Cash Flow 101 202 Excel Spreadsheets
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A key component of financial sustainability is the commitment of board and staff to financial management that includes timely review of financial reports and advance planning. One way that board and staff plan for income and expenses in the future is by creating a budget. Approval of the annual budget is one of the fundamental building blocks of sound financial management. Creating the annual budget is initially staff’s responsibility, but board members (usually those on the “finance committee” and/or “executive committee”) often review the proposed budget and the full board usually adopts the budget at a full board meeting. The approved budget then serves as a guide for financial activity in the months ahead.
Budgets should not be “written in stone” because the financial position of the nonprofit may change during the year. A budget is a guide that can help a nonprofit plan for the future as well as assess its current financial health. It is quite common to periodically review the budget as well as compare it to the actual cash flow and expenses, to determine whether they are playing out as expected during the course of the year. It may be necessary to amend the budget during the year. It is likely that the nonprofit's budget will be referred to many times throughout the year - by staff and board members who play different roles within a nonprofit. Budgets may even be requested by parties involved in financial transactions with the nonprofits, such as banks, or by donors/grantmakers considering a gift to the nonprofit. If and when you share the organization's budget outside the organization, make sure to stress that the budget is reviewed periodically throughout the year and revised as needed - not set in stone.
Messenger version 10. Sometimes when people ask for the nonprofit's 'budget' what they are seeking can be satisfied by sharing a copy of the most recently filed IRS Form 990 that shows a nonprofit's operating expenses and revenue during a fiscal year. Mythbuster Board members and staff who are new to the charitable nonprofit context may wonder, ' Does a nonprofit’s budget have to break-even?' 'Can there be a profit?' • The article, (Blue Avocado) covers everything budgets: surplus budgets, break-even budgets, deficit budgets, and the misconception that a nonprofit’s budget has to balance at the end of the year. • (Propel Nonprofits) Restricted funds demystified • (Propel Nonprofits) Be sure to understand true program costs • (National Council of Nonprofits) • (Propel Nonprofits) • (Propel Nonprofits) • free template (Wallace Foundation) Resources Is it time to create your nonprofit’s budget?
Here are some resources to head your nonprofit in the right direction: • (Maine Association of Nonprofits) • (Nonprofit Quarterly, author Simone Joyaux) (includes general background on nonprofit budgets) • (Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants) • (Propel Nonprofits) • (Wallace Foundation) • (Joan Garry) • (Propel Nonprofits) • (Nonprofit Quarterly, authors Kate Barr and Jeanne Bell) • Should our nonprofit have? (National Council of Nonprofits) • (National Council of Nonprofits) • (Nonprofit Finance Fund) Tools you can use The National Council of Nonprofits is pleased to suggest two practical software tools, developed with the needs of small nonprofits in mind by the financial experts at the New York Council of Nonprofits, that are available for purchase separately, or together, from the New York Council of Nonprofits. Discounts are available for nonprofits that are members of their. These two software tools are useful for: (1) building a budget with proper cost allocation, and (2) tracking a nonprofit’s cash flow. Others: • free tutorial (Foundation Center) • (Wallace Foundation) • (Wallace Foundation) • (Wallace Foundation).