the wake of a patriarch’s passing, and an individual who benefited from both focus and skill-building in developing a strategy.

Mr. Marks spoke of the way Ms. Shenfield’s practice complements the resources and expertise at FJC.  “Our staff and our board members are always happy to brainstorm and bring our expertise and relationships to our donors,” observed Mr. Marks, “but sometimes donors need a more sustained, strategic engagement, and that’s where you really can add some value.”  

“[We] are always happy to brainstorm and bring our expertise and relationships to our donors, but sometimes donors need a more sustained, strategic engagement.”

Sam Marks, CEO, FJC – A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds

In terms of advice that donors can use to start their journey immediately, Ms. Shenfield suggested that donors:

  • Seek truth – about yourself, your family and others who might be involved.
  • Prioritize – make your plan important in your life, and don’t let it sink to the bottom of your to-do list.
  • Avoid Distraction – engage in a giving practice that draws on your skills and expertise.

Finally, building on her early career as a journalist, Ms. Shenfield recommends that donors start with the “5 W’s”: Who should be involved your giving? What do you care about? When do you want to make grants, in your lifetime or do you want them to last in perpetuity? Where do you want to have an impact?  And why?

Ms. Shenfield’s long history working with FJC includes customized philanthropic solutions for clients.  In consultation with Ms. Shenfield, FJC hosted for several years an awards program on behalf of Anonymous Was a Woman, which provides grants that enable women artists, over 40 years of age and at a significant juncture in their lives or careers, to continue to grow and pursue their work.  FJC also acted as the fiscal sponsor for Toby Perl Freilich,producer of “Inventing Our Life,” a documentary film about the kibbutz movement.

For more, view the full webinar here.  The recording includes the full Q&A session that covered topics such as: the use of DAFs compared with private foundations, impact investing, the mechanics of succession for DAFs, and more.

Photo courtesy iStock.com/Michael Burrell

Anticipating Changes to the U.S. Tax Code – A Conversation with FJC Board Member Neal Myerberg

In anticipation of possible changes to U.S. Tax Code, FJC CEO Sam Marks interviewed FJC Board Member, Neal Myerberg, Principal at Myerberg Philanthropic Advisors, who consults with charitable organizations, foundations and philanthropists.  A transcript of the conversation, edited for length and clarity, is below.

Please note that FJC does not offer tax advice; any prospective donor should seek the advice of a qualified estate and/or tax professional to determine the consequence of his/her gift.

Sam Marks: We know that changes the U.S. tax code may be coming, but we still don’t know which policy proposals will become law.  Should FJC donors be planning for a future that’s still uncertain?

Neal Myerberg: Yes.  While we still don’t know many of the details, the general shape of the coming tax reform is coming into focus.  There is a lot that FJC donors can do in 2021, particularly as it relates to charitable giving, that could position them well for 2022 and future years.

“While we still don’t know many of the details, the general shape of tax reform is coming into focus. There is a lot that FJC donors can do in 2021, particularly as it relates to charitable giving, that could position them well for 2022 and future years.”

FJC Board Member Neal Myberberg

Sam Marks: So, what do we know and what don’t we know?

Neal Myerberg: As of October 2021 there are still some key differences between the Biden Administration tax proposals and what’s under discussion in the U.S. House of Representatives.  We can expect a lot of horse trading and negotiations in the coming months. The U.S. Senate will also play a role in tax legislation.   

So the exact details are still to be determined, but there are a few areas where it appears that consensus is emerging in terms of what may become law next year.

The first relates to income tax rates.  Proposed changes include raising the top individual federal income tax rate to 39.6% from its current level of 37% and extending the 12.4% portion of the Social Security tax — which is shared by employers and employees — to earnings over $400,000. Currently, wages up to $137,700 are subject to the tax.  Biden has also called for the federal capital gains rate to rise to 39.6% for taxpayers with income over $1 million. Currently, wealthy investors face long-term capital gains rates of up to 20%.  The House is proposing different rates and mechanisms, but their proposals also anticipate increased tax rates.

So there seems to be consensus from DC policymakers that income and capital gains rates are likely to go up. 

