Resource Library

Having access to a comprehensive set of tools to help manage an organization's financial strategies and activities is essential to success. Our online resource library includes many financial management articles, templates and videos to help your nonprofit develop and implement effective practices. Explore our library categories to help you identify the types of information you need, and view our glossary to learn more about the terminology we use.

Resource Categories

A budget is a planning tool that reflects an organization’s programs, mission, and strategic plan. This guide will help you during the budgeting process.

Healthy nonprofit organizations employ financial management practices that build

This expert guide outlines essential steps as: transforming your annual budget analysis; deciding whether or not income diversification is the way to go; achieving a robust reserve; and equipping your board for effective financial governance.

This tool provides the description and calculation of 14 ratios including a mix of balance sheet and income statement ratios.

This template serves as a sample of a Request for Proposal that your nonprofit may submit to a company for the preparation of yearly audited financial statements and related filings for a three year period

Balance Sheet Basics refreshes key terminology. Additionally, learn how the balance sheet works with your income statement and how to report restricted funds on your balance sheet.

The balance sheet has a lot of valuable information. Our Balance Sheet Cheat Sheet highlights six key measures that are useful for all types of nonprofits.

No matter how expertly you manage your budget, you can confidently project a surplus at the end of the year and still not have enough cash at some point during your fiscal year. That’s because money doesn’t always come in and go out smoothly from day to day or month to month. In order to weather the ups and downs properly it’s important to project and plan your cash flow.

Understanding the ebbs and flows of your organization's cash will help you make smart management decisions that protect your core programs and overall sustainability. Use this template to manage cash flow at your organization.

This video explains cash and accrual accounting, two distinct accounting methods.

This resource provides 12 signs that your nonprofit will be financially healthy over the long term.

Your nonprofit work has certain knowable costs. Costs for staff, costs for property and equipment, costs for programs. Sound nonprofit finance means determining, accounting for and allocating those costs properly. It also helps in your fundraising efforts to know how much a program will truly cost your organization. 

Learn more about how cost allocation helps you understand your true program costs with our e-study

When a nonprofit organization owns a piece of equipment or property that they are going to use over a long period of time, they want to see that reflected in their financial information. Depreciation can be confusing, but the accounting concept is one we can all understand.

A nonprofit board is ultimately responsible for the financial health of the organization. To best fulfill that fiscal responsibility it is important to understand the organization’s financial situation to make informed decisions and provide strategic leadership.

If the idea of creating a financial policy seems daunting, this basic guideline for policy development may be helpful.

Use this checklist to assess your organization's financial management practices and identify areas for improvement.

This glossary provides definitions of terminology commonly used in nonprofit finance. 

Learn key terminology, including a brief overview of depreciation expense and how restricted contributions can be reported on the income statement.

This worksheet and accompanying guide translates the financial data from the IRS 990 into easy to use financial report formats (year-end Balance Sheet and Income Statement) and several useful ratios that can be used as one part of a review or analysis or a nonprofit.

How do you reinvigorate the treasurer's and finance committee's roles so that they play a strategic part in oversight, planning and governance? This article lays out some great tips to help your board and committee get on the right track.

This resource will help your nonprofit manage your cash flow by explaining why, when and how. Additionally, this resource provides management strategies to help your nonprofit prevent cash flow shortages.

This resource article aims to define unrestricted, temporarily restricted, and permanently restricted income, and give nonprofit leaders the tools to record, report, and effectively manage contributed income and net assets.

In this video, Nonprofits Assistance Fund defines different contribution categories and explains how to account for and manage restricted funds.

These sample reserve policies are provided to get you started, but keep in mind that no example will be an exact fit for your organization. We have included some options to assist you. Be sure to review these parts carefully to create the right policy for your organization.

In this video, learn about the audit process, review the contents of an audit report, and discuss how to use this information to improve your organizational management.

This resource is an overview of different overhead expense classifications, and what may or may not be included in IRS Form 990 and FASB.

This tool provides calculation of 14 ratios including a mix of balance sheet and income statement ratios. Individual nonprofits must decide for themselves which calculations are meaningful and what benchmarks will be useful for their situation and goals.

This resource outlines the types of financial reports that are needed as well as how to present the information to the Board.

Whether you call it the rainy day fund, a nest egg, or your safety net, reserves are an important and sound nonprofit management principle. But, how much do you need in reserve? When and how do you use your reserves? We're here to clear things up for you a bit.

From time to time you'll have donations or grants that come with a few strings attached. These could be restrictions on how the money will be used or the time frame in which it can be used. It's important to know how these restrictions affect your budget, and how to manage these restricted funds.

Most nonprofit leaders agree 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. How we visualize our understanding of nonprofit structure and programs shapes the overhead debate.

This outline for a social enterprise business plan is a guide for research, planning, and writing a business plan for nonprofit social enterprises.

Learn the four core components of a nonprofit business model: revenue mix, understanding the cost of effective programs, infrastructure, and capital structure and how all of these components connect to mission and your organization's financial health.

This resource explains financial structure of nonprofits, broken down into four core components. These components: revenue mix, infrastructure and expenses, program cost, and capital structure, define the business model that creates value for the community and sustains the business entity.

This E-Study, developed with the Hubert Project at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, guides you through learning about the real, true costs of delivering nonprofit programs. This knowledge is critical to help organizations make decisions about funding, contract terms or pricing, make the best use of unrestricted revenue and move toward sustainable finances.

The guide and accompanying spreadsheet template break down the process of understanding true program costs, either through budgeting or financial reports, into several stages.

Like businesses, nonprofit organizations sometimes need cash in the form of a loan to operate their programs effectively. Loans can be a tool that can help a nonprofit grow and succeed. This guide is designed to help nonprofits understand loans, uses for loans, and when loans make the most sense as a form of capital.