"Michael readily understood that we were very green. I just felt really engaged; I felt like I had someone there that was backing me up. He was out to see us get financially back on our feet, and it worked! That creativity, that flexibility was great."

Glen Hill, Executive Director at MFA

Located in Marine-on-St-Croix, the Minnesota Food Association dedicates itself to building a more sustainable food system. They provide training and guidance for immigrant farmers to enhance their connections to markets and resources, operate Big River Farms, and promote a tight-knit farming community in Minnesota. Executive Director Glen Hill attended several of Nonprofit Assistance Fund’s network lunches before contacting NAF for further financial assistance. Loan officer Michael Anderson worked many hours with Hill, advising him on accounting systems, budget management, and board training. Glen was unable to pinpoint the most useful aspect about working with NAF, “I don’t know if I can prioritize which one is the most. In combination, they are all important. One is the technical expertise of the staff. Understanding accounting and bookkeeping, but also the various approaches that you can take and the differences between a nonprofit system and a corporate system.” Meetings with the board was especially valuable, “Michael came to our board meeting and presented what he saw as the critical factors. After that, there was a basic board training on understanding our financials.” 

In addition to expertise, Glen appreciated NAF's approach to working with MFA, “I think another excellent approach was to come out to our office, and to actually see what we’re working with. Coming out to the farm and seeing what our actual physical setup—what technology we do and don’t have, getting a handle on how well I know how to run QuickBooks and taking the time to invest in understanding our situation.” Using tools and advice from NAF, MFA adopted a Financial Control Policy, established operating reserves, and built a stable financial structure so that they can focus on their work advocating for farmers and land stewardship.