The second major change we can anticipate is to the estate tax.  The Biden Administration would eliminate the step-up in basis, which allows heirs to receive assets valued as of the date of death as basis for subsequent sales. Instead, any capital gains from the sale of inherited assets would be subject to tax using the decedent’s basis which if it were to be implemented would require wealthy households to make significant changes to their estate planning.  The Administration also proposes to reduce the amount that an individual can transfer free of estate and gift taxes from $11.7 million (in 2021) to $3.5 million for transfers at death and $1 million in lifetime gifts.  The tax rate above the exempt amount may be 40% or higher.  Again, the House plan differs considerably (and does not advocate eliminating the step-up in basis), but it also proposes reducing the exemption level from $11.7 million to $6 million, among other changes.

 The specifics are still uncertain, but it seems clear that more families will be subject to the federal estate tax, and probably at higher rates.

Sam Marks: So given that these changes are coming, what planning ideas should families be exploring with their advisors?

Neal Myerberg: I have four general planning suggestions.

One, harvest long-term capital gains before the end of 2021.  If you have appreciated assets, whether it’s publicly-traded stock or something else, you may want to take steps to realize those gains before the end of the year. Donating them to charity may also make sense for some families. Donations may be outright or to establish various life income vehicles.

Second, accelerate receipt of income before the end of 2021. If you have a bonus or deferred compensation that you can take in 2021 instead of next year, that may be advisable.

Third, apply some of all of the current unified gift and estate tax credit ($11.7 million) before the end of 2021 to particularly remove appreciating assets from your estate.  There are a variety of ways to accomplish this including the use of a charitable lead trust to pass assets generationally at low gift or estate tax costs.

Finally, and this may be relevant to donors at FJC, consider using a Charitable Remainder  Trust (CRT) for succession planning.  This is particularly relevant when planning for after-life transfers of IRA assets which are now subject to the 10-year withdrawal rule for most beneficiaries.  The remainder interest in the CRT can be designated for the family’s donor advised fund at FJC.

Photo courtesy of iStock.com/A-S-L

Year-End Dates For FJC Account Holders

As we head into November, we wanted to advise you of a few important deadlines:

Grant Recommendations & Distributions: December 17, 2021.  This is the deadline for this year’s grant recommendations!  We know that many of your favorite charities plan big year-end campaigns.  Please help us make these critical resources count for your nonprofit partner’s fiscal year by making your recommendations before this deadline.  

Please note that grant recommendations made after December 17 (5PM Eastern Standard Time) may be approved and processed early in 2022. 

Contributions: December 31, 2021.  For your giving to FJC to qualify for a 2021 tax deduction, we must receive your contributions by December 31. 

  • Electronic transfer recommended.  We recommend that cash contributions are sent by credit card, ACH, or wire transfer and received by FJC by December 31. (Please note that ACH transfers can take up to 5 business days to settle, so please plan accordingly). Using electronic payments ensures the most efficient crediting of your account. Please contact FJC for instructions. 
  • Contributions by check.  If you make contributions to your account by check, please note that checks that are sent via U.S. mail must be postmarked by December 31 to qualify as a 2021 tax deduction. Deliveries by other means (such as FedEx, DHL or others) must be received by December 31. 
  • Contributions of securities and mutual fund shares. These should be made as soon as possible and received by FJC by December 31. Please notify us in advance of the transfer so we can promptly credit your fund.
  • Contributions of other assets.  Real estate, restricted securities or privately held stock can be made, but require long lead times, so let us know ASAP.

If sending checks, please note our current temporary mailing address:

FJC, 31 West 34th Street, Suite 8026, New York, NY 10018

FJC Welcomes Staff Accountant Gloribel Lopez

In June, 2021 Gloribel Lopez joined the finance team at FJC.  Gloribel holds a B.S. in accounting from Lehman College. She has a strong passion for community service and has dedicated part of her life to support children and teens in need by facilitating life skills workshops. She believes that community service has shaped her life by nurturing the importance of giving to others and understanding that one person can make a difference.  FJC is Gloribel’s first job in the philanthropic sector following accounting positions at companies in the manufacturing and financial services industries.

