DEALING WITH FINANCIAL CHALLENGES
We know these are trying times and a situation no one could have planned for. However, we also are sure we’re going to get through this to a new sense of normalcy at some point. Until then, many have asked for ideas of how to mitigate financial difficulties. Here are some steps you might consider as you focus on your chapter’s short-term financial plan…
Determine where you stand
1. What funds are in your bank or investment accounts?
2. What is the total of funds receivable (billed, but not yet collected)?
3. What is the total of funds payable (what bills do you owe now and when are they due)?
4. What bills will need to be paid in the coming few months?
5. The result should be a balance sheet showing your assets and liabilities that will help you plan.
Map out a Plan
1. Contact your vendors to see what options they have for people in financial difficulty. Some may allow extensions; some may allow partial payments or interest only. Take advantage of what you can.
2. Prioritize what must be paid immediately and what can be paid later (based on 1. above).
3. Make a plan to collect any funds receivable to increase your reserve. If you need assistance, contact your alumni group to help.
4. Contact those who owe to explain the importance of paying and to provide them easy ways to do so (credit card, Venmo, PayPal, check). Consider a small discount to pay in full.
5. Build a three-month budget based on the information above. If there’s not enough to break even, you will need to work with alumni to find additional funds through alumni fundraising or short-term loans.
6. If it looks like you will have difficulty paying Triangle dues/fees, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. She is pre-approved to work with you on your account and payment schedule.
If students have left campus, you may have few/no residents. If so, how will you pay the bills needed to keep housing open or protected? Here are some steps to consider…
1. Reduce or eliminate all non-essential services to reduce costs:
a. lower thermostats and water heaters in non-occupied areas
b. disconnect appliances and turn off unnecessary lights and other electrical draws
c. reduce or eliminate food service and staff, etc.
2. Check with your bank or mortgage holder to see if they have options to extend payment dates or allow you to pay interest only.
3. Check to see if SBA Emergency loans are available in your state/county (https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations); there are low interest loans for nonprofits.
4. Contact Triangle Building & Housing Corp. to discuss a short-term loan or other.
Triangle Building and Housing Corp (TBHC)
Contact Mike Fouts (email@example.com) to ask about short-term loans or having TBHC consider assuming ownership/management. Mike is plugged in to a national network of fraternity/sorority house managers and national housing corporation leaders. He will know more about SBA loans and other government-backed options for small business during this crisis.
Nonprofits are included in the several bills from Congress providing help for small businesses and many states have already been declared eligible for emergency funds. He also may have access to friendly lenders that can be trusted with fraternity housing loans. Find out more at https://vlcpa.com/articles/breaking-new-sba-loan-program-provides-business-relief-2020326/481
Triangle Education Foundation (TEF)
TEF can help with no-interest student loans up to $3,000 and with chapter grants for specific educational purposes. Also, your remaining chapter CEF funds can be used to help offset qualified chapter costs. This is limited and requires a grant to be submitted and approved, but funds could be used for things such as your chapter internet/wi-fi bill. Chapters also can designate CEF funds for need-based scholarships for members who are in financial hardship. Contact Scott Bova at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on any of these options. Find more info at http://www.triangleef.org/how-we-help/financial-aid-programs
Chapter Fees/National Active Fees (NAFs)
These are annual fees, mandated by the Constitution, and are usually billed in installments based upon the number of terms in the campus academic calendar. These cannot be eliminated or waived and chapters should plan their eventual payment. However, there will be no late fees or penalties assessed through August and maybe farther into the fall, until chapters are able to operate again. We will work with all groups to develop payment plans and eliminate late fees as necessary for anything billed in the Winter/Spring and continuing until chapters are able to return to campuses.
We also are now looking for options to help chapter alumni make non-deductible gifts to apply to the chapter account with HQ – to help lessen the burden to chapters. We have amazingly generous alumni and they often rise to the challenge in times of need. Chapter leaders will be contacted when a solution is found.
Chapter Risk Management Program Fees
Estimates of chapter Risk Management Program fees will be provided in April, so chapters can work to budget for fall. These fees are necessary to renew our annual liability insurance coverage as well as for other risk program services. Invoices will come from JR Favor & Co. in August and are due September 15. We will work with chapters in need to make sure the premium is paid when required.
Triangle HQ, TBHC and TEF remain open and on the job to help through this challenging time. It is unlike anything any of us have had to deal with before, so will take more than the usual communication and community to push through. Nonetheless, Triangle has weathered tough storms before and we will get through this as well. Contact us at email@example.com