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Financial Management

Financial ManagementNonprofit leaders must develop, at a minimum, a basic skill set in financial management. Financial analysis shows the "reality" of the situation of a business and is therefore one of the most critical practices in management. This page offers tools, articles and news items related to enhancing your organization's fiscal management capacity.

Making Sense of “Sustainability” and Its Uses and Misuses in the Arts

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly
“Like all popular buzzwords, there is value to [sustainability], and I applaud the notion that we have to look at both the long-range prospects and the long-range effects of the things we do. But as often happens, the term has been misused by people who fundamentally misunderstand its meaning.”
Posted on: August 26, 2015
Topics: Finance | Sustainability

Boston Area Ranks 3rd in Charity Navigator's 2015 Metro Market Study

Source: Charity Navigator
Nonprofits in the Boston metro area had the 3rd highest overall score, behind Houston and San Diego, in Charity Navigator's study of financial, accountability, and transparency practices and statistics.
Posted on: June 9, 2015
Topics: Accountability (Ethics) | Data & Research | Finance | Organizational Assessment

GuideStar Financial SCAN℠

Source: GuideStar
Financial SCAN℠ helps you better understand or communicate a nonprofit's financial health and resource needs. It combines GuideStar's IRS Forms 990 data and Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) expert analysis in an easy-to-use tool with shareable formats that bring insight to financial information and support mission-driven decisions.
Posted on: February 25, 2015
Topics: Finance | Online Tools | Organizational Assessment

Using Loans: A 101 Guide To Borrowing For Nonprofit Organizations

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly
Nonprofit organizations are founded and operated with a focus on a mission to serve their communities. This makes them different from businesses, which operate with a goal of making a profit for their owners. Yet nonprofits share many characteristics with businesses—both have revenues, expenses, personnel, and facilities. Like businesses, nonprofit organizations sometimes need cash in the form of a loan to operate their programs effectively. Astute managers and boards understand that loans can be a tool that can help their nonprofit grow and succeed.
Posted on: June 24, 2014
Topics: Best Practice | Finance | Nonprofit Basics

Preventing Fraud: From Fiduciary Duty to Practical Strategies

This article, which appeared in the New Hampshire Bar Journal, will help both nonprofit and for-profit organizations identify the possibilities for fraud and embezzlement in their organizations and understand the steps they need to take to prevent these behaviors. The article emphasizes the need for boards of directors to take the lead in engaging their officers and employees in crafting policies and procedures to minimize the possibility for fraud and embezzlement. Read the article
Posted on: April 10, 2014
Topics: Board | Finance

How Much Profit Does a Nonprofit Need?

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly
Nonprofits need profit. Because every nonprofit is unique, the amount depends upon individual circumstances. This article will identify the key variables and explain how any organization can calculate the minimum profit it needs to prevent slow, steady erosion of the quality of its output. The calculation is so simple it can be done without pencil and paper, but it has far-reaching implications.
Posted on: December 18, 2013
Topics: Finance | Organizational Assessment | Planning

Opportunities in Lean Times

Source: Fieldstone Alliance
The economic crisis that's unfolding is causing great anxiety that no sector is immune to. Fieldstone Alliance proposes that in turmoil there is also opportunity and they have complied some resources for nonprofits. See the resources from Fieldstone Alliance.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Finance

Nonprofit Embezzlement: More Common and More Preventable Than You Think

Source: Blue Avocado
Embezzlement—fraud committed by employees and volunteers—is especially painful in community nonprofits. Not only is real damage done to your organization, but you feel that your cause has been betrayed by someone you trusted. You worry that donors and grantmakers will be less likely to give you money if they hear about it. And because embezzlement is so often kept quiet in nonprofits, we might think that we are the only ones to experience it. This article from Blue Avocado explores some of the common types of nonprofit embezzlement and how to deal with them. Read the article from Blue Avocado.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Finance