FJC Welcomes Program Assistant Gabrielle Tran

Please join FJC in welcoming Gabrielle Tran, who began her role as Program Assistant this fall. Gabi is a recent graduate of Rutgers University where she earned a B.S. in Public Health with high honors. She has demonstrated a deep commitment to the nonprofit sector, interning at organizations like American Cancer Society and Cancer Support Community, as well as helping start up Welcome to Chinatown, a grassroots initiative to support Chinatown businesses following the rapid decline in business as a result of COVID-19 and increased xenophobia. Gabi will be working on our Fiscal Sponsorship Program, providing operational support to over 140 organizations and programs under FJC’s 501(c)(3) umbrella.

A DAF Sponsor Mobilizes Resources for the Nonprofit Sector

Part Two of the Nonprofit Lowdown podcast featuring CEO Sam Marks (air date: March 12, 2020)

In November 2019, Sam Marks, Chief Executive Officer of FJC, was interviewed for the podcast Nonprofit Lowdown with Rhea Wong. The interview was a reunion of sorts for these two, as Sam was Rhea’s first boss in 1999 when she worked at Summerbridge at the Town School (now known as Breakthrough New York, an organization Rhea later ran for over a decade).

Part One of this interview focuses on Sam’s professional journey from his early years in youth development and education to “the dollars and cents side” of the nonprofit sector.

Part Two of the interview focuses on his particular vantage point at FJC, and covers Donor Advised Funds, nonprofit lending, and fiscal sponsorships.

The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

So now you’re the CEO of FJC.  What is that and what do you do?

FJC is a foundation, primarily comprised of Donor Advised Funds or DAFs.  The way a DAF works is, you set up an account, you move money into it.  That money becomes legally the asset of FJC. The donor gets the full tax benefit of making that donation.  But the donor can recommend two things: how that money is invested over time, similar to a foundation endowment.  We provide donors with a menu of investment options like stocks and fixed income. They can also recommend how those funds are turned into grants to nonprofit organizations they care about.

“The [DAF] donor can recommend two things: how that money is invested over time, similar to a foundation endowment, and how those funds are turned into grants to nonprofit organizations they care about.”

You have another part of the house so to speak.  Explain the investment side.

The investment side is how we steward the assets of our donors over time.  Donors can choose to put it in stocks or bonds. There are some donors, if they’re  big enough, they can bring a hedge fund or an alternative investment onto our platform.  But one of the most popular ways is our impact investing opportunity, FJC’s Agency Loan Fund, which is a pool of donor capital that is deployed as loans to nonprofit organizations. So it’s great for the donors, because their money can be put to work in the community, supporting the missions of organizations.  The principal and interest payments come back to their accounts, so those accounts can grow.  They can still make grants with them, but in the meantime, that money is being lent to a full gamut of organizations. Our borrowers are making energy efficiency improvements in buildings, doing homeless services, arts organizations, and more.

Why would a nonprofit organization be interested in taking out a loan?

It’s typically to bridge some kind of commitment.  If you have a city or state contract for services, and you’re working with youth afterschool or doing foreclosure counseling, it’s great to have that contract but you can’t pay the bills with a contract.  You can only pay the bills with cash. Many city and state contracts for various reasons take a long time to pay. So many of the nonprofits that come to us have an urgent cash flow need, and we’re a pretty nimble, flexible organization.  We can turn a decision around about a loan in just a couple or three weeks. A lot of nonprofits find that to be a critical service to even out their cash flow, make payroll, or pay their vendors.

What do you look for when you’re making a loan?

The types of organizations we work with are a range of sizes and missions, but they have to be credit-worthy. That means they have to have some experience, not necessarily being a borrower (a lot of our borrowers have never borrowed money before), but they have to have some ability to have an informed conversation about their finances and their plan to repay the loan. Typically, we’re bridging a city or state contract, or a capital grant.  They have to be able to understand their business well enough to say how they are going to pay it back.

They will also need some kind of collateral. In some cases that can be a piece of real estate that we can secure the loan, but other times they may be able to provide a guarantee. Perhaps a guarantor on their board or some other asset that can serve as collateral.

Is there a general size of loan that you’re looking at?

It runs the gamut. We’ve made loans as small as $10,000 and as high as $4 million.  Above $4 million we sometimes work with a co-lender or two. So we’re pretty flexible.

“[FJC’s Agency Loan Fund] is great for the donors, because their money can be put to work in the community, supporting the missions of organizations. The principal and interest payments come back to their accounts, so those accounts can grow.”

