About Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers
Founded in 1888 in Atlanta, Sheltering Arms is one of Georgia’s largest early childhood education nonprofit organizations and one of its most respected. This nonprofit organization works with children from birth through age five, and focuses on serving both the children and families of the community. Sheltering Arms implements the Creative Curriculum to deliver its students with developmentally-appropriate, customized learning programs to set a strong learning foundation and address learning and reading disabilities from the start. Sheltering Arms is proud to work with many community partners and to be a part of the Educare network – a national network of the high quality early learning centers.
Walk into the Sheltering Arms headquarters in downtown Atlanta, and it’s clear that children are the focus. The tiled fish and sunbeam floor in the lobby guide you to the classrooms, where artwork adorns the walls, puppets and paintbrushes abound, and the sounds of playful learning fill the air.
“Our organization has always been about providing service to children and families, and over the past 127 years, we have always stayed true to who we are,” says Blythe Robinson, President and CEO of Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers. “We take care of children by educating them from the earliest years of their lives, but we also work with the families because it is a true family approach.”
Sheltering Arms works with children from birth through age five. “We do a lot of work around language and literacy development. This is really the critical time for brain development and activity, so we are very intentional about the work we do because we know that it sets the foundation. We’re very proud of the fact that our children go to kindergarten well prepared.”
“These are very exciting times for early childhood education; there are more dedicated resources than there have been in the past,” continues Blythe. “We’re very proud to have been in this field for as long as we have, but we are still growing in the field, and it’s important that we continue to be innovative. A couple years ago we realized that we needed to move into current times and make some changes around the way we do a lot of our processes and procedures.”
Why Atlantic Capital Bank?
“It’s very clear that they go above and beyond for the customer,” says Blythe. “For anyone running an organization or a business, it’s important to have that personal touch. To be able to have sit-down meetings with your banker is not always the norm, and we’re able to do that. If we have a question that we need some help with, or we need some advice, we feel very comfortable calling Ashley and the team to get those answers. It’s a very open relationship; it’s the type of relationship you want.”
“It is great being a nonprofit. We’re mission-driven, we’re about serving the community, and we get a lot of volunteers who want to come in and help – whether they want to read to children, help beautify our property, spend time doing art projects with children, or help with administrative work,” says Blythe. “But as a nonprofit, your challenge is always money, so we are constantly fundraising and trying to get additional resources into the organization. You do what you are required to do with the resources, but you also want to make sure that you are being innovative and serving your children and families.”
Sheltering Arms works primarily with Ashley Carson, SVP of Corporate Banking, who specializes in nonprofit banking. “It’s very helpful because she’s aware of the special requirements that we, as a nonprofit 501(c)(3), must do,” continues Blythe. “Ashley is so knowledgeable about those requirements. If we get a new grant that we have to report, and there’s additional funding, she has a special set of advisory eyes that are really helpful in discussing what that means.”
Several years ago, Sheltering Arms implemented Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) machines in each center in order to eliminate trips to the bank. “Efficiency is what comes to mind,” says Blythe about RDC. “The communication from the site level, to the financial department, up here in the Administration office, and to the Bank – it’s just allowed us to be more efficient.”
With trips to the bank eliminated from their daily routine, Sheltering Arms’ employees have more time to spend focusing on what they do best: educating the children of the community.
Learn more about Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers at shelteringarmsforkids.com.
If you are a nonprofit organization looking for a banking partner, contact Ashley Carson at (404) 995-6214.