Non-Profit Banking: A Q&A with Susy Scarlatos | Cogent Bank

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Inside Cogent        Blog        Non-Profit Banking: A Q&A with Susy Scarlatos
Non-Profit Banking: A Q&A with Susy Scarlatos
September 6, 2023

Non-Profit Banking: A Q&A with Susy Scarlatos

One of the ways we support our communities is by meeting the specialized banking needs of local charitable and community-oriented organizations. From deposit accounts and credit cards, to commercial real estate and other types of loans, Cogent is here to help your non-profit manage day-to-day finances and reach long-term goals. To learn more about non-profit banking at Cogent, read our interview with Susy Scarlatos, VP, Private Banking Commercial Relationship Manager.

What types of nonprofits do you serve?

At Cogent, we love working with non-profits. They’re usually very easy and a lot of fun to work with. Our non-profit clients are very passionate about their cause and driven to give back to their community. It’s very rewarding to be part of that and learn more about each organization’s mission and work.

Over the years, I’ve worked with many non-profits. At Cogent, we tend to bank a lot of churches and foundations. 

How do banking needs for nonprofits differ from those of a for-profit business?

With non-profits, every dollar counts. We are always trying to help them save money. For example, the first order of checks is free. Typically, charitable organizations don’t seek financing. They are pretty self-sufficient and depend on donations and fundraising.

Our non-profit clients also look to us for guidance. We can help them set up and use their check scanner. We also frequently sponsor, help, or volunteer with our non-profit clients’ events. For example, Cogent does a Back To School Drive for Army of Angels. We also try to sit on clients’ boards or provide an advisory role.

As a community bank, we also like to connect people. If your non-profit needs a referral for a contractor or other professional, we can help.

Do you offer any unique services or resources to your non-profit clients?

We have a space at our Winter Park branch for non-profits to use for board meetings. We always strive to go beyond checking and savings to meet our clients’ needs.

Many non-profits want to find a bank whose core values and ethical standards match their own. Can you speak to this?

When you bank with Cogent in Winter Park, you get me, Trish, and Jennifer (our assistant). We’ve all been working in this particular niche and living in Winter Park for 10, 20, 30 years. We are hands-on with our clients. 

As a bank, Cogent employees volunteer in the community. Cogent also participates in Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) activities to support community development. 

What types of banking products would a new non-profit need to consider?

If you’re just starting a non-profit, you’ll need a checking and savings account, a check scanner, and wire transfers. It’s also helpful to set up online and mobile banking with Bill pay and Cogent Connection. Finally, credit and debit cards help you make everyday purchases of supplies and more. We’ll set you up with everything and show you how to use online, mobile banking, ACH, etc.

What are the biggest challenges your non-profit customers are dealing with?

In our experience, fraud is unfortunately one of the biggest challenges for non-profits. We know that many people who run non-profits have more than one job and may not be experienced in dealing with fraud. Whether it happens internally (from employees) or externally (scammers, cybersecurity threats), we are here to help you learn the signs of fraud and how to handle and avoid it. Positive Pay, for example, can help you detect and prevent check fraud. We will help you set it up. We also do things like accompany our clients to the police station to file a report. Whatever you need, we take the extra step beyond just handling a deposit.

Meet Our Non-profit Banking Team!

Susy and the rest of the Cogent bankers are dedicated to providing the personalized attention your organization needs and deserves. We are bankers who know the non-profit world. Contact us to learn more about how we can meet your non-profit banking and lending needs!