In today’s changing environment, it can be difficult for nonprofit leaders to access the tools and expertise they need to make sound, strategic financial decisions—the type of decisions that lead a nonprofit to long-term sustainability. To bridge that gap, Nonprofit Finance Fund has gathered some of its most accessible insights into a six-episode course on strategic financial management in the nonprofit sector. To develop the series, NFF drew on insights developed through thirty years of on-the-ground engagement with nonprofit organizations and its research and experimentation with the up and coming financing ideas that will define the sector’s next generation.
This series, which begins on April 15th, offers practical tools to help decision-makers navigate their financial management, and demonstrates an array of real-life examples and strategies to help inform data-driven decision making for nonprofit professionals. The sessions can be taken as a full financial management curriculum, or can be chosen a la carte for organizations seeking to address specific business challenges. You can find complete descriptions of each 60-minute webinar, as well as an FAQ, here.
Guidestar is happy to offer its readers a special discount on the series: use the promotion code “SAVE 10” to receive 10% off any full-price webinar! Be sure to select “Guidestar” when indicating how you were referred. These webinars are $75 each, and offered at a discount for the series package. Register here through Eventbrite!
The complete list of offerings is below—click on the videos for some exclusive sneak-peeks!
Spring 2014 Webinar Series: Unpacking the Nonprofit Manager’s Toolbox
April 15: Budgeting as a Communication Tool
This webinar provides nonprofit leaders with a review of key budget terms and concepts and demystifies the budgeting process by focusing on the essential nonprofit budget, which clearly depicts the organization’s true financial story. Although this 60-minute webinar is beginner level, the emphasis is not on how to create a line item budget. Rather, the focus is on creating a budget that appropriately communicates the organization’s economic realities. NFF concludes the webinar by pointing participants toward more advanced budgeting concepts, such as addressing key balance sheet needs.
April 22: Monitoring Cash Flow
Planning in today’s uncertain environment requires that nonprofit leaders know where their organization stands financially. In this 60-minute webinar, NFF offers nonprofit managers the guidance they need to lead during challenging times, offering tips on managing cash flow through use of reports that will identify months of low cash. The session also identifies the ways in which cash flow management can be essential to accessing credit.
April 29: Assessing Program Profitability
Every program impacts your organization’s bottom line. Making informed decisions about critical organizational issues like hiring or fundraising requires a clear understanding or each program’s profit or loss. Is it inherently profitable? Does it require subsidy? How does it fit together financially with other programs? NFF’s unique Program Profitability Model provides a clear-sighted way for nonprofit managers to answer these questions. Through real-life examples, this 60-minute webinar will explain how participants can use a program economic assessment to make adjustments and improve financial health with minimal impact on programs.
May 6: Scenario Planning
At NFF, scenario planning balances exploration and dialogue with a tools-driven approach. As such, this 60-minute webinar introduces participants to several ways of planning through periods of uncertainty and focuses on the financial implications of future scenarios (with respect to the income statement as well as the balance sheet) during single year or over a multiple year period.
May 13: Managing to a Dashboard
Increasingly popular among nonprofit boards, a dashboard is a reporting tool for communicating with an organization’s key stakeholders and leadership about mission-related goals, capacity-related goals, resource needs, and desired outcomes/outcome measurement. In this 60-minute webinar, NFF will discuss how to engage your organization in thoughtful and relevant conversations about its financial situation, needs, challenges and opportunities before it reaches a crisis point. Participants will explore two types of organizational dashboards that help to measure progress against goals and manage uncertainty.
May 20: Strategic Alliances, Collaborations and Mergers: This content is brand-new!
In a post-recession environment, nonprofits are increasingly looking to collaborate and some are even considering mergers. Through this 60-minute webinar, NFF will lead an informative discussion about how nonprofits can recognize the conditions that contribute to successful collaborations and when a merger would be warranted. Participants will gain an understanding of how partnerships, alliances and mergers can be positive, strategic decisions—and an incredibly powerful tool for two organizations with compatible missions and services.
The preceding is a guest post by Rebekah Caton, Analyst, Strategic Advice for Nonprofit Finance Fund. Rebekah joined NFF in March 2013 as Coordinator for the Eastern Region, where she is responsible for coordinating advisory service activities as well as office management. From 2010-2012, Ms. Caton worked as a TEFL instructor with Peace Corps Madagascar and as Program Coordinator for the Alpine Initiatives Village Sustainability Project. She was the Web and Audio Editor for PennSound, an audio poetry archive based out of the University of Pennsylvania, from 2008-2010, and again immediately prior to NFF. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania.