To Build, Buy, Beg, Borrow, or Boldly Lease

For nonprofits, the choice of office space or program space matters. Who doesn’t want the perfect environment that inspires our clients or fuels the passions of our staff and contributors?  Our mission, our brand, and our success can all be tied up in the location and building our organization calls home. With this much at stake, how we go about getting that perfect space matters, too.  Should we own it or lease it?  Should we build it or renovate it?  Should we fundraise for it or borrow for it? 

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.

From Data to Impact… and Beyond!

Last week, Adrian Bordone of GuideStar gave the keynote address at our annual Nonprofit Finance and Sustainability Conference, where he extolled the bold use of data to counter the overhead myth.  He encouraged the sell-out crowd of nonprofit executives, finance leaders, and board members to use data to craft a sophisticated case demonstrating the positive changes our nonprofits are making in the world.  Most of those present were already savvy to the message – nonprofit leaders are keenly aware that in

Finance That Imitates Program

Oscar Wilde once said, “It’s not art that imitates life, but life that imitates art.” In the nonprofit world, it’s not program that imitates finance, but finance that imitates program. Or at least it should be. There is an art to designing finance systems that reflect our programs. Well-structured financial systems amplify our mission effectiveness because they are designed around and in support of our programs and not the other way around.

Core Strength for Nonprofits: Financial Lessons from a First Time Marathoner

Over the past year I have been enthused by a newfound passion for long-distance running, which began innocently enough as a fifty-something guy cautiously running a mile and a half. While logging many miles since then, I’ve had time to reflect on parallels between my fledgling ardor for running and my long-established passion for nonprofit finance. Running buddies of mine, who are far more experienced in this realm, have taught me that developing core strength is a key to longevity in running. This lesson is true in the nonprofit world as well.