Located in Oregon's second-largest metropolitan area, Kids FIRST has been finding its way. Spun off from the county government as an independent nonprofit in 2017, they pursued grants while providing services to around 700 child abuse victims every year.
For Finance Director Megan Jones, it was becoming clear that the standard nonprofit financial model of relying on grant funding would not be sustainable. Mainly if they wanted to add personnel, more advanced screenings, and mental health services to children needing help and healing.
“Our team of service providers works hard at making sure children don't slip through the cracks in a child abuse investigation,” says Megan. “It inspires me daily to see the collaboration between child welfare, law enforcement, and schools for children who may be victims of abuse. They work tirelessly to keep children safe. That is a motivating factor to work to support that mission's success in a fiscally secure way.”
Megan, along with Kids FIRST Executive Director Sarah Stewart, and board of directors members such as Palo Alto Software's Kathy Gregory, realized that to find more fiscal security, they needed two things: A bigger building... and a better plan.
They also needed to demonstrate solid financials in a way that made sense to whichever audience they were presenting to, whether it be their board of directors, potential donors, or potential lenders.
“A lot of businesses don't have to show their plan and numbers to anyone,” says Megan. “But nonprofits regularly do.”