It’s a Celebration! Laura Jorstad Reflects on 10-Years with NFP Partners
“Time has flown by really fast. We have grown and accomplished so much in 10 years, it’s kind of astounding.”
These are the words that flood Laura Jorstad’s mind as she reflects on her 10-year anniversary with NFP Partners.
When she first met with NFP Partners’ Founder, Lee Bengston, for a beer and a chat, the idea of her impact with the organization was merely a thought. Now, as the Managing Principal and owner of the organization, Laura has led a team of 10 staff members. Those staff members are currently serving over 50 nonprofit clients across the country.
“The number of nonprofits we have partnered with, and the length of time we’ve partnered with some of those nonprofits, just affirms the service that we provide. They’re not 50 clients, they’re 50 different partners,“ Laura said.
When you ask present-day Laura what message she’d relay to past-day Laura, the message is clear: NFP Partners isn’t just a name.
“I don’t think I realized then what I realize now, which is how ingrained in their success we want to become. I’m thinking about all of the clients, and how important their success is to us,” Laura said. “I didn’t realize how personal that would get for me. And I wouldn’t change that at all. It‘s not just the name of the organization, but that we are true partners. I don’t think I realized that connection 10 years ago,” she continued.
Prior to joining NFP Partners, Laura was working primarily in government organizations, including at the State health department. On the cusp of working for the state, and dipping her toe in the world of nonprofits, Laura was approached with an opportunity to be a part of an establishment of a large nonprofit in Colorado, focused on obesity prevention.
“I left the typical employer-employee relationship to work in consulting and help set up all of the processes and systems, financials, grants, etc. for LiveWell Colorado. We had main funders and they had given us money to get everything set up and running within a certain period of time,” Laura began. “That was my first time being my own boss and servicing an organization to help accomplish their mission. It was weird to go from this very structured, State government entity to the freedom to design, be creative, and develop something that is going to be in place for a long time,” Laura continued.
From then to now, Laura has helped NFP Partners serve hundreds of nonprofits nationwide while accomplishing the following:
- Provide countless hours of financial education to Boards and nonprofit managers
- Develop lasting relationships during a software implementation process that led to a long-term accounting services partnership
- Built a people-first culture of support among the NFP Partners team and with clients
- Developed consistent internal practices that have led to efficiencies in the organization. These systems have then been passed on to clients, including AP workflow, virtual workspace, consistent month-end schedules and practices
But, one of the things she’s most proud of can’t be summarized in digits.
“I’m proud of the fact that we have taken many nonprofits from where they weren’t getting meaningful financial reports to where they have viable information. Also, we function as a team with all of our clients. It really comes back to the thing that I am most grateful for which is the team that I am surrounded by at NFP Partners and the clients that we work with,” Laura said.
Though there have been numerous accounting challenges that NFP Partners has tackled or made better under Laura’s leadership, the work isn’t done. With the future in mind, Laura sees NFP Partners as an accounting services firm that continues to offer a collaborative model and provides efficient services to nonprofits. What’s to come also includes exploring technology and using it to the best of our ability for our clients.
Another site in mind is expanding NFP Partners’ services into for-profit, small businesses, as a separate arm. Why?
“I feel like so much of what we’re doing can benefit small businesses that may have some social impact mission as well,” Laura said.
With 10 years down, and a bright future ahead, Laura Jorstad has one message for our clients:
“We’re committed to your success. We buy into your mission. And, we want to continue to make the financial decision-making in your organization easy by providing meaningful data to you. We are your partner!”
To learn more about Laura Jorstad, and find the nonprofit financial management blog articles she’s written, click here.