T.L.L. TEMPLE FOUNDATION
"It‘s important that things are done right"
For more than 100 years, the history of East Texas has been influenced by the Temple family. In 1962, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation was created in Lufkin, Texas, to honor Thomas Lewis Latané Temple, whose family timber business and banking interests were instrumental in building the hopes and dreams of communities in the region. Today, the foundation, with a staff of 10, assists 23 rural counties – in an area the size of South Carolina — address such critical rural issues as entire counties without doctors or broadband, food insecurity, career-technical education, human services, arts and culture, environment and conservation, and economic opportunity. Over the years it has awarded over $550 million in grants to build a thriving East Texas and support programs addressing the causes and effects of persistent poverty in rural communities.
Wynn Rosser, President & CEO, recalls that the foundation was going through a transition in its accounting staff when a colleague in Houston, who had experience in nonprofit capacity building, mentioned Your Part-Time Controller. Even pre-pandemic, YPTC began helping the foundation to transition its accounting and bookkeeping seamlessly to an online platform, which turned out to be vital during COVID. “Had we not transitioned, it would have been a mess,” he recalls.
“Our bookkeeping is complex but not complicated,” Rosser explains. “We’re working with between $500 million and $600 million on any given day and spend in the range of $25 million every year. We write a lot of checks – some are small and some are very large. It‘s important that things are done right and in compliance with the law.”
Rosser adds, “At the end of the day we didn’t need somebody, especially a CPA, sitting here five days a week in an analog way. It’s a much more efficient use of our HR resources to have people from YPTC, with their nonprofit accounting expertise, about one day a week, sometimes more and sometimes less, who know what we do and why we do it.”
Rosser also appreciates that there are several sets of eyes looking things over, and that YPTC offers webinars and conference calls to help the foundation learn about new developments. “With YPTC you’re part of an organization with more resources and reach from a national perspective,” he says. “Their ability to provide context and commentary is very helpful.”