New Brunswick Tomorrow
“They’re not just accountants….”
New Brunswick Tomorrow is a nonprofit incubator, think tank and community action organization that is enriching the lives of over 55,000 residents in New Brunswick, N.J. by fostering collaborations of institutions and community organizations. New Brunswick Tomorrow identifies and responds to critical community needs with initiatives that help promote self-sufficiency, personal dignity and an improved quality of life. Founded in 1975 in a city that was then plagued with urban decay, the organization today is a national model of urban revitalization, working with partners in the public and private sectors to assure health, human services and social programs that complement the city’s physical and cultural revival. These programs help children and teens to fulfill their potential, empower neighborhoods, address health issues, and develop the leaders of tomorrow.
Jaymie Santiago joined New Brunswick Tomorrow in 2012 as Director of Operations, was later named Vice President, and became President in July 2016. Your Part-Time Controller had been serving the organization prior to Santiago’s arrival, and he is deeply appreciative of the support the YPTC team has provided that has facilitated the organization’s growth and reputation.
“Part of what has allowed us to expand our impact is how YPTC has helped us put better tools around our finance management, and we continue to improve on that each year,” he says. “The difference in our fiscal planning between now and before YPTC came on board is like night and day. Today, we have internal controls and auditing that were previously non-existent, and these help us to effectively manage our business, not just maintain it.”
Santiago admits a certain degree of “awe” in working with YPTC and Associate George Stout. “Just the numbers can be so mysterious,” he admits. “Very few of us here can make sense of them at a glance. I have no background in finance: I don’t think I ever got past Algebra 1, so it’s not my strong suit. But George explains things in a way that anyone can understand, and because of that, my financial acumen has improved a great deal. That’s been important to me.”
Stout comes to NBT’s office regularly and engages not only with Santiago as the CEO, but also with the staff. “Our culture here is to account for everything and look at the results,” he notes. “When our program spending is over or under budget we all talk about it and how it affects our strategic planning. We don’t just talk about how we can save money, but instead we ask how we can maximize our impact. George is part of that process and he’s become part of our family.”
Santiago also appreciates how YPTC keeps him informed about new developments. “Between the webinars they host and their announcements about new regulations that affect us, YPTC always alerts us to any changes that might impact our strategic planning.”
He recognizes that NBT’s reputation as a community leader requires the organization to set the best example, and that when New Brunswick’s nonprofits do well his organization and the entire community’s quality of life succeed, too. “Our relationship with YPTC goes so much farther than just the fiscal nature of their work,” he says. “It’s also the impact. How does our organization position itself in leadership and growth? YPTC is right in the mix. They’re not just accountants, and for me that’s the biggest reason why the relationship between NBT and YPTC is so important.”
Santiago recommended YPTC to a community partner agency that was experiencing an unacceptable fiscal problem: an eight-month lag in their billing cycle. “When they asked me to help them strategically move forward to address their challenges, I immediately recommended YPTC,” he recalls. YPTC began improving the community partner’s fiscal infrastructure and today the organization submits its bills on a regular, monthly basis. “I not only felt confident in recommending YPTC,” says Santiago, “but frankly no other company comes to mind.”