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Financial Management Essentials

This toolkit is a roadmap for a nonprofit’s financial management.  For some organizations, getting help starts by figuring out where the help is needed. This toolkit lays out a step by step framework of resources to provide the help needed.

Toolkit Resources

Taking the Mystery Out of Financial Management

Everyone should start by watching Taking the Mystery Out of Financial Management.  This is a  short tutorial that touches on the various components of financial management and true to its name, it  removes the mystery from financial management and provides a clear path to follow. Watching this tutorial will provide context for all of the remaining resources and illuminate where to start.

Why Have an Operating Reserve and How to Build One

Whether to adopt a surplus or deficit budget starts by looking at the operating reserve. This resource walks through everything an organization needs to know about reserves, what they are, why to have them, and even addresses organizations’ reluctance towards building them.

Budgeting as a Strategic Tool

Having a clear budget that is broken out by programs is a foundational element to an organization's financial sustainability. The Budget Toolkit includes a budget template and detailed videos walking through how to use the template.

Allocating Shared Operating Expenses

In order to budget by program and see the full picture of program costs, shared expenses must be used.  The Shared Allocation Toolkit explains in detail what shared expenses are and how to begin using them.

Financial Board Reports

Having plans such as a budget and an Operating Reserve policy need to be backed up with accurate reporting and ongoing monitoring. This resource covers the basics of presenting financials to the board of directors in a clear consistent fashion.

How to Prevent Fraud - Six Simple Steps

With the basics in place, it’s important to look at fiscal procedures and ensure that the organization is doing everything necessary to prevent fraud and protect its resources.  How to Prevent Fraud-Six Simple Steps walks through some basic steps that even the smallest organizations can do to have adequate controls.

Background Image: American Rivers | Scott Bosse