Balancing the Mission Checkbook

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.

Free to Be You and Me: A Financial Story

You do not need to be me, your accountant, your former boss or your treasurer.  You get to be you.

Stumped (and freaking out)

I was working on a project that had me stumped.  There were multiple ways that I could go with the financial analysis and recommendations, and I was overwhelmed with the options facing me.  Working at Nonprofits Assistance Fund is like being on the dream island for nonprofit financial problem solvers, and so I asked my colleagues. 

I got three separate answers from three very different financial leaders. 

It's Never About the Donuts

I felt sick to my stomach.  After a month of avoiding a serious look at our budget and a reforecast for the next six months, I was seeing a deficit of ($80,000).  I knew that grant funding had not come in as expected and that donations were slower than previous years.  I knew that we had included more stretch goals than baseline fundraising goals.   I rechecked my forecast as the dread and fear sunk in.  Then I got t

Getting Past Simple Answers

In a blog post a few months ago, Getting Past the Overhead Ratio, I wrote:

If we in the nonprofit sector want to bust the overhead myth and bring attention to the things that really matter, then it’s our responsibility to take the lead by communicating differently and better. In order to take that lead, don’t wait for the question to come in and then argue why the ratio isn’t important or meaningful. We have to replace it.

What has stalled implementation of the Minnesota Pay for Performance bond pilot?

Some recent articles in Time Magazine and Huffington Post about the promise of Pay for Success financing have brought the topic forward again and I’ve been asked what happened to the Minnesota pilot to try pay for performance based funding. Good question.

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