How to Choose a Bank for Your Non-Profit
As a non-profit organization, you can expect a lot from your bank. Assuming your account is in good standing and you follow best practices, you should be able to find a bank that will give you great service and not charge you at all for it!
The best piece of advice for choosing a non-profit bank is to shop around. Identify the services that are important to you, and then look for a bank that will provide them free of charge. Here are some other ideas that should help you choose your non-profit bank:
Services a Good Nonprofit Bank Should Provide:
- Convenient Hours: Some are open late, some even on Saturday and Sunday
- Convenient Locations: Pick a bank close to where you will be collecting money
- Night Drop: You don’t have to take the auction receipts home with you
- Safe Location: You don’t want to be depositing large sums of money late at night in an area where you don’t feel safe
- No fees for your Checking or Savings accounts
- No fees for NSF checks: Not yours of course, because you won’t have any; we mean checks that people give you that bounce. Your bank should not charge you for this
- Online viewing of statements Transparency helps protect your organization from fraud. Many banks allow online viewing of banking information by authorized users without allowing them online access to the money – very important!
- Request that you get check images returned with bank statement: If someone is trying to steal from you, and your bank does nor return your checks (common with credit unions), that makes the theft easier. If your bank returns checks with your statement, that questionable check may still get “lost”. But if you get a page of check images (these are little photocopies of your checks about 15 to a page or so) it is very difficult for someone to hide who the check was actually made out to.
- Don’t be dazzled by interest rates! A difference of a half a percent on your savings may bring in an extra $10 or $50 or $100 a year depending on how much you have stashed away. But if it means poor service, inconvenient locations or monthly service fees, your interest advantage will be eaten up very quickly.
- Thourough bank statements: Look for banks statements that give you a Total for Deposits, a Total for Withdrawals and a count for each. This makes your treasurer’s job of reconciling the account far easier. And we all want to keep our treasurers happy.