"We rely heavily on PNC's treasury management team. They're accessible, knowledgeable and helpful, proactively offering us money-saving solutions. We've been so delighted with their support that we're asking [PNC] to start managing some of our investments as well."
Standing Strong in the Face of Recession
At a time when it's difficult for skilled, able-bodied Americans to find jobs, the plight of individuals with disabilities is even more serious. In Michigan, the unemployment rate for disabled adults is more than 75 percent. It's a daunting situation, but Kris Mooney and her team at New Horizons Rehabilitation Services offer tools, training and resources to help.
New Horizons is a private, nonprofit agency established in 1964 to provide vocational training and job placement services for disabled adults. Today the agency serves more than 3,200 individuals in 10 Michigan counties, offering programs ranging from soft- and hard-skills employment workshops to light assembly work.
As director of finance, Kris is charged with finding ways to stretch the organization's financial resources. Recent funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) helps.
"Overall, our federal, state and county funding has not increased in years," explains Kris. "We've been charged with steadily whittling down expenses while continuing to develop innovative and effective programs. ARRA funding, however, is enabling us to strengthen our programs and staffing through our partnership with Michigan Rehabilitation Services and other organizations at the state level. We have made some great strides over the past year, including helping 549 individuals secure jobs."
The Business of Running a Nonprofit
Kris "fell into the nonprofit world by accident" 15 years ago, when she became the accountant for Crossroads for Youth, an Oxford, Michigan-based agency dedicated to at-risk youth. She found the work both challenging and fulfilling.
"Debits and credits are the same anywhere, but nonprofit work gives me the opportunity to support people who truly need it," says Kris. "My emotional connection to New Horizon's mission does not color my performance, however. We run this organization just as we would a for-profit business: strategically and analytically. I oversee payroll, IT, audit and accounting. My 'rows and columns' perspective ensures that we operate efficiently."
Kris says she reaches out to experts to help her in specialized areas. "We rely heavily on PNC's treasury management team for our standard operating accounts," she shares. "They're accessible, knowledgeable and helpful, proactively offering us money-saving solutions. We also have a tax-exempt bond on our building and a line of credit through PNC. We've been so delighted with their support that we're asking [PNC] to start managing some of our investments as well."
Kris also reaches out to aspiring finance professionals, many of whom she meets through her work as an adjunct instructor at Baker College. "We've had the opportunity to hire a few of the students and I have mentored many others," she says. "I try to do for young people what we do for our New Horizons clientele: prepare them to enter the workforce and enjoy successful careers."