Tools & Training

Procedures Manual: Rental Lease

Lease image

November might be NaNoWriMo —National Novel Writing Month. Here at Fun with Financials 2012 is NaProMaWriYe —National Procedures Manual Writing Year.

If you’ve been playing along at home, congratulations! You are on your way to finishing your Procedures Manual. When you complete this chapter you will have one remaining. If you need to catch up, you can start by clicking here.

Do you pay rent or own your building/space? If you answer yes to renting, add your answers to the following questions to your manual. If you answer no, you can stop reading and take a coffee break.


Read More

Posted 11/28/12 by Carol

It’s Time to Thank Your Board Treasurer

Thank You image

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...

Keep reading...

Read More

Posted 11/21/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Know Your Insurance

Insurance Files image

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...

Read More

Posted 10/31/12 by Carol

Webinar Recording: Managing Cashflow

Have you had to use your reserves in the last few years? Is cash becoming scarce?

Or maybe you've built reserves and want to maximize the interest you earn.

You'll learn:

  • when to use a cashflow report and when not to use it.
  • how to keep your cashflow report up to date. 
  • when to show the report to your board.
  • what to do about negative balances.

Click here to register. 


Check out these tools:

excel icon image Cashflow for Investing

excel icon image Cashflow for Emergencies


Read More

Posted 10/3/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Annual Information Returns

 Interstate 990 image

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...

Read More

Posted 9/26/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Financial Reports

financial report image

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.


Read More

Posted 8/29/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: General Ledger Review

Magnifying glass icon

Guess what time it is? Time to write another installment of your Procedures Manual.

If you’ve been playing along at home, you’re now halfway through creating your manual. And if you need to catch up, start by clicking here.

This time you get to answer questions about reviewing your General Ledger. You do review your General Ledger, right? General Ledgers need reviewing to make sure that entries happen correctly so your reports are accurate.


Read More

Posted 7/11/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Bank Reconciliations and Transfers

computer money transfer image

In honor of the 45th anniversary of the installation of the world’s first ATM (location: Enfield Town, England), Fun with Financials raises its glass to celebrate. And then asks you to complete the next chapter of the Procedures Manual about reconciling your bank statement and transferring money.

Read on...

Read More

Posted 6/20/12 by Carol

LGBTQ Pride Month – Show Me the Money

Rainbow Flag imagephoto by Benson Kua on Flickr Aug 5, 2010 CC BY-SA 2.0

First the good news…

In 2010, organizations explicitly serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities received $97.2 million dollars from US foundations – a 3.9% increase over the previous year. [So say the Funders for LGBTQ Issues in their latest report, “LGBTQ Grantmaking by U.S. Foundations (2010).”]

The not so good news…

More than half of the philanthropic funding came from 10 foundations.

Now the bad news…

LGBTQ communities receive only .02 percent of all US foundation funding.


Read More

Posted 6/13/12 by Carol

LGBTQ Pride month – by the numbers

Gay Pride March image

As we celebrate LGBTQ Pride month, let’s check out some numbers about our workplace and our families. We have a lot to celebrate.  And as you’ll see below, a lot of reasons to keep marching and organizing as well.

Read on...

Read More

Posted 6/6/12 by Carol

Fiscal Sponsorship – Are You Ready, Willing and Able?

Last week we talked about the role fiscal sponsors play in the nonprofit world and why they are the right model for some organizations. Today, we’re exploring the world of being a fiscal sponsor. Should your organization think about serving as a fiscal sponsor?

Has your organization or agency been asked to serve as a fiscal sponsor?

Are you thinking about it but you don’t know how to do it or how to assess if you’re ready?

If the answers to these questions are yes, let us help you determine your readiness and willingness to assume this important role by using our handy-dandy step-by-step guide.


Read More

Posted 5/30/12 by Carol

Don't Hate on Your Fiscal Sponsor's Fees

Often I hear comments about the financial cost (service fees) of being a fiscally sponsored project. I hear organizations say that they could do the work more cheaply themselves. That they could save money by keeping all of the accounting and compliance work in-house. I hate to burst your bubble but for the overwhelming majority of organizations it’s simply not true.  Before an organization decides whether to go down the fiscal sponsorship path or start their own nonprofit, here are a few things to consider.

Read on...

Read More

Posted 5/23/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Employee Entries and Exits

Welcome Mat image

This month, you’re writing Chapter 4 of your Procedures Manual about new employees and departing employees. When you finish answering these questions, you will have completed one third of the manual! Or are you still working on the previous chapters (Payroll Processing and Entering and Paying Bills). Don’t worry there’s still time to catch up!

