“NAF can help you prevent crises for your organization—not just help you through them. I think more people need to understand that! My advice to any organization would be—don’t wait. Be proactive and reach out to NAF. It’s about being a strong organization and being proactive, and thinking about your sustainability into the future.”
Theresa Gardella, Director of Strategic Development, Nexus Community Partners
“Nexus Community Partners is a Community Building intermediary working to strengthen and engage communities of color and immigrant communities to create positive change in their neighborhoods. The organization was founded in 2004 as Payne-Lake Community Partners, to support entrepreneurship, home ownership, and workforce initiatives around the Payne Ave. and Lake Street communities in St. Paul and Minneapolis. In early 2007, with new leadership in place, the organization underwent a strategic planning initiative to better understand the outcomes of their work in the communities they served. What they learned was that the neighborhoods in which they worked were doing better, but the people were not. They decided to shift their focus to thepeople in the community: strengthening the social, cultural and human capital of residents so they could engage more fully in their neighborhoods and to take advantage of all of their economic potential.
Over the years, Nexus continued to grow in both the scope of their work and their reputation.In 2009, the organization was invited to expand into North Minneapolis and in 2011 they became a 501c3, and went through a rebrand. To keep up with the growing demand for their work, they knew their staff of four would need to expand.
Felicia Ring, Nexus’ Controller, joined the organization in 2012 to help build a financial infrastructure to support their growth. Felicia brought a wealth of experience to Nexus, including having led another nonprofit as executive director, and 15+ years of experience in the sector. She had been to a number of workshops and trainings that NAF [Nonprofit Assistance Fund] offered over the years, but hadn’t yet worked with them for financial assistance. “In 2014, we started to explore various lines of credit and banking options,” Felicia said, “but traditional banks weren’t interested in us—they perceived us as risky, and we didn’t have much of a financial history because we were just starting to grow significantly.” That’s when she and the Nexus team began talking with NAF about a line of credit to support their growth.”
Read the full article here.