For Board Members

It’s Time to Thank Your Board Treasurer

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Traditionally, Americans take this time of year to reflect on our good fortune. We spend a few moments being grateful. Publicly. We give our money. We give our time. We show gratitude and generosity to those we love and to those we want to help.

Last year, I asked you to thank your finance staff, this year I’m asking you to thank your Board Treasurer.

Because Board Treasurers volunteer to do all of the following and then some...

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Posted 11/21/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Know Your Insurance

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Congratulations!!! If you’ve kept up with this Procedures Manual production schedule, you are 3/4s of the way to completion. If you need to catch up, you can start here.

After writing about insurance, only two sections will remain. Just in time to ring in the new year!

Insurance. Not the sexiest topic in the world. Until you need it. Let’s talk about a few types of insurance that many nonprofits carry.

Read on...

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Posted 10/31/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Annual Information Returns

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Now that you’ve successfully answered questions about providing financial reports to your board, let’s tackle the financial reports you must send to Uncle Sam and to your state government. When you finish this chapter, you will be 3/4’s of the way home.

As Benjamin Franklin said: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except for death and taxes.”

I’m amending his quote for nonprofits, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except for proposal deadlines and filing tax forms.”

Complying with federal and state tax laws can prove a daunting task. Missing the filing date(s) can prove a costly mistake.

This chapter of the Procedures Manual will walk you through a series of questions related to each form. 

Continue reading...

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Posted 9/26/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Financial Reports

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Now that you have successfully written the chapter on Reviewing General Ledgers, it’s time to move to Financial Reports.

These reports communicate your organization’s financial health to the board of directors. Reviewing them, understanding them and discussing them enables board members to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility. Here’s how you can help them excel at their job.


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Posted 8/29/12 by Carol

Upcoming Webinar: Fun with Finance Committees

 Thursday, December 22nd at 1pm ET/12pm CT/11am MT/10am PT
Do you even need a finance committee? If you have one, what should they be doing? This webinar will focus on the role of the finance committee and what they should and shouldn't be doing.

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Posted 12/14/11 by Carol

Webinar Recording: 3 Keys to Financial Health

3 Keys to Financial Health Webinar

Learn the fundamentals of nonprofit financial management including:

  • What are reserves? 
  • How you can calculate your organization's reserves.
  • What's the board's role in the budget process?
  • How to use your budget to plan for and manage your reserves.

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Posted 10/24/11 by Carol

GJ Entry #10: Finance Committee, Who Needs It!

Boards of Directors love to form committees. Committees can efficiently and effectively complete the work of the board. In some cases, that arrangement and construct makes perfect sense. Here’s one that doesn’t. The Finance Committee.

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Posted 10/12/11 by Carol

GJ Entry #9: Funders: Stop Asking for Budgets

This message is for funders. Listen up. I know that you are rarely told what to do by grantees. That wouldn’t be prudent. And other funders would never suggest how you should run your foundation. So I am stepping up to the plate with a very firm suggestion for all funders.

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Posted 10/5/11 by Carol

GJ Entry #5: 3 Keys to Financial Health: 3) Your Budget is Your Plan for Your Net Assets

This is part 3 of the 3 Keys to Financial Health series. You can read part 1, Don't Borrow from Your Future here and part 2, Build Reserves in Good Times to Use in Hard Times here.

3) Your budget is your plan for your reserves and your grant spending.

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Posted 9/7/11 by Carol

Screencast: Projecting Reserves

Watch this screencast to learn how to project your level of reserves and plan for your upcoming budget.

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Posted 9/5/11 by Carol

GJ Entry #4: 3 Keys to Financial Health: 2) Build Reserves in Good Times for Use in Hard Times

This is part 2 of the 3 Keys to Financial Health series. You can read part 1, Don't Borrow from Your Future here.

2) Build reserves in good times, so that you can use them in hard times.

But how do we know when the good times are? Obviously, “good times” is a relative term.

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Posted 8/31/11 by Carol

GJ Entry #1: Welcome to the General Journal Blog!

The General Journal is the place to discuss important issues in social justice finance. And to get tips, tools, and event announcements.

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Posted 8/10/11 by Carol

Welcome to the Member Blog!

Discuss finance issues with the Fun with Financials member community. Learn about upcoming member webinars & teleconferences.

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Posted 8/8/11 by Carol

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