Financial Leadership is a new program beginning in February of 2022 within the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative.
Financial leadership is essential to the health and vitality of all nonprofit organizations, and it’s more than financial management. It’s about:
- Guiding an organization grounded in the realities of today’s financial health
- Leading towards long-term sustainability
- Directly tying financials to the impact the organization has in the community
- Understanding the true costs of delivering programs
- 8-virtual sessions each 1.5 hours biweekly from 9-10:30 am. Webinars will be interactive where appropriate, with exercises to apply the principles of discussion and increase understanding. Each webinar will be accompanied with templates and tools.
- Dates: Tuesdays: February 8 & 22, March 8 & 22, April 5 & 19, May 3 & 17
- Each session led by Steve Zimmerman of Spectrum Nonprofit Services
- Steve Zimmerman is a Certified Public Accountant and a co-author of two books on nonprofit sustainability published by Jossey-Bass, The Sustainability Mindset: Using the Matrix Map to Make Strategic Decisions with Jeanne Bell of CompassPoint published in 2014 and the best-selling book Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability with Jeanne Bell and Jan Masaoka of CalNonprofits published in 2010.
“Steve’s ability to engage an audience is worth more than his weight in gold!” Deborah Clark, New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits
“Steve demystifies nonprofit finances.” Brian Leone-Tracy, Fox Valley Literacy
The program is designed for staff and/or board members looking to be equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to be financial leaders. We welcome all sizes of nonprofits. Whether you employ paid staff or are fully volunteer run, this program is for you. We know that getting a handle on finances is your number one priority so that you can provide exceptional programs to meet the needs of our community.
Whether you are the executive director, finance staff member, board treasurer, or anyone else looking to learn more about nonprofit board finances, this program is for you.
Cost per participant for the series: $800
Because of NPLI’s generous donors we are able to subsidize the cost of this $3,000 program so program participants only pay $800. (Refunds will not be given for missed sessions.)
Let’s be honest, no (or very few) nonprofit leaders join organizations because they enjoy accounting. Like it or not, the Executive Director is the financial leader of your organization and senior managers and board members have an obligation to understand the financial drivers of the organization. This session will introduce and engage you in an in-depth discussion around the tenets of financial leadership and how you can embrace them. Discussions include how best to “staff” the finance function and the different roles and responsibilities between staff and board members. This session will end with providing you with information on identifying accounting policies and procedures and internal controls, offered in an easy-to-implement manner.
Templates include a draft accounting policies and procedures manual, job descriptions for the finance officer, and a charter for the finance committee of the board.
Understanding and Assessing Financial Health
To be a financial leader, you must be financially literate. This session is designed to increase your financial literacy by removing the jargon so you can read and understand financial statements. This session will dive deeper into understanding the differences between cash and accrual accounting, highlighting the importance of monitoring cash flow. You will use your financial statements to calculate key ratios to assess both immediate and long-term financial health. This will allow you to discover important trending tools such as the current ratio and quick ratio, define and highlight the importance of reserves and lead a discussion on an appropriate level for reserves.
Templates include a full set of financial statement forms and key ratios to calculate for your own organization.
Demystifying Expenses – Categorizing Expenses and Cost Allocation Part 1 (A two-part session)
There is rampant discussion in the nonprofit sector today about overhead rates. Determining overhead, however, starts with the mundane yet important task of coding expenses. This session involves pealing the onion of expenses so you can define the differences between direct expenses and shared or common costs. Cost allocation will be covered as it is a challenging subject for even the most experienced nonprofit professional, and especially important for those agencies that receive government funding. A case study will walk you through a cost allocation process splitting shared costs to programs and, eventually, to funding sources. You will also learn how to allocate (1) administrative costs to demonstrate the true program costs for each program and (2) revenue to determine the profitability of each program.
Templates include a set of financial statements that highlight the cost allocation process including a staffing plan, wage plan, shared cost allocation and administrative allocation along with a sample financial statement showing the profitability of each program.
The Art and Science of Budgeting
Organizational budgets are meant to be the numerical expression of the organization’s program plan for the coming year. To do so, they need to be created in an inclusive process. This session will walk you through the stages of budgeting including roles and timeline in putting together the budget. Additionally, you will hear about the latest thinking in rolling budgets and how to continually be communicating and thinking strategically about your budget.
Templates include budget templates and a process timeline for engaging the staff and board.
Telling Your Financial Story: Dashboard Driving
Nonprofit boards and senior management are bombarded with financial and programmatic reporting that they may or may not understand and are left to analyze on their own. This session aims to cut through the clutter with a clear, visual dashboard that will focus the discussion on items requiring attention. In particular, by the end of this session, you should be able to understand and explain the power of dashboard reporting, determine the metrics that are right for your organization, and implement a process for compiling your own organizational dashboard.
Templates include a dashboard and library of metrics.
One of the biggest myths in “best practices” is the idea that the more revenue streams an organization has, the more financially sustainable they will be. This session seeks to end that myth and instead focus the discussion on the right revenue strategy for your organization. In this session, you will review the elements of the “right revenue” for your organization including which streams align with your organization’s values and programs and the desired mix for your organization. Drawing on the work in The Sustainability Mindset and the revenue theory of Dennis Young in his work, Financing Nonprofits, you will dive into the tools and learn how to analyze your revenue streams and make adjustments.
Templates include a spreadsheet for organizations to analyze their own revenue.
The Sustainability Mindset
Offered as a capstone to the webinar series, this session will incorporate all previous discussions and integrate the financial strategy with the impact strategy. You will be introduced to the matrix map, a visual depiction of an organization’s business model encompassing the dual-bottom line of mission impact and financial viability. Beyond just a picture though, the matrix map offers strategic imperatives to strengthen your organization’s business model and sustainability.
Enrollment & Payment
To enroll, complete this form. Invoicing will be emailed mid-December of 2021 with payment due January 7, 2022.
Participants may join virtually or in-person. We will be able to accommodate up to 40 people in-person at the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. Our trainer will be joining us virtually.