Much of our work here at NFF focuses on easing nonprofits’ access to capital--both in sufficient quantities and the right kinds--for dealing with short- and long-term needs. Loans can be used to help meet such needs, but there are important distinctions between loans and other types of capital. What will a loan mean for your organization?  How will you meet the terms of the loan once you’ve received one?  With these questions in mind, NFF Associate Dana Britto assembled five introductory blog posts each providing a helpful tip that you should consider before applying for a loan.  (All five tips will be available here

The time needed to evaluate a loan can vary by lender and by the type of financing you’re requesting.  But in general, even if a repayment source is secured, lenders review lots of information and follow very specific guidelines and protocols which have many requirements and can generate many questions. For loans financing facility-related needs, the time to secure a loan often increases due to the need to secure required property assessments, projects budgets, drawings, the scope of work and construction contracts.  For these reasons, loans might not be the best option for an organization that requires an immediate infusion of cash.

As lenders, it’s our job to identify risks and see what factors are present to effectively mitigate these.  This cannot be done without reviewing sufficient information and having our questions and concerns addressed.  When we don’t do this, we ultimately jeopardize our ability to continue providing capital to those who need it while also potentially putting the borrower in a position of financial hardship in the long run.  Consequently, borrowers need to be prepared to take the time to field these questions in order to make their lender more comfortable moving forward with a loan.  Which brings us to our final tip: Tell it Straight 

We’re making it easier than ever to inquire about whether a loan from NFF is right for your organization.  Please review the lending guidelines at our new loan inquiry form!