UPDATE - 11/4/22:
According to an article by CNBC, Supreme Court again declines to block Biden’s student loan relief plan, "Justice Amy Coney Barrett denied an emergency application brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation to block federal student loan forgiveness... For now, student loan forgiveness remains on hold from a separate challenge brought by six GOP-led states after an appeals court judge in the 8th Circuit granted a stay...Close to 26 million Americans have already applied for student loan forgiveness."
UPDATE - 10/21/22:
According to this article by CNN, "A federal appeals court put a temporary, administrative hold on President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, barring the administration from canceling loans covered under the policy, while the court considers a challenge to it." The U.S Department of Education's application portal says that they will be reviewing applications during this pause so that they are ready to begin processing debt relief once the court cases are resolved.
On Monday, October 17th the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) opened the application for the Biden-Harris Administration Student Debt Relief Plan. The application will be open through December 31, 2023. According to the DOE, "The Student Debt Releif Plan is It’s a program that provides eligible borrowers with full or partial discharge of loans up to $20,000 to Federal Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 to non-Pell Grant recipients.
How to Apply for Federal Student Loan Debt Relief
Who is Eligible for Student Loan Debt Relief
Here are the facts according to the U.S. Department of Education:
Beware of Student Loan Debt Relief SCAMS!
Our team at Blue Fox is subscribed to receive updates about the Biden-Harris Student Loan Relief Plan and we will continue to share information as we get the facts.
Please read this message from the U.S Department of Education:
"Here's a list of Do's and Don'ts to protect yourself against scams as you prepare to apply for debt relief.
Though the Blue Fox Den is virtual, Florida is our home state. Southwest Florida (SWFL) in particular holds a special place in our hearts - it’s where we got our start, served our first clients, and hired our first team members. The devastation we see from Hurricane Ian's destructive path is hard to process. The effects are unbelievably tragic, and it will be a long road back to anything remotely normal in Southwest Florida.
We stand with our team and our community to do whatever we can to help.
If you are looking for ways to aid recovery efforts, please see the list below that includes organizations that are making a direct impact in SWFL (the boots on the ground). If you have time, talent, or treasure to contribute, please do!
We’ve also included some resources to help those affected stay connected and updated
How to Support, Give, and Connect
Statewide & General Relief
Southwest Florida (Boots On the Ground)
Volunteer Florida is the state’s lead agency for volunteerism and national service. This organization has compiled a variety of opportunities through its Volunteer Connect platform. Click here to find ways to volunteer and assist those in need from the devastation of Hurricane Ian.
Hurricane Ian Direct Impact Assistance
If you were directly affected by Hurricane Ian, this section is for you.
Thousands of FEMA and federal personnel are working alongside Florida National Guard and other state response and emergency managers to support recovery from Ian. Here is more information on how FEMA continues to respond to Hurricane Ian.
Apply for Disaster Assistance
If you have been affected by Hurricane Ian in Florida, apply for assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362.
Call the FL SAIL - State Assistance Information Line - for up-to-date information on state assistance at 800-342-3557.
Small Business Administration Disaster Support for Businesses in Affected Areas | disasterloanassistance.sba.gov
Disaster Distress Hotline
Mental health resources are available. Survivors experiencing emotional distress can call or text the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990. The national hotline provides free 24/7, crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Deaf and hard of hearing ASL callers can use a videophone or ASL Now.
State and federal officials have made it easier for storm victims to apply for unemployment aid. Work search reporting, waiting week and registration requirements for Reemployment Assistance claims have been temporarily waived in the counties declared disasters.
