When was the last time your organization examined how it manages credit cards? You and your team members likely use them regularly – they make up a routine element of your finances. But do you know who opened that credit card? Do you have access to a line of credit? Surely, as a nonprofit, you’re not paying annual fees on that card, right?
It is a little-known fact that most nonprofit credit cards are taken out under personal credit. Typically, the chief financial officer takes out a credit card for the organization and offers their credit as backing for the bank. This not only places a lot of unnecessary risk on these individuals, it also gives them an uncomfortable personal advantage by helping them grow their personal credit scores through organizational purchases.
This less-than-ideal scenario is through no fault of nonprofits. There simply haven’t been many other traditional options available to them. Banks typically only offer credit to individuals or for-profit businesses. There is a huge missed opportunity for the nonprofit industry in this traditional structure.
Here at Global Impact, we addressed this challenge through a partnership with a unique organization called Charity Charge. Charity Charge offers the only credit card program for nonprofits, giving us a socially responsible way to manage our organization’s spending.
Here are the primary reasons that we switched to Charity Charge:
- Mission and values align: We work hard to inspire greater giving for global causes and want our spending to reflect that as much as possible. Using credit cards that are specifically designed for nonprofits meets our needs and helps grow our mission.
- Increased line of credit: Like other credit cards, our spending expands our available credit. This provides financial stability for the organization and helps us manage our cash flow. When fundraising is volatile, we have the same secure financial backing available to most for-profit companies.
- Better support for our clients: Global Impact acts as a fiscal sponsor for over 30 organizations. With Charity Charge, we can now act as a credit card sponsor for these clients, too. We are able to remove individual risk and exercise financial best practices, while still offering the individual reporting and services our partners need to raise funds for their incredible work.
- Reduced costs: Saving money is an easy win. Charity Charge credit cards have no annual fee, meaning we are spending more on the things that matter. That spending goes back into earning rewards through their rebate program, saving us even more money!
- Better accessibility: When a finance colleague moves on, we aren’t left figuring out how to access credit cards that were opened under their name or wrangling banks to transfer accounts. Everything is centrally accessible and easy to use regardless of staffing changes.
With the new year, comes the end of many workplace giving and fundraising campaigns – as well as a chance for finance teams and executive leadership to reevaluate organizational systems. Many nonprofit budgets are tight due to the pandemic and economic downturn, so every dollar saved matters. We are glad we took a closer look at the way we use credit cards and recommend this improved system to all of our nonprofit colleagues. If your team is still using personal credit for your organization, it’s time to reach out to Charity Charge to make a change.