Posted by danosky | Posted in The Philanthropy Therapist | Posted on 14-03-2012
For most of my career, I have worked on the philanthropy side of a non-profit organization. While philanthropy is vitally important to building the organizational capacity needed to fulfill a non-profit’s mission, I have also learned how critical it is to look at the entire picture. Philanthropy is important, but philanthropy alone will not drive the engine. Today’s thriving non-profit also requires astute financial management, the ability to forecast, manage risk, and balance contractual and philanthropic revenue. For many non-profits, it is difficult to dedicate the resources required to accomplish these goals. Day-to-day operations can impede the ability to invest in the planning that is required.
I know from experience that when such an investment is made in building philanthropic resources, the results are very effective. I am pleased to announce I am expanding the services of Danosky & Associates with the addition of Christine P. Lent, CPA, to lead a new Financial Services Division.
With over 16 years of professional experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sector, Christine’s mission is to help non-profit organizations develop and streamline their financial systems, business processes, and reporting so that they can unlock their full potential and fulfill their mission. Through an integrated approach, Christine can help your organization accelerate growth, lower risk, address capacity, and ensure compliance.
It gives me great pleasure to introduce Christine in this issue with her own blog – The Financial Therapist:
My involvement with non-profits began with volunteering in college at the RI School for the Deaf and has continued through my recent involvement with the local library, among other places. I learned from an early age that it was much more fun and rewarding to donate time and effort to an organization than merely opening my pocketbook. Now, I have a chance to make a difference by leveraging my business experience to assist non-profits in running more efficiently, maximizing resources, and increasing their financial return so they can best fulfill their missions. Like many donors today, I truly believe that if most non-profits were run in a more business-oriented manner, they would have more time and money to fulfill their humanitarian mission!
Good financial reporting and analysis give all stakeholders, from the internal management team to external constituents, full visibility of the current financial condition. This allows the organization to proactively develop an action plan. It is always better to act ahead of the curve rather than playing catch-up.
I am also a believer in the single-page financial dashboard which provides key data points for all to easily read at a glance! The dashboard can answer questions relevant for each organization, such as:
- What is our cash balance in the bank? What are our cash flow projections? Will we run out of cash at any point in the upcoming months?
- What is the status of all current campaigns? Are we meeting our goals to obtain pledges?
- How is the collection of the pledges? Do we have any delinquent pledges from donors and what actions may be needed?
- How are current operating expenses compared to budget? Do we need to make any changes in the operation to stay on budget?
Philanthropy has always been an important part of the American culture, and today it is critical if a non-profit organization is to control its own destiny. I believe it is just as critical to understand, analyze and effectively manage the fiscal health of a non-profit. Only then can we ensure it will be able to promote human welfare for a very long time!