"“A great relationship and a seamless transition….”"
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Exponent Philanthropy (formerly known as the Association of Small Foundations) embraces strategic planning in philanthropy by designing programs for “lean funders” (those with few or no staff). Director of Finance & Operations Peter Tajat describes these funders, primarily family foundations, as “small teams trying to have a big impact in their community.” Exponent Philanthropy doesn’t tell them what to fund but instead guides them through how to do their grantmaking more effectively. Exponent Philanthropy’s guidance on legal and investment matters and the essentials of running a foundation helps them to act quickly to respond to emerging opportunities and transform communities through informed giving and catalytic philanthropy that can have real impact in addressing society’s most pressing challenges.
For many years, Exponent Philanthropy engaged an external CPA consultant for their accounting. But when that person retired in 2015 and as the growing organization’s accounting needs became more complex, several outside firms were interviewed. YPTC was the only candidate who would come in to the office rather than work remotely.
“Their approach was very hands-on,” recalls Tajat. “We loved that they took the time that was necessary and that they knew our industry. Right off the bat it was a great relationship and a seamless transition. Once they learned our day-to-day operations they set up improved processes that were crystal clear and we’ve been happy ever since.”
Over the years, several associates assigned to Exponent Philanthropy have moved on or been promoted within YPTC, but replacements have been hand-picked to provide continual service that fits the association’s environment. “It’s one thing to have the knowledge about nonprofit accounting but the other is to be a good fit for the team,” explains Tajat, noting how the assigned staff have always clicked.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, YPTC and Exponent Philanthropy – like so many others – pivoted quickly to all-remote operations but the strong relationship has continued. “Things are still getting done,” Tajat says. “I have recommended YPTC to at least five other nonprofits. I really think they’re great. YPTC can step in and can do whatever you ask them to do. And if your associate doesn’t know the answer to a question they have someone in the company who does. They work with so many nonprofits they’ve seen it all.”