Updates & Information
Stay up-to-date on announcements by accessing government and public safety organizations at the county and state levels (this list may not be exhaustive):
Brevard | brevardfl.gov
Charlotte | charlottecountyfl.gov
Collier | colliercountyfl.gov
Duval | coj.net
Flagler | flaglercounty.gov
Hillsborough | hillsboroughcounty.org
Lake | lakecountyfl.gov
Lee | leegov.com
Manatee | manatee.hosted.civiclive.com
Monroe | monroecounty-fl.gov
Nassau | nassaucountyfl.com
Orange | orangecountyfl.net
Osceola | osceola.org
Pasco | pascocountyfl.net
Pinellas | pinellascounty.org
Polk | polk-county.net
Sarasota | scgov.net
St. Johns | co.st-johns.fl.us
Seminole | seminolecountyfl.gov
Sumter | sumtercountyfl.gov
Volusia | volusia.org
Official Florida State Website | myflorida.com
Florida Division of Emergency Management | floridadisaster.org
State of Florida Power Outages | floridadisaster.maps.arcgis.com
Support Blue Fox Clients in Florida
We're big fans of the ripple effect.
Otherwise known as the:
It's the idea that one single act will cause continuous, cascading results.
Most people think of the ripple effect on a flat surface. They picture rings spreading outward from a rock dropping into water. But think about what’s happening under the water too. The stone passes by wildlife and plant life and lands on the bottom, displacing sand.
This Earth Day, imagine what we could achieve if every human on earth completed one act of goodness today. We would influence real positive change on our planet.
So, we challenge you to take action in whichever way feels best!
Pick up a stone, drop it into the water, and watch the ripples of care spread outward, upward, sideways, diagonal, and deep into humanity.
As you may know, conservation organizations hold a special place in our hearts. We highly recommend our clients if you’re looking for an organization to support this Earth Day.
Our team often says that we’re just humans serving humans. Today, let’s kick it up a notch and make it humans serving humanity.
Happy Earth Day 2022!
Here’s to you and the greater good!
Blue Fox CEO Joins the Melbourne Regional Chamber Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee as Founding Member and Investor
"DEI work is about recognizing that our unique individual circumstances factor into our ability to succeed." - Chantal Sheehan
Chamber Vice President of Business Development Mel Thomas said, “Chantal’s leadership style, professionalism, and operation of her organization made her an instant candidate to serve on the MRC’s DEI Committee. We are so honored that she not only accepted the invitation to serve but has been a force for driving those conversations and programs both internally and externally, as well as a financial supporter of our Professional Equity Sponsorship program for underserved business partners.”
The DEI Committee webpage also highlights investors and current committee members. For more information, visit www.melbourneregionalchamber.com/dei-task-force.
For more information about Blue Fox and Chantal Sheehan, visit www.yourbluefox.com.
ABOUT BLUE FOX: Blue Fox provides customized financial and back-office services for social impact organizations (nonprofits and social enterprises). The company’s services include bookkeeping, payroll, tax preparation, financial consulting, and comprehensive virtual CFO services. Blue Fox’s mission is to disrupt the traditional accounting model through technology, innovation, and a radically client-focused approach that truly empowers nonprofits and social enterprises. For more information, call (321) 233-3311, email email@example.com, and visit www.yourbluefox.com.
ABOUT MELBOURNE REGIONAL CHAMBER: For nearly 100 years, the Melbourne Regional Chamber has been the area’s driving force in creating an environment in which business thrives. The Chamber has grown from a small-town chamber into a regional powerhouse dedicated to developing and promoting the business interests of our partners. The Melbourne Regional Chamber is a representative, advocate, educator, and facilitator of connection dedicated to a thriving community. For more information, call (321)724-5400, or visit www.melbourneregionalchamber.com
Humans Serving Humans with Financial Peace of Mind
Recently, I listened in on a new client onboarding call.
I don't typically attend these calls. I'm the marketing person behind the scenes at Blue Fox (you know, the one showing up in your inbox with beautifully written newsletters).
But our CEO suggested that I listen to this one. She said I might be surprised by the conversation and to keep in mind that many of our clients come to us in the same state of mind.
Financial shop talk is what I thought I would hear.
Boy, was I wrong!
This is what surprised me:
"What are you looking to gain from our partnership?" we asked.
"I'm looking to gain stability," said our new client. "I've been working really hard to teach myself the finance side but realized I need to close the gap with your expertise. We could never trust our numbers. Numbers are facts, and we should be able to trust them to make decisions!"
