Category Archives: Announcement

AmTrust Financial Named as a NorthCoast 99 Best Places to Work Winner for 2017

northcoast 99 winner logo

Our parent company, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. was honored as one of the top companies to work for in Northeast Ohio at the NorthCoast 99 Best Places to Work awards ceremony in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. ERC, the organization that runs the NorthCoast 99, recognizes great places to work for top performing people who drive results, provide competitive advantages and allow businesses to innovate and grow.

“AmTrust is a significant employer in Northeast Ohio and we are honored to be recognized as part of the NorthCoast 99 this year,” said Elizabeth Ahmed, Senior VP and Chief Human Resources Officer for AmTrust Financial. “We’re committed to providing our local employees, and other AmTrust employees worldwide, with best in class health and well-being benefits, innovative plan designs and additional incentives to support them and their families.”

Click here to learn more about this recognition!


New Association Partner: Massachusetts Nonprofit Network


MNN logo

First Nonprofit Group is proud to announce our new partnership with the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MN). It is MNN’s mission to strengthen the nonprofit community through advocacy, public awareness, and capacity building. MNN has more than 650 nonprofit members from every region of the Commonwealth.

We look forward to helping our newest partner and its members save money on their State Unemployment Insurance costs to free up funding that can be used in other areas of operation to help individuals and families throughout Massachusetts.

To learn more about the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, please visit their website:

Meet the Staff: Yesenia Peyret


Join us in welcoming our newest team member, Yesenia Peyret to the First Nonprofit Group team!

Yesenia joins First Nonprofit Group as an Underwriting Assistant. Her main responsibility is to provide support and assistance to our Underwriters by preparing quote documents and enrollment packets for new members as well as assisting with the renewal process for current members. She will be an immediate asset to us because she is naturally curious, excited about the prospect of learning new things and appreciates the value in working with organizations that serves others’ needs. Yesenia comes to us from the Magnum Insurance Agency, where she performed similar work as a Customer Sales Representative. She attended Dominican University in River Forest, IL where she studied Psychology, Social Justice and Civic Engagement.

Yesenia is a Chicago native who enjoys volunteering and giving back to her community. “I grew up in the Heart of Chicago, a small community better known as the colorful Pilsen neighborhood. When I was at Dominican University, I was involved with community-based learning, which included volunteering for and being engaged in the community.” Some of Yesenia’s other hobbies include spending time with her family, playing UNO, watching her favorite television shows, or visiting any one of the many cultural institutions that Chicago has to offer.

We are excited to have Yesenia as an enthusiastic new team member of the First Nonprofit Group team.

Our parent company, AmTrust ranks 475 on the 63rd annual Fortune 500 list!

First Nonprofit Group

We are pleased to announced that our parent company, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. has been given the distinction of a Fortune 500 company for the first time since its founding in 1998. Barry Zyskind, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AmTrust says “AmTrust is honored to join the Fortune 500 alongside an elite group of successful companies, and we’re very grateful to our partners, brokers and agents for their trust in us as we reach this milestone. AmTrust’s inclusion in the Fortune 500 is possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of our people, who live our core values of integrity, diversity, accountability, teamwork, community engagement, and a spirit of entrepreneurship. We adhere to these values every day allowing us to continue to successfully build a best-in-class property and casualty insurer for our valued partners and customers.”

Read more about this announcement at Nasdaq

Meet the Staff: Katie Simmons

Katie Simmons photo

Please join us in welcoming Katie Simmons, to the First Nonprofit Group team!

As our most recently appointed Regional Sales Director for the Northeast Region, Katie’s new responsibilities include sustaining current client, agent, and partner relationships, plus expanding our services to new customers in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire.

Katie earned a B.A in English from Central Connecticut State University and comes to First Nonprofit Group with 15 years of experience effectively supporting insurance providers in customer service, claims, and marketing. She has solid familiarity working with the AmTrust network and other insurance agents/brokers in an effort to strengthen their ability to successfully serve a variety of business and nonprofit customers. Her understanding of the needs and trends in the marketplace is a consequence of years actively interacting with a variety of customers and potential customers. Her commitment to achievement is reflected in her years as an effective manager of a sales team dedicated to bringing the highest benefit to their customers.

