Case study / Nonprofit

Getting a corporate card built for the way nonprofits spend

The Brex Difference

Two days

Application Time

Immediate

Implementation Time

Ridesharing and taxis, lodging, airfare, SaaS

Pain Points

Company Info

2004

Founded

New York, NY

Headquarters

5-10

Employee Count

Company

New Harvest is a nonprofit that funds open research in cellular agriculture, providing academic grants and fellowships to advance the field and scale cell-cultured meat production.

Challenge

New Harvest had tried to apply for a corporate credit card and went through a six-month process to try to get approved for one. While New Harvest operates with a healthy cash balance to fund grants that last anywhere from two to four years and carries no debt, they still faced an uphill battle to get access to a corporate card.

New Harvest faced constant back-and-forths with poor customer service asking for additional verifications. On top of that, New Harvest is a small team that still has to manage complicated travel expenses as part of their operations.

“We want someone we can speak with and message instantly, and Brex provides a seamless customer service experience.”
Solution

Nonprofit organizations like New Harvest carry a consistent, predictable cash balance with no debt due to their funding structure for research—and should be a natural fit for a corporate card. But traditional corporate cards from banks require credit scores and have a long process to get access to one.

Brex was able to approve New Harvest for a corporate card by using modern underwriting technology to provide a credit limit based on New Harvest’s cash balance. New Harvest charged anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 a year on a debit card instead of a credit card—and were missing out on rewards in the process. Brex also gives New Harvest access to a seamless interface that makes it easier to manage and monitor expenses. That convenience is critical for nonprofits that operate with a small team on a lean budget.

“The interface is really straightforward, the dashboard makes sense, and it’s rather intuitive,” said Lanto Hariveloniaina, operations manager at New Harvest.

“Our Brex card ties really well with what we’re able to use in terms of integrations, like QuickBooks.”
Impact

In addition to getting a corporate card, that visibility also made it easier to help the team understand how to spend within the scope of nonprofit requirements. Brex enables the finance team at New Harvest to quickly see how employees are spending funds and understand what’s allowed and what isn’t.

“Our small team is always on the road, traveling all around the world,” Isha Datar, Executive Director said. “I’ve found the features, like receipt capture over text, really helpful, and its tools make our nonprofit compliance efforts a little bit easier.”

Brex offered superior customer service than what companies typically experience with traditional banks—with response times as short at 30 seconds for a phone call and 60 seconds for a website chat. Tools like instant receipt capture also helped remove a lot of headaches for the finance team. “They understand the fundamental functions for a corporate credit card, and what needs to work, and they do it really well,” John Pattison, New Harvest Treasurer said.

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