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!
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?
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.
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.