These are some of the words our client shared with us. But it was the unspoken emotion behind their words that struck me.
They were frustrated, unsettled, timidly raising their hands. They knew it was time to ask for help. And now that help was there; all the emotions were coming to the surface.
It was almost like they had financial management PTSD.
What in the world happened to cause this level of stress?
It wasn't any ONE thing that was catastrophic. The simple answer is that our client is recovering from a not-so-good bookkeeper who made lots of mistakes and has since left the organization. And now, those mistakes are rearing their ugly head, causing a whole shitstorm of re-work, cash flow challenges, and tax compliance issues.
(That's why we always say you want a bad-ass bookkeeper, not a bad one!)
As the call went on, I could sense our client feeling more and more relieved in the spirit of our partnership.
Can you blame them?! They just gained a financial thought partner and another set of hands to oversee accounting data entry, management, and reporting.
Isn't it clear? What Blue Fox really delivers is peace of mind!
(And more time, consistency, financial access, process improvement, etc., etc., etc.)
And then the shop talk started, just as I suspected. The conversation was now all financials, processes, transfer of responsibility, data architecture, and high-level recommendations.
Here's a snapshot of EVERYTHING discussed (and then prioritized):
- Getting QuickBooks up to date
- Planning for equipment replacement
- Financial modeling
- Data analysis to streamline operations
- Expense allocation
- Data architecture
- Aligning systems
- Payroll accounting
- Tax and compliance notices
- A/R balances
- Point of sale systems
- Setting up a more natural Chart of Accounts
- QuickBooks tags
- QuickBooks projects
- Internal controls for receipts
- How to become a certified WOM (Women-Owned Business)
- Calculating overhead percentages for grants
- Allocating admin costs
My marketing mind was swimming at this point :) That's when I stopped paying attention (a symptom of being a creative person) and just started writing.
Nonprofit leaders need to know that they are not alone in feeling overwhelmed by financial management.
It's common for organizational leaders to have a background in service delivery/programs, marketing, or fundraising, not financial management and strategy. AND THAT'S OKAY!
That's why companies Blue Fox exist!
We set our clients up with the most efficient and tech-savvy financial processes to save them time and frustration. Then we provide access, information, and analysis to give clients the power to make strategic, data-driven decisions.
The onboarding call was almost over, so I zoned back in and heard our client say, “You have no idea the amount of confidence you're giving me! "It makes me sad for the stress we've experienced, but we're so happy we found Blue Fox to help us!"
Peace of Mind.
We’re not your average accounting firm, are we?
Far from it!
Our CEO always says, “We’re just humans serving humans.”
An outsider might think that we’re just a bunch of bean counters performing accounting, payroll, and tax work for our clients. But we know it’s more than that.
When a nonprofit organization improves its financial stability, its leadership can take better care of staff members and deepen its ability to provide mission-driven services. Humans serving humans.
And that, my friends, is the ripple effect of care, kindness, and humanity.
Welcome to the Blue Fox Blog! A fairly entertaining source of info and news related to our company, nonprofits, social sector trends, and, of course, accounting. Enjoy!
How "Small" Payroll Mistakes Cause Multi-Year S#!t Storms for Nonprofits
Behind the Scenes, New Client Onboarding Call
When to Hire a Tax Professional - 10 Factors to Consider
40+ Ideas to Light a Fundraising Fire Under Your Nonprofit Board Members
Why Outsource Your Nonprofit Accounting to Blue Fox? Ask One of Our Newest Clients
Client CASE STUDY: One of The Most Financially Sustainable Nonprofit Orgs We Know
The Magical Nonprofit Financial Ratio Matrix
10 Reasons to Outsource Your Nonprofit Accounting
How to Make Your Nonprofit Recession-Proof
How to Engage Your Board of Directors in Financial Conversations
QB Tip of the Month: How to Use Classes for Painless Grant Writing
When to Hire an Accountant for Your Social Impact Org
Are You Paying Too Much for Payroll?
Blue Fox Earns Better Business Bureau Accreditation
Blue Fox Launches Protected By Logo
Blue Fox - The Origin Story