April 2015 You can’t save your way to sustainability

April 30, 2015 Meeting:

You can’t save your way to sustainability

For most nonprofits, merely maintaining the financial status quo is generally not viable. Organizations need to develop strategies for long-term sustainability, not only for the organization itself, but for continuity of the mission. Too often, boards and CFOs try to set and meet profitability targets by focusing on the spending side of the budget, but it’s usually growth in revenue and support that provides the most effective basis for ongoing resource mobilization. David Orlinoff, a former nonprofit CFO, led the discussion about the group’s  respective experiences with sustainability strategies and how to identify ways we can be helpful to our organizations in reaching stronger financial positions. David has been providing financial and strategic consulting and financial and operating management services for the past 30 years and is a principal at Concord Financial Organization.

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March 2015: Assessing IT Risk and Mitigation

March 2015 Meeting:

Assessing IT Risk and Mitigation

Russell Greenwald, Vice President and Director, Technology Consulting Practice at Insource Services, Inc. gave a presentation that outlined areas of possible risk in your organization in relation to databases, files, email, computer network, and personnel. He also covered how to rate the risks, prioritize them and determine next steps.  Russell has been consulting with nonprofits, for-profits, and technology companies for the past 14 years. Read More

February 2015: How to Think about Capitalization for Nonprofits of Every Size

February 2015 Meeting: How to Think about Capitalization for Nonprofits of Every Size

Beth Doreian, Senior Associate at the Boston office of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, gave a presentation on the topic of capitalization. Prior to NFF, Beth was Director of Finance and Administration at Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development and Controller at Root Capital. Board members and management toss around terms like operating reserves and cash reserves and there is not always consensus on what is meant. How much is enough? How do you figure out how much is enough? What do you count toward operating reserves, anyway? Are your operating reserves reported on regularly on the balance sheet as a separate item? And for those lucky enough to have this problem, how much is too much?
Beth addressed some of those questions.

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November 2014: How to Get Your Board “Onboard” with Non-Profit Finances

November 2014 Meeting: How to Get Your Board “Onboard” with Non-Profit Finances

Typically most nonprofit board members do not have a background in finance and those who do usually come from the for-profit world. This puts nonprofit CFOs in the position of having to explain nonprofit financial statements in terms of revenue/asset restrictions and give context to financial analysis for our sector. Issues often arise with board members having a different understanding of budgeting, cash flows, and revenue timing. Stephanie O’Leary, Senior Consultant at Accounting Management Solutions Inc., gave a presentation about how to get your Board “onboard” with nonprofit financial statements. Her presentation focused on: How we, as CFOs, can train our board members on how nonprofit financial statements work; highlighting some best practices to help board members know how to provide proper financial oversight; and providing necessary tools for board members on how to measure organizational success.

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