[It’s No Secret; It’s Our Clients!]
Sometimes, we get wrapped up in the “accounting” part of our jobs. (We are accountants, after all.) We focus on spreadsheets and financial management platforms and forget about the enormous impact our clients (nonprofit and social enterprises) make in their communities and the world.
We forget that our work enables our clients to maximize their impact. There is a direct correlation between sound financial management and the ability of a nonprofit to provide broader and more in-depth services. This client case study proves it!
Our clients are change-makers for good. They provide services and advocacy for underserved and unheard populations. They protect the rights of animals and ensure sustainable food production practices. They work to improve and make more equitable the planet we call home. Can we talk about that as a motivating factor?
Our team recently visited Southwest Florida for our 2023 spring staff retreat. The trip was the perfect opportunity to be reminded how our accounting work makes a difference.
In addition to meetings and team bonding, we visited two long-term clients: STARability Foundation, including their STAR Store & Studio, and the Flint Pen Strand Trail, preserved and managed by CREW Land & Water Trust.
STARability Foundation Tour
Our first stop was the STAR Store and Studio in Naples, Florida. We saw first-hand how STARability Foundation transforms the lives of individuals with disabilities through social, vocational, and educational connections to the community. (That’s their mission.) In the STAR Studio, program participants make jewelry, candles, cards, and other gifts to sell in the STAR store. We met Chloe, one of the amazing STAR Studio contributors, and you could feel her pride and happiness as she told us about their work. Queue the goosebumps.
Driving to our next stop, STARability’s headquarters also in Naples, our CEO reminded us that our financial guidance helped the board and staff decide to open the STAR Store in 2021, and later that year, we also helped them ensure product profitability through some financial modeling and analysis. This year, STARability hopes to kick it up a notch with its store and studio, deepening its financial sustainability through its social enterprises. Again, we’ll be on deck to provide growth and revenue model support. This is our ripple effect in full force.
Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed Tour
Later that day, we met our families at CREW’s new hiking trail, Flint Pen Strand, to immerse ourselves in nature (and tire out the young kiddos).
CREW stands for Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed and is responsible for preserving the largest intact watershed in Southwest Florida. We’re talking about 60,000 acres of land that purifies drinking water, prevents homes from flooding, provides habitat for local wildlife, and offers a beautiful space for public recreation. CREW’s existence is essential to the future sustainability of Southwest Florida and, more broadly, the lower half of Florida. Guess who does their accounting? It’s us, and we are proud of it!
As we walked with our families on CREW’s newest trail, the Flint Pen Strand Trail, we took in the peacefulness of the surrounding land. Birds chirped, the sky was blue, and Florida slash pines stood high all around us. CREW’s Executive Director, Bob Lucius, gave us a bona fide guided hike and taught us all about the importance of preserving Southwest Florida’s watershed. Water is life.
Our CEO, Chantal described the day like this, “I’ve been coming to CREW for 10 years, and every time I do, I feel a sense of calm and peace come over me. We’re so lucky to have this special place to hike, walk, explore, and experience nature. Helping CREW protect Florida’s natural resources makes us all feel like our work makes a difference to people and the planet.”
Feedback from the retreat was that our team wants to participate in more immersive client visits and stay even more connected to client news, accomplishments, and impact stories.
It’s our client’s work that inspires us.
Our work may seem like “just accounting” some days, but our approach helps clients drive deeper impact every day.
Queue more goosebumps.
We invite you to meet our clients, our team, and learn more about our philosophy at Blue Fox. And if you know of any social-minded number crunchers looking for the perfect place to hone their financial talents, please send them our way!
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!
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