Time to Replenish: Are Your Operating Reserves at a Good Level?

Operating reserves — generally, unrestricted assets you can easily tap — are often called “rainy day funds.” But stable reserves are critical for far more pressing reasons than the metaphorical rainy day. Many nonprofits, for example, have drawn on their operating reserves since the spring of 2020 to cope with the economic backlash of the…

Board members: Stay alert for these 4 financial red flags

Your board members are undoubtedly well aware of your nonprofit’s financial problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. But as 2021 unwinds, the board should keep its eyes on potential problem spots, ask questions and direct remedies as needed. These four areas can present clues that the organization is headed for trouble. 1. Financial statement flaws. Late,…

COVID-19 Changes the Landscape for Single-audit Compliance

COVID-19 and its economic impact have left the nonprofit niche financially vulnerable, with corporate and individual donations dropping precipitously for many organizations. Relief funding under the CARES Act has helped some nonprofits remain reasonably stable. But funding also will likely impose new single-audit requirements on recipients already struggling to keep their heads above water. The…

Are you using relevant ratios in these uncertain times?

Financial statements play an important role in assessing your organization’s health. However, they aren’t necessarily the best way to communicate performance to stakeholders. Ratios, on the other hand, grab information from your financial statements and can be presented as easy-to-process snapshots, an effective tool in the COVID-19–related economic crisis. Ratios help board members and other…

IRS issues proposed regs on UBTI “silo” rules

Ever since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changed the rules about unrelated business taxable income (UBTI), nonprofits have had questions about just how those rules apply. Now there are proposed IRS regulations that nonprofits with more than one unrelated trade or business can rely on until final regulations are published. The proposed regs…

Board of Directors: Financial Literacy is Key

Your board is responsible for reviewing your nonprofit’s financial results so it can make sound decisions. But not every board member arrives at your organization with a financial background. Here are some suggestions for relaying some of the most vital information they need to know. Communicating the balance sheet A statement of financial position shows…

It’s Time to Really Pay Attention

The COVID-19 era makes board financial oversight more important than ever. The board of directors plays a special role in ensuring that an organization stays financially on track. This responsibility is magnified in the shadow of the COVID-19 crisis, which has often pushed donations and other revenue down while upping the need for services. Keeping…

When It Comes to Embezzlement, Your Response Matters

A quick Google search for the phrase “nonprofit embezzlement” turns up thousands of news stories about thefts, ranging from relatively small amounts to millions of dollars. Regardless of the size of the misappropriation, the way a victimized organization responds can make or break its reputation, fundraising results and, in turn, ability to pursue its mission….

The CARES Act: What’s in it for Nonprofits?

When Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in late March, much attention was paid to Economic Impact Payments for individuals and various types of assistance for businesses. But the 880-page law also contains some assistance that could prove critical to nonprofits as they struggle to deal with the financial impact…

Are You Holding a Raffle?

This ticket to revenue carries compliance concerns Raffles are tried-and-true fundraising vehicles. They can be attractive to your constituents, easy to put together and profitable. But organizations need to put on their “compliance hats” when holding this activity. Each state has its own set of laws regulating raffles. And all organizations must comply with federal…