Interview with YWCA CEO
By Sidni Shorter In Interviews Posted January 22, 2013 0 Comments

Execute Now! lends a financial hand to longstanding nonprofit

by: Denise McMahan, CausePlanet

 

Even longstanding pillars of our nonprofit community need a hand now and then. The YWCA of Baton Rouge was fortunate to have the combined strength of a veteran CEO and the expertise of a financial firm during the last year. “Execute Now! has been a perfect solution for us. Having Erica’s team manage our finances and oversee reporting and projections has been a difference maker,” says YWCA Interim CEO, Judi Bishop.

A Strong Partnership is Formed

Judi Bishop is a former CEO of 20 years from the YWCA in Fort Worth, Texas. She was brought out of retirement to serve as interim CEO at the Baton Rouge center while it conducted a search for the permanent post. “Eight months is a long time to be away from home but I’ve loved every minute of it. We’ve made incredible progress at the Baton Rouge YWCA and Execute Now! has played an essential role in that progress,” Bishop claims.

When Bishop arrived in Baton Rouge, the YWCA didn’t have a CFO. The board considered hiring a CFO until Judi visited with the staff at LANO about the situation. LANO recommended Bishop meet with Erica Crenshaw, CEO of Execute Now!, a finance and accounting services firm, and the partnership was formed.

Getting the House In Order

“Execute Now! got us on track. They reconciled bank statements, created accurate and timely financial statements, developed financial analyses each month and examined cash flow. Their full-service operation allowed me to perform other critical leadership tasks in preparation for the new CEO and incoming board. We have their consultants on-site every week, and they’ve become part of the team and an invaluable resource for us,” asserts Bishop

A Cornerstone of a Healthy Nonprofit

Bishop acknowledges cash reserves are critical when running an organization that provides many free services like the YWCA and income throughout the year fluctuates. “With Execute Now!’s financial leadership, we’ve gone from a day and a half to two months’ reserves, and we’re well on our way to the recommended six months,” celebrates Judi.

Informed Decision-making
“Erica is such a strong advisor and the services they provide for us have improved our decision-making as well,” Bishop attests. “I was ready to dismantle one of our programs that seemingly was a financial drain but I didn’t have the evidence to back up the decision. Erica and her staff were able to deliver the information I needed to make a strategic choice that will have positive ripple effects for months and years to come.”

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