NEW WEB SITE PROVIDES FREE RESOURCES TO INCREASE NONPROFITS’ FINANCIAL PROWESS

By James D’Ambrosio

JamesProfile1TwitterManaging the business side of a nonprofit — everything to do with finances — is an area where some agencies struggle. Indeed, there’s accounting, risk management, budgets, financial reports, program costs, contracts, and more. If you need help, there’s good news: a new Web site provides a great deal of free information in many aspects of nonprofit finance.

www.strongnonprofits.org

The site grew from the work of The Wallace Foundation, a New York City-based national philanthropy seeking to improve education and enrichment for disadvantaged children. In 2009, Wallace wanted to see if providing training and consulting services could help 26 Chicago nonprofits providing after-school programs build financial management skills. The work was carried out by Fiscal Management Associates (FMA), a consulting agency specializing in nonprofit finance. Free tools, articles, reports and resources are those FMA believes are useful for agencies; there’s more tools available based on their years of experience in nonprofit.

4 AREAS OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

After-school nonprofits — and agencies in general — can access information organized as follows:

PLANNING

Strengthening the Budget Development Process | Projecting Cash Flow | Calculating the True Cost of Programs | Planning for and Addressing Financial Uncertainty | Planning for Growth | Connecting Organizational Goals with Financial Realities.

MONITORING

Maximizing Financial Reports | Understanding and Interpreting Financial Information | Managing Government Contracts.

OPERATIONS

Understanding Nonprofit Accounting | Strengthening Internal Controls | Maximizing Your Accounting Software | Developing Cost Allocations | Enhancing Efficiencies, Communication and Workflow.

GOVERNANCE

Understanding the Board’s Fiduciary Responsibilities | Enhancing the Board’s Knowledge of Nonprofit Financial Management |  Defining Roles and Responsibilities of Finance and Audit Committees | Planning for Financial Sustainability | Managing Risk.

Another section, “Overview: Strengthening Financial Management,” contains articles and studies by experts in nonprofit finance — the importance of strong financial management, problems that can occur, and how agencies in general and those running after-school programs can realize success.

A FINAL WORD

A proponent of life-long learning, I’m keenly aware of the importance of updating/expanding skills. Going forward, this is an area I need to further develop myself (my education/training in finance is limited). Hopefully, this resource can help you or your agency in some way.

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QUESTIONS TO READERS:

A) What do you think of this resource?

B) Are you inclined to use it?

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