It’s easier than you thought, isn’t it?


Read More

Posted 5/9/12 by Carol

Happy Admin Week!

Employee Appreciation Image

If you are an Administrative Professional, congratulations this is your week!

Administrative Professionals Week formerly known as National Secretaries Week started in 1952 “as an effort to recognize secretaries for their contributions in the workplace, and to attract people to secretarial/administrative careers.”

Today the term secretary has become a bit obsolete. Replaced by administrative professional. And that’s who you are if you are an administrative assistant, receptionist, budget manager, bookkeeper, maintainer of the website….

Often employers celebrate this day by giving their administrative support staff flowers, candy or a catered lunch. But we’ve got a better idea. How about providing your admin staff with some tangible benefits?

Read on...

Read More

Posted 4/25/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Payroll Process

Payroll Timesheet image

Today’s the day to write the third chapter of your Procedures Manual. Once you answer these simple questions you will have written the first quarter of the manual. Congratulations!

Be honest. Haven’t the first two chapters already come in handy?

Let’s have some fun with payroll.

Continue reading...

Read More

Posted 4/4/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Entering & Paying Bills

Paid Stamp image

Today’s the day! The day to complete your second assignment in the fun-filled Let’s Write a Procedures Manual challenge.

Last month you answered 4 short questions about making bank deposits. [Click here if you missed last month's entry.] 

Even though you may make deposits weekly and it’s rote to you, writing it down makes the process accessible to everyone. Today we’re tackling entering and paying bills!

Here’s the drill. Answer each question in the order given with as much detail as possible. And then Voila! You will have written two more sections in your Procedures Manual.


Read More

Posted 3/21/12 by Carol

Celebrate Pi Day!

pi pies photo

Does today’s date, 3/14 mean anything to you? To mathematicians around the world it means celebrate. Because today is Pi Day.

Remember high school math? The relationship between a circle’s diameter and its circumference.  That’s Pi. 3.14 for short.

Pi possesses many virtues. Pi is irrational. The series of numbers are random, non-repeating and can never be fully realized. Sounds like a bad politician.

If you are wondering what to do to celebrate this holiday designated by the 2009 US House of Representatives as National Pi Day, here are some suggestions:

Continue reading...

Read More

Posted 3/14/12 by Carol

Do We Need a 4th Wave of Feminism for Nonprofits?

feminist buttons image

As women across the world celebrate International Women’s Day, I thought I should take a look at the women in our part of the world. In the nonprofit sector.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that only 18.8 percent (75) of the chief executives at 400 US non-profits that raised the most from private sources in 2007 are held by women.

That same article references studies by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services in San Francisco that show women make up about 2/3rds of the nonprofit work force and often run charities that are smaller than these 400 largest. And a study by the Association of Fundraising Professionals that found 3 out of 4 fundraisers are female.

That’s a lot of women working in social change, social service, the arts and education.

How well are women paid?

Read on...

Read More

Posted 3/8/12 by Carol

Start Your Procedures Manual Today

I bet one of the 30,000 genes in the human body belongs to procrastination. Because we all have a tendency to put off something we don’t want to do. Let me guess, have you put off creating a Financial Procedures Manual? A required document for any organization. Even for those with a stable staff that knows their jobs.

If you have, we’re here to help.

Sooner or later the time will come when someone on staff will take an extended vacation, get sick or leave suddenly. Without a financial procedures manual, how will the replacement know what to do?

To help you undertake the inevitable, we’re going to provide you with monthly step-by-step instructions. If you follow them, you’ll have a completed manual in 12 months or less!

Read on...

Read More

Posted 2/8/12 by Carol

Five Things to Do to Prepare for 990s

Before you get too immersed in the excitement of a new fiscal year, schedule some time now to organize the documents you will need to file your Form 990. Whether you prepare this tax form in house or hire an accountant to complete it, gathering the documents directly after the fiscal year closes will ensure greater success.

The filing deadline may seem far in the future*. But if you wait until a month before the deadline to get started, the financial and programmatic activities of the previous fiscal year will live in the far distant past. If you start today, these activities will be fresh in your mind.

To help you get started, take a look at this list of five things to do. You’ll be happy you did.

Continue reading...

Read More

Posted 2/1/12 by Carol

View all archived public posts View all archived members-only posts
View Tools & Training posts by type
View Tools & Training posts by Role:
Additional Tools & Training posts:

Meet Carol! About Fun With Financials