Best of all, Katie’s enthusiasm to positively serve and improve nonprofit organizations is fully evident in her own energetic life. “I’ve been heavily involved with Marc Community Resources, a local nonprofit in CT that provides services for children and adults with disabilities. We just had our annual wine tasting fundraiser in June and were fortunate enough to raise more money than ever.”

Katie is also a mother of two very active children, Hunter (16) and Cody (9), plus a Jack Russell/Basset Hound mix named Chug. When “spare time” comes available she loves to golf, read, swim, camp, hike, kayak, travel, and is an avid Patriots fan. She aspires to be the best Mom, the best advocate for First Nonprofit Group, and to make a positive impact for the nonprofit community!

Do you know a nonprofit, governmental or tribal entity that could benefit from Katie’s expertise and enthusiasm in addition to First Nonprofit Group’s successful unemployment programs in the Northeast Region? Reach out to Katie directly at or by phone at 860-571-3189.

First Nonprofit’s Background Services

As low as $9.94!

Finding the right employee or volunteer greatly reduces potential employment liabilities and lowers your exposure to potential unemployment costs. That is why, through our partnership with Coeus Global, First Nonprofit Group is offering a new service to reduce costs of critical background screens!

Understanding options is simple and making enrollment choices is easy. Click here to view frequently used packages by various FNG members. Customized packages with additional background screens are also available, so you only pay to meet your organizational needs. Best of all it’s paperless, secure, easy to use and packages begin at $9.94! To register for this service, click here.

Once a free registration and enrollment choices are received, we email a secure username and password response that permits access to your specific background services dashboard on the Coeus Global website. Secure access to the custom dashboard site directs applicants to enter all their own personal information. Reducing an HR team’s valuable time, eliminating errors and preventing sensitive information from being compromised makes the effort of secure background checks vital to nonprofit organizations!

For more information or questions, please contact First Nonprofit’s Elizabeth Medina at

FNG Welcomes New Association Partnerships!

First Nonprofit Group is proud to announce our new partnerships with the Maryland Association of Community Services, Milwaukee Charter School Advocates, and Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits.


The Maryland Association of Community Services (MACS) is dedicated to strengthening other organizations to better support people with developmental disabilities and their families. For nearly 25 years, MACS has advocated on behalf of their member agencies during annual legislative sessions, played an active role in the development of policy at the state level, and kept its members up-to-date on the changing environment in which they operate. To learn more about the Maryland Association of Community Services, please visit their website:


The mission of Milwaukee Charter School Advocates is to provide strategies and resources to expand and replicate high-performing independent charter schools in Milwaukee and overcome or curtail obstacles inhibiting their growth. Advocates’ members include schools, charter management organizations, charter school support organizations, individuals and sponsors/vendors. More than 15,000 students in Milwaukee and Racine are educated by the Advocates’ members! To learn more about the Milwaukee Charter School Advocates, please visit their website:


Since 1981, the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits has provided training, consulting, advocacy, membership, networking and recognition for Oklahoma nonprofits. To date, the Center has over 480 members and continues to equip and strengthen Oklahoma’s nonprofit sector. To learn more about the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, please visit their website:

We look forward to saving our newest partners and their members money on their State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) costs to free up funding to be used in other areas of operations!

Upcoming Unemployment Wage Base Changes: Why These Changes matter!

A number of states have recently announced changes to their unemployment taxable wage bases that will take effect in 2016. (See chart below)

What is a state unemployment taxable wage base?

This is the maximum amount on which an employer must pay to unemployment taxes for each employee. For example, an employer in Kansas must pay unemployment taxes on the first $14,000 an employee earns throughout the 2016 calendar year.

Why is this information important?

