Is it time to review your spending policy?

Well-managed investments play a critical role in the sustainability of many organizations, including nonprofits. A key element is your nonprofit’s spending policy, essentially the formula used to determine how much of the value of your investments will be tapped each year for such expenses as operating costs and capital projects. It’s generally advisable to stick…

Key Performance Indicators: Using Financial and Non-financial Metrics to Flourish

As we near the two-year mark of the first COVID-19 lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, some nonprofits still are struggling with financial sustainability. This can mean that your board of directors is taking a greater interest in your organization’s financial performance. Key performance indicators (KPIs) can help focus your board’s attention on important metrics. Identify KPIs…

Nonprofits: Be Wary of Restricted Gifts

Donor-imposed restrictions on gifts can handcuff a nonprofit, as many have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new academic study of national arts and culture organizations, “Service Delivery Under Pressure: The Effect of Donor Imposed Financial Restrictions,” published in the journal Public Performance & Management Review in 2021, suggests how well-intended restrictions could backfire when…

Strategic Planning: Using a “Real-time” Approach to Guide Your Future

As we move toward a post-COVID-19 economy, it’s a great time to do some strategic planning. And the way nonprofits go about strategic planning may be ready for an update as well. By adopting a more fluid and ongoing approach known as “real-time strategic planning” (RTSP), nonprofits can quickly and efficiently identify, understand and act…

Independent contractor or employee: What’s the current test?

With a labor shortage and COVID-19- related budget crunches, some nonprofits have turned to freelancers and contractors to fill staffing gaps. But are those individuals actually employees? Employers that misclassify workers can face harsh consequences, so it’s important to know the proper standard. Now is a good time for nonprofits to review the test that…

3 Tips for Getting Your Budgeting Back on Track

The pandemic has wreaked havoc with many nonprofits’ budgets over the past two years. Some organizations have taken a more permissive approach to budgeting, but they can’t afford to continue it indefinitely. If your nonprofit is in this position, it’s time to buckle down. Here are three tips to help you develop the realistic budgets…

Candid Shares Key Nonprofit Data for 2021

Candid, the information services organization formed by the merger of GuideStar and Foundation Center, has released its annual snapshot of the nonprofit sector. Among other things, Key Facts on U.S. Nonprofits and Foundations, 2021 reports that individuals still provide the majority (69%) of giving. Community and private foundation giving accounts for a modest (17%), but…

Don’t Roll the Dice: Rules for Charitable Gaming Activities

Gaming can seem like an appealing and low-cost option for boosting nonprofit revenues. But bingo, poker tournaments, raffles and the like are subject to some strict tax rules and local laws where noncompliance could lead to penalties and even personal liability for board members. Here’s what you need to know: Unrelated business income Income from…

5 Critical Issues for Your Nonprofit’s Finance Committee

The role of a nonprofit’s finance committee is probably more important now than at any time since the 2008 financial crisis and ensuing Great Recession. Here are some of the areas your committee should focus on almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic. 1. Cash flow Financial reserves have taken a hit across all types…