What other lending options are there out there for nonprofits?

There are banks and credit unions.  There are banks with very focused nonprofit business lines like Amalgamated Bank or M&T.  There are also community development financial institutions, or CDFIs. Examples include LISC, where I used to work, Nonprofit Finance Fund, Low income Investment Fund, and many others.  These are specialized nonprofit lenders.  They are nonprofits themselves, and they lend to nonprofits.  They tend to focus more on capital projects, like affordable housing or community centers.  They tend to lend secured against real estate, though not always. The Fund for the City of New York will also lend against city contracts. So there is an ecosystem that serves this niche.

“We’re a good [lending] option for organizations whose needs are maybe a little bit more urgent, and we can be pretty flexible and nimble about getting to yes.”

Why would an organization choose to approach you for a loan, as opposed to getting a line of credit from a bank?

Bank loans are probably going to be a little bit cheaper, if you can get one.  The reason we are competitive is that we are very fast and nimble in terms of our decision making. We’re a pretty small outfit.  A bank or larger institutions may have credit committees and layers or approval processes, and they may have people making decisions about loans that don’t particularly know about the nonprofit sector. They might not be comfortable with a city or state contract acting as repayment source. But we know the nonprofit sector really well, and we can get to a decision pretty quickly.

If a nonprofit has enough lead time and relationships at a bank, maybe they keep their deposits there, if they can make a line of credit work, they should definitely do that. We’re a good option for organizations whose needs are maybe a little bit more urgent, and we can be pretty flexible and nimble about getting to yes.

What else should nonprofits consider if thinking about taking out a loan?  What else do you look for in deciding if a nonprofit is ready for a loan? Do they need to have a CFO?

Nonprofit organizations can get to that level of sophistication in a lot of different ways.  It can be an Executive Director or a Board Member where that expertise sits. There are organizations that become big and complex enough, where the business fundamentals include different revenue sources like earned revenue, grants and multiple city and state contracts. Then the cash flow forecasting gets to be more complicated.  You might have an investment portfolio.  In those cases we often see organizations with CFOs. We see a lot of organizations starting to outsource their CFO function. There are companies like BTQ Financial that work with a lot of organizations we know.  FMA is another one. So there are a lot of different solutions that are tailored to nonprofits.

I should mention also, another part of our business is fiscal sponsorships. These are with organizations that are earlier in their life cycle. These are organizations that don’t have their own 501(c)(3) status. They want to get donations but they don’t have that IRS determination letter yet. We can act as the 501(c)(3), we can accept grant payments, we can pay their vendors and provide them with some pretty basic accounting of their income and expenses. We have about 160 organizations we work with. We are set up to do that because having DAFs, we’re set up to be accepting money and getting payments out in a pretty rapid way, so those capabilities fit well with a fiscal sponsorship program.

“[Our fiscal sponsorship program works with] organizations that are earlier in their life cycle. They want to get donations but they don’t have that IRS determination letter yet.  We can act as the 501(c)(3).”

What’s the cost of your fiscal sponsorship program?

Our fiscal sponsorship program is pretty reasonably priced.  It’s generally 4-6% of inbound donations (plus 1% annually on the average daily balance).  And the reason why we’re reasonable is that we’re a pretty bare-bones fiscal sponsorship program. Other organizations will provide a lot more types of services or technical assistance.  We engage with our organizations a lot and give them a lot of advice and contacts but it’s done in a more informal way.

Part One of this interview focuses on Sam’s professional journey from his early years in youth development and education to “the dollars and cents side” of the nonprofit sector.

For an audio version of this interview (and dozens of others with nonprofit leaders), check out Nonprofit Lowdown, Rhea Wong’s fabulous podcast, where she reviews and recommends the best ideas, resources, tools, tricks and tips to “run your nonprofit like a pro!”

A Generalist Encounters Nonprofit Finance

Part One of the Nonprofit Lowdown podcast featuring CEO Sam Marks (air date: March 12, 2020)

In November 2019, Sam Marks, Chief Executive Officer of FJC, was interviewed for the podcast Nonprofit Lowdown with Rhea Wong. The interview was a reunion of sorts for these two, as Sam was Rhea’s first boss in 1999 when she worked at Summerbridge at the Town School (now known as Breakthrough New York, an organization Rhea later ran for over a decade). The episode aired on March 12, 2020.