A Board-Staff Agreement for Financial Accountability

Source: Blue Avocado
Not all board members need to be familiar with financial terms and concepts, but each organization needs to develop a clear and explicit agreement for how financial accountability will be ensured. This article offes a starting point for an agreement that the board and staff can make to ensure a partnership for accountability. Read the article from Blue Avocado.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Finance | Board | Accountability (Ethics)

Bookkeeping: To Outsource or Not to Outsource

Source: Blue Avocado
The most strategic decision you make regarding how to staff your accounting department may be not to staff it at all. Well, at least not with employees of your organization. Outsourced accounting—having the accounting done by an outside person or firm—isn't new, but it is getting a second look as nonprofits search for ways to cut office costs. Read the article from Blue Avocado.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Finance

Finding Your Funding Model: A Practical Approach to Nonprofit Sustainability

Source: Bridgespan
Developing a funding strategy that leads to financial sustainability is central to any nonprofit's ability to increase its impact. Yet understanding exactly how remains far from clear. The Bridgespan Group has developed an approach to help organizations identify and develop funding models that can best position them to achieve programmatic aspirations. Finding Your Funding Model is a downloadable tool that provides practical guidance for the steps required, and the decisions and tradeoffs to be made, that will confront nonprofit leaders along the way. Read the article from Bridgespan.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Fundraising | Finance | Sustainability

Organizing the Board to Support the Revenue Strategy

Source: Blue Avocado
Instead of focusing only on how board members can raise individual donations (or not!), think more broadly (and effectively) about how board members can support the key aspects of your organization's business / revenue strategy. Read the article from Blue Avocado.
Posted on: May 1, 2013
Topics: Board | Finance | Fundraising

Consultant Resource Bank

The Consultant Resource Bank lists consultants who have experience working with nonprofit organizations. In order to be listed in the Consultant Resource Bank, a consultant must submit two references from nonprofit organizations they have worked with successfully. Learn More
Posted on: March 1, 2013
Topics: Online Tools | Services

Financial Considerations in Starting a Nonprofit

Did you ever wish you could get a few minutes with a local expert to ask a few questions? In this video, Kirk Leoni, CPA, and nonprofit board member, discusses important financial considerations when starting a nonprofit.
View the video...
Posted on: February 28, 2013
Topics: Starting a Nonprofit | Finance

Financial Literacy 2.0

Financial literacy is about more than being able to read financial reports without breaking a sweat and adopt budgets that will serve nonprofits well. This article from the National Council of Nonprofits posits that being aware of sector wide trends is also a skill that boards need. Read More...
Posted on: February 28, 2013
Topics: Finance

Executive Director's Guide to Financial Leadership

Source: Compass Point
There's financial management and then there's financial leadership. Which one is your Executive Director doing? This article provides a summary of the eight key business principles that should guide financial leadership practice.
Read More
Posted on: February 28, 2013
Topics: Finance | Leadership | Executive

Financial Independence: Six Approaches

The Nonprofit Quarterly
We all want financial independence, but actually getting there is easier said than done. This article proposes that knowing your options is a solid first step.
Read More...
Posted on: February 28, 2013
Topics: Finance | Sustainability

Our Executive Director is Embezzling

Source: Blue Avocado
From Blue Avocado- A first-hand look at one organization's executive crisis and what you can learn from it.
Read More...
Posted on: February 28, 2013
Topics: Finance | Board

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Posted on: February 14, 2013
Topics: Cost savings | Services

Roles and Responsibilities of Nonprofit Audit Committee Members

Source: Guidestar
The nonprofit sector is extremely diverse. Some organizations deal with hundreds of millions of dollars each year, whereas others' budgets are only in the thousands. But regardless of size and scope, one of the many commonalities that all nonprofits should be concerned with is corporate governance. In fact, many organizations still need to be convinced that they need audit committees. For organizations that are exploring the implementation of audit committees-or for those with active ones-it is extremely important to understand their roles and responsibilities.
Read More...
Posted on: January 1, 2013
Topics: Finance | Board


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