Balancing the Mission Checkbook

A Graphic Re-visioning of Nonprofit Overhead

A Blog in Pictures (and some words, too)

Most nonprofit leaders agree that we need a new way to communicate about the true costs of our programs and the vital importance of strong organizational infrastructure.  But we have not yet developed a simple, consistent message when sharing our view with potential supporters and investors. We are stuck with old terms and old images.

Myth (and Facts) about Nonprofit Social Enterprise

Nonprofit management and strategy topics seem to come in waves for me at Nonprofits Assistance Fund. The theme of the last quarter seems to be earned income and nonprofit social enterprise.  While the specific questions and ideas vary widely, there are some ongoing myths about social enterprise that I hear over and over that need to be dispelled. The myths fall into three categories:

 

Myth #1:  We can’t do that!

Is Now the Right Time to Dive into Social Enterprise?

The next time you are contemplating ways to generate additional revenue for your nonprofit, maybe while savoring a cup of CityKid Java, eating a delicious cookie from Cookie Cart, snuggling up in a warm sweater from Industries, Inc., or carrying your recycling out to the curb for pick-up by Eureka Recycling, just look around – all of those organizations just mentioned are social enterprises. Maybe the right way to generate additional revenue for your nonprofit is right in front of you – all you need to do is dive in!

Ten Financial Fundamentals for Smart Program Officers

One of the (many) benefits of working at Nonprofits Assistance Fund is the frequent invitation to talk with groups of foundation program officers about the finances of nonprofits. While no two foundations, or program officers, have exactly the same mission, goals, or grantmaking approaches, there are some common questions and themes. How can I tell if a nonprofit is financially healthy? What are the red flags to watch for? What are the best practices and rules of thumb that we should follow?

Becoming a High-Performance Nonprofit

High performance.

Previously when I heard those words, the first things that came to my mind were high-performing vehicles like race cars – high-performing technology such as powerful medical scanners – or high-performance athletes like Olympic gold medalists.

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