Part One of this interview focuses on Sam’s professional journey from his early years in youth development and education to “the dollars and cents side” of the nonprofit sector.

Part Two of the interview focuses on his particular vantage point at FJC, and covers Donor Advised Funds, nonprofit lending, and fiscal sponsorships.

The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

So what is it that you do?

I’m the CEO of a foundation called FJC.  It’s been around about 25 years.  It has over $300 million under management across about 1,000 accounts. As a sponsor of Donor Advised Funds, it’s almost it’s like we have a thousand little mini-foundations under our roof. I sort of sit at the intersection of supporting the nonprofit sector and financial services industry and global financial capital flows.

When I first met you, you were an education guy and a teacher.   Now you’re like this quasi-finance guy.  What happened?

I am even more surprised than you to find myself doing this work and thinking so much about the dollars and cents and the financing side of the nonprofit sector. But I haven’t left behind that commitment to youth development and community development and impact and all of the things we want the nonprofit sector to do.  I’ve had this interesting path where I’ve been increasingly exposed to how the money part of the sector works.

I think it started when Summerbridge was hosted back in the 1990s and 2000s at The Town School, and the first exposure I had to the money side came with one of my favorite staff people, Linda Larkin, the business manager at Town.  She was an amazing mentor to me. I had my own little mini budget to manage within the context of Town School’s budget, and she was the first person who explained to me, when you buy pencils and paper and crayons, that’s an expense. When you buy a chair or a desk, you’re purchasing an asset, something you’re not going to consume over a year, and we’re going to depreciate it over time. And that was a lightbulb to me like, Oh there’s a whole industry of people and an expertise set to help nonprofits figure out how to intersect with audit and finance.

When I went to graduate school at the Harvard Kennedy School, I took a great class with Christine Letts who was a professor in nonprofit management.   She asked us to look at audited financial statements, climb inside them, look at the balance sheet, income statement, cash flow, because those documents could help you tell a story about the organization, to connect the mission to the operations and with the way money came in and out.  It was another way to analyze an organization, and it became a fundamental skill set in my career.

“I am even more surprised than you to find myself doing this work and thinking so much about the dollars and cents and the financing side of the nonprofit sector.”

At the core when you look at the financial statements you really understand what the organization values and prioritizes.

Absolutely! And when you’re doing due diligence on the lending side, having audited financial statements means there’s a third party coming in with a set of Generally Accepted Accounting Principals and you’re able to separate the story someone’s telling you from what’s actually happening in the organization.  When those things don’t match up, that can be a red flag.

So you went to grad school, you found out financials could be super fun, and then what happened?

While I was in graduate school I found myself gravitating to the part of the nonprofit sector involved in affordable housing and community economic development.  I became focused on issues of inequality, the differences among neighborhoods in New York City, where I grew up, and how nonprofits could best intervene to address issues of inequality.  The affordable housing sector was fascinating because it was the place where community investment, government, financial institutions, the public sector, and nonprofits were all collaborating to advance a public agenda. When I was first stepping into it, I was more interested in the softer side, the programmatic side, the urban planning aspects, the pieces that appealed to a more generalist skill set. But at the end of the day, the financing and the analysis about project feasibility was where the action was. And the decision makers driving resources into cities and neighborhoods really had to develop that skill set.

I came out of graduate school, landed at WHEDCO, a nonprofit in the South Bronx that was focused on housing and economic development. And from there I went to Deutsche Bank. I spent 7 years in the Community Development Finance Group. I got to focus on lending, investing, program related investments (which are below market rate loans) and I got to straddle the foundation side as well, making grants to community based organizations. So it was a whole range of capital from grants, to loans, to equity investments and how to tailor the right type of capital to the right problems in the communities.

“[Analyzing audited financial statements] could help you tell a story about the organization, to connect the mission to the operations and with the way money came in and out. It was another way to analyze an organization, and it became a fundamental skill set in my career.”

You talked about organizations that use financial analysis to connect mission to operations.  Can you explain with an example?

