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.

"Many of the people at NAF weren’t always finance people—they're people who came from nonprofits. They understand the perspective of wanting to provide services to a community. Whether it's arts, education, health, etc.—you get the sense that they've been in the trenches. They want you to succeed, they want you to meet your mission. They're just wonderful."

Dr. Diane Halpin, Executive Director, Lionsgate Academy

The Innovation Sector

Innovation is essential to community and economic health. You often hear about innovation coming from the tech community—but what about in our sector? Nonprofits are constantly creating new solutions to old problems, and new ways to deliver those solutions. That’s innovation. Let’s ignite the conversation about how our state and region can continue to innovate and improve.  Following are some nonprofits doing truly innovative work in our community. 

Cookie Cart – Baking Bright Futures

Join the NAF Team! Program Director Position

Nonprofits Assistance Fund is excited to welcome a new Program Director to our team. If you are interested in nonprofit financial management, committed to building strong relationships and have prior teaching or training program delivery experience, we'd love to talk with you. Applications are due August 31, 2015. A full description of the position can be found here

“NAF can help you prevent crises for your organization—not just help you through them. I think more people need to understand that! My advice to any organization would be—don't wait. Be proactive and reach out to NAF. It's about being a strong organization and being proactive, and thinking about your sustainability into the future.”

Theresa Gardella, Director of Strategic Development, Nexus Community Partners

Clear Communications Through Dashboard Reports Webinar

At your nonprofit, you deal with a lot of data. From program statistics to financial goals, the data can be overwhelming, especially if you need to dig through the data to get the answers you are looking for. Dashboard reports are a great way to distill data to some key measures and make meaningful comparisons to benchmarks and goals. With greater clarity, you can focus on the most relevant information to make strategic decisions.

Clear the Fuzzy Thinking About Nonprofit Reserves

When I want to push nonprofit leaders to think about finances more comprehensively than their annual budget, I have a simple exercise that I use:

Imagine that a surprise gift arrives at your organization from a loyal and honorable donor, with no restrictions or strings attached, equal to 20% of your annual budget. What would you do with this windfall?

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