An increase in the taxable wage base can also mean an increase in unemployment tax cost per employee. For example, if an employer in Washington had a 1.0% unemployment rate in 2015, their cost per employee would be $421 ($42,100 x 1.0%). In 2016, that cost would increase to $440, should their tax rate remain at 1.0% ($44,000 x 1.0%).

First Nonprofit Group offers several options to help nonprofit employers avoid these increases. Contact us today to request a free, no obligation savings quote!




NEW Association Partnership: Illinois Association of Housing Authorities

First Nonprofit Group is proud to announce our new partnership with the Illinois Association of Housing Authorities (IAHA). IAHA strives to ensure the availability of decent, safe and sanitary affordable housing for all people in the State of Illinois through collaboration among its more than 100 housing authority members, including this issue’s Member Spotlight Feature: Springfield Housing Authority.

IAHA was formed in the early 1960s when its founding members recognized a growing need for a membership association where housing authorities could evaluate, educate, exchange ideas, and address their individual and collective needs. Today, IAHA provides numerous resources to its members, both in person and online, including various trainings, clinics and membership meetings held throughout the year.

IAHA joins our existing 29 association partners across the country on our mission to save nonprofit organizations and government entities money on their state unemployment tax (SUTA) costs. Our partnership comes at a crucial time for organizations in the State of Illinois. Since 2009, Illinois employer’s average SUTA cost, per employee, has increased 81%!

Randy McGill, 2nd Vice President of the IAHA (and Executive Director of Unemployment Savings Program member, the Kankakee County Housing Authority) explains how the Program has benefitted their organization: “Kankakee County Housing Authority has been in the First Nonprofit program since 2008 and it has saved thousands in unemployment fees that we paid to the State previously. They have served as a liaison for any claims that have come up and taken that responsibility off us. We are very pleased with the service they have provided and continue to provide.”

We look forward to helping our newest partner and its members save money on their State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) cost to free up funding that can be used in other areas of operation to help individuals and families find housing.

To learn more about the Illinois Association of Housing Authorities, please visit their website at


Data Breaches and the Threat to Nonprofits

It seems like every week we hear about another major data breach. But it’s not just large retailers that are being targeted. In fact, most cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses. The reality is that small businesses – nonprofits included – are targeted because they’re less likely to have the kind of sophisticated cyber protection and safety protocols large companies have in place.

Why would hackers attack charities and nonprofits? Nonprofits generally store sensitive information such as volunteer and donor data including bank accounts, credit card and social security numbers on their computer system. Hackers can more easily gain access into a less protected computer system and sell them to identity thieves on the dark web. Hackers won’t necessarily know how many or the value of your records, but if they can gain access to your network, they can find out.

Even if your organization has the latest firewalls and cyber security, the threat can come internally from employees or volunteers. They may have direct access to donor records and more. If just one employee is lured by the temptation of easy money, it could have devastating consequences to the organization. According to Experian’s 2015 Data Breach Industry Forecast, employees and negligence will continue to be the leading cause of security incidents in the next year.

The consequences of a data breach can be devastating:

Notification. It starts with informing all of your members, employees, volunteers and donors. Most small businesses and non-profits do not have the resources or plans in place to respond to data breaches and may need to hire a public relations firm to help react to negative headlines in the press.

Time. A data breach diverts attention from the daily activities of running an organization to the process of recovering from the event. If your time is normally devoted to serving your members and overseeing operations, you can expect to delegate that work to others while you (and perhaps other employees) respond to the breach.

Financial cost. In addition to the loss confidence by donors and members, a data breach can be quite costly. The University of North Carolina said a 2013 data breach of just 6,000 records has cost the school nearly $80,000 in working with affected parties. The external costs to date include notification letters, credit monitoring and operating a call center.*

In the coming weeks we will provide more insightful articles on our website about data breaches and how we can help you prepare and respond. Look for our next article: “Are You Prepared for a Data Breach”

*Small Businesses: The Cost of a Data Breach Is Higher Than You Think, First Market Data, Insight Study, 2014


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