Governance and Strategy
An engaged, knowledgeable board is essential. Directors should oversee the organization’s activities, assessing whether it is meeting legal, financial and strategic obligations. These tools are designed to help staff and board members.
Understanding Nonprofit Business Models
The Matrix Map: A Powerful Tool for Mission-Focused Nonprofits
Authors in this Nonprofit Quarterly article describe the Matrix Map approach to understanding the financial as well as the mission-related impact of a nonprofit’s programs and activities.
Based on their book, The Sustainability Mindset: Using the Matrix Map to Make Strategic Decisions, the authors explain how to create a Matrix Map and what strategic decisions are implied by the positions in the matrix.
Watch the authors discuss the framework and how to use it in this webinar.
Ten Nonprofit Funding Models
This article the Stanford Social Innovation Review proposes 10 nonprofit business models that describe the range of funding strategies available, arguing that leaders should understand and work within their particular funding model in order to maximize financial sustainability.
Business Planning for Nonprofits: What It Is and Why It Matters
This article from the Bridgespan Group includes an overview of nonprofit business planning, breaking the process down into four distinct components: strategic clarity; strategic priorities; resource implications; and performance measures. It also explains how to use the plan both internally and externally.
Business Plans for Nonprofits and Social Enterprise
This resource on the Propel Nonprofits website outlines the sections in a nonprofit business plan for social enterprise or earned income ventures.
Reserve Fund Policy Template & Guide
Overview of concepts and strategies for developing financial reserves, including a discussion of types of reserves, tips on developing and managing reserves, and sample policies and worksheets.
Know Your Role in Governing Nonprofit Finance
The Board's Financial Leadership
This presentation can help nonprofit boards understand their fiscal leadership role. It includes an overview of fiduciary duties, audit and finance committees, the audit and Form 990, and internal controls. You can watch the full presentation or download the pdf below.
How to Talk About Finances So Non-Financial Folks Will Listen
In this article from the Bridgespan Group, a variety of nonprofit chief financial officers and technical assistance providers offer ideas and advice on how to make financial information come alive for your organization’s frontline staff.
An Executive Director's Guide to Financial Leadership
This article in Nonprofit Quarterly outlines eight key business principles for guiding the financial leadership practices of nonprofit chief executives.
Funding Opportunity Assessment Tool
A new grant or contract can be vital to funding your organization's programs—but it also brings responsibilities and risks as well. This assessment tool will help you evaluate whether a funding opportunity makes strategic sense and is feasible for your organization.
Next Steps: Budgeting
Budgeting is the way your organization’s strategy is expressed in dollars. Once you have set strategic goals and priorities, be sure that this gets translated into the budget that guides your activities each year.
Explore The Toolkit By Topic
Plan, design and build your organization's operating budget to deliver on your mission effectively and sustainably
Forecast and monitor cash flow to ensure you have the money you need when you need it
Ensure your finance office operations run efficiently and effectively
Data and Analysis
Visualize and understand what your numbers mean
Prepare for your audit and maintain audit readiness throughout the year
Governance and Strategy
Employ big-picture thinking to connect your financial resources with mission goals