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…

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…

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…

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…

Employee Retention Credit: Get the Credit You Deserve

In response to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act established the employee retention credit (ERC) to encourage employers — including nonprofits — to keep employees on the payroll. The credit has been expanded and increased for 2021, but it’s also not too late for eligible employers to amend their 2020 employment…

Adding It Up: The Roles and Responsibilities of a Nonprofit Treasurer

When you think about it, it’s a bit inaccurate to refer to your organization as “nonprofit.” In fact, money is rarely far from the minds of your organization’s leaders. At least, it shouldn’t be. Like your for-profit counterparts, you can’t succeed without maintaining sound fiscal health. That’s why the title of “treasurer” is so much…

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…