I’ll give you a great example from my own experience. After I left Deutsche Bank and before I came to FJC, I spent about five years running the New York City local office of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).  LISC is a national organization that brings financing and technical assistance to low-income neighborhoods all over the country. When I started at the NYC office, LISC was in the middle of a major set of programs that we implemented after Hurricane Sandy.  We had an infusion of both private and public sector dollars, and these were time-limited programs and we knew that money was going to come to an end.  So when I came in, I knew I had a two-year runway, maybe three if the contracts were extended, and we knew that we had to do a deep dive on our business model and figure out what was making money and what wasn’t.  We had a team of lenders that were making loans to nonprofits, we had a team that were designing and implementing programs around commercial corridors and a whole bunch of other things. It was a very complex organization. 

So I climbed into the organization with the help of my finance director Wilber Gonzalez, an amazing guy with amazing skills in Excel. Working with senior management, we looked at every single program that we were running, and we looked at all the grants that were attached to those, we looked at all the revenues attached to all the various programs, and then we looked at our costs. And primarily the costs were our people power. We had a staff of 15 people, and we began to estimate the percentage of each’s person’s time on each program, and we were able to create an analysis that helped us look at what pieces of our work were earning money, what was in the black, what was in the red. That didn’t mean we were going to just shut down the money-losing programs, but it meant that we had much better handle on the true costs of running each of our program lines. And that influenced our way of thinking about how we fundraise. It made us understand that even though our lending was earning revenue, that scale of activity wasn’t going to be enough to have the whole organization operating in the black. We said, hey that’s important data, we can increase our lending but we also need to spend more time on fundraising, and making our annual gala bigger and better. That would have a bigger impact on our bottom line than trying to just double our lending. The process helped us make some strategic decisions we couldn’t have done without the data.

Check out Part Two of the interview, which focuses on his particular vantage point at FJC, and covers Donor Advised Funds, nonprofit lending, and fiscal sponsorships.

For an audio version of this interview (and dozens of others with nonprofit leaders), check out Nonprofit Lowdown, Rhea Wong’s fabulous podcast, where she reviews and recommends the best ideas, resources, tools, tricks and tips to “run your nonprofit like a pro!”

FJC Welcomes New Board Members

FJC – A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds announced the appointment of Gary W. Finger and Amber M. Randolph to its Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2020. The Board provides critical governance and oversight functions to FJC, a public charity that provides total management of charitable giving and offers a diverse menu of philanthropic services, including Donor Advised Funds and fiscal sponsorships.

Gary W. Finger is currently a Senior Advisor in the Corporate Finance Group of Houlihan Lokey. He specializes in advising companies on public and private mergers and acquisitions transactions, particularly in activist shareholder situations. Mr. Finger has a distinguished career in the investment banking industry, having previously served with Morgan Stanley, EF Hutton, and Bear Stearns. Mr. Finger will serve on the Board’s investment committee, which sets policies for responsible management of FJC’s assets, including the selection of investment managers and the investment options available for Donor Advised Fund (DAF). He will also serve on the grants committee, which approves grants to charitable organizations that are recommended by FJC donors.

Amber M. Randolph currently serves as Senior Vice Chancellor for Administration, Economic Development and Chief Financial Officer of Rutgers University-Newark, with a portfolio that includes financial management and planning, campus planning and facilities, real estate, and the university’s engagement with the surrounding community. Prior to her position at Rutgers, she held positions at various institutions at the intersection of community development, impact investing, and the nonprofit sector, including Low Income Investment Fund, Primary Care Development Corporation, and Deutsche Bank’s Community Development Finance Group. Among other responsibilities, Amber will serve on the Board’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program Committee, which provides final approval of applications from nonprofit projects or organizations that are seeking fiscal sponsorship by FJC awaiting approval of their tax exempt 501(c)3 status from the Internal Revenue Service.

See the full announcements here and here.

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FJC Expands Finance Team with New CFO / CIO

Please join us in welcoming Regina A. Rodriguez as FJC’s new Chief Financial & Investment Officer, effective December 1, 2019. Ms. Rodriguez most recently held the position of Director of Finance at the Long Island Children’s Museum and previously acted as Controller at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Ms. Rodriguez came to the nonprofit sector following over a decade in various accounting firms.

See the full announcement here.