Nonprofit Finance and Accounting: The Mission and the Money
A few issues ago, I shared that a priority in my new position is listening to you, learning about the challenges you face, and helping you with concrete solutions. As my listening tour unfolds, I'm already noticing a common thread - how you're spending more time working IN your nonprofit business instead of ON it, especially the dreaded "cash crunch": how much you need it, what you can do to conserve it, and how to remain sustainable. This issue of Sector Connector is dedicated to helping you answer these questions... and more.
In this issue...
- "How Much Should an Audit Cost" Feature Article by Phil Symonds
- "Painless Budgeting for the New Year" Feature Article by CFO Norma Wright
- Boardroom Quandaries featuring the "Importance of the 990"
- Information on our upcoming Special Program, Financial Literacy and Leadership Excellence. Thanks to generous grant funding, the $75 member fee covers four individuals for two days of intensive financial management and leadership training. More info... (link to Training page)
The harsh reality is that only a handful of us have the kind of financial security to focus solely on mission and not funding. And that's a real problem – our short-term focus on the daily grind prevents us from long term planning. I wager that most of us would admit that we could be more financially literate: understanding the flows of cash, the stability of assets, and the pain of payables. Board and staff members that know how to interpret, anticipate, and plan for inevitable cash ebbs and flows will make great strides in sustaining their mission over the long haul.
The most successful organizations and people, in my opinion, are the ones with the farthest reaching visions - planning decades, even lifetimes ahead. Visionaries like Martin Luther King, Jr. understood this, "I may not get there with you. But I want you to know....that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land."
As nonprofits, our focus on achieving a mission demands that we take the long view; that we have a strong vision, and that we work hard to becoming "fiscally fit" so that we can withstand whatever this crazy world throws our way. It's a sacred responsibility that lives within our missions, to be ready when we're needed the most. Ready, always.