Choosing a Credit Union or Bank
Many banks and credit unions have special packages for small non-profits.
At CSCI, we use Alterna Savings and Credit Union Ltd . They are fantastic because their basic services are free for non-profits. In fact, they will even allow unincorporated groups to set up an account.
Credit Unions are often very supportive and community-focused. However, the draw-backs are they may not have as many ATMs (although they will often share ATMs with other credit unions to broaden their coverage) and some smaller credit unions may not have as many options as larger banks.
Chequebooks cost a big chunk of change if you have a very small budget. Credit unions and banks will often not mind you coming by and asking for a couple cheques for free occasionally. Some ways to get around this are setting up direct deposits, at Alterna we were able to use this service for free. E-money transfers often have a small fee associated with them, but may be cheaper and more convenient than cheques.
Company credit card
This can be surprisingly difficult for a small organization to obtain. If you want one, get started soon, it may take a couple years. It makes life easier as you can buy things online without having to reimburse someone's personal credit cards, etc., But as with all credit cards, be careful about cashflow and sharing with people.
Alterna debit card tip
I messed up the pin 3 times and not only did it lock me out of the account, it kept the card. So if you made some super secret code after 2 times just give up and call/make a new one.
Setting Up Direct Deposits
Will be added based on our experiences with our system at a future date.