FREE. That word is magic to many people in the nonprofit world.
I am happy to share with you a few of my current free and low cost technology platforms that make running a nonprofit a little easier!
So much goes into the process of getting a grant. There’s researching opportunities, drafting the letter of intent, moving on to the writing of the full proposal, developing budgets, getting all that work to the potential funder and so much more. You get the drift. It is a TON of work.
…and after you’ve waited those long, agonizing months, you finally found out you are getting the grant! Congratulations, now you have more work ahead of you.
Most funders require interim or final reports that not only include some narrative around your activities and outcomes, but they want to see how you spent their money. This is where implementing good bookkeeping practices from the beginning will come in very handy. I’m going to show you how you can manage your budget and track expenses for grants using 3 tools within QBO: Budgets, Class Tracking and Customer Tracking.
When was the last time you heard a board member say this?
“One of the most exciting things for me to do is to analyze financial reports.”
Probably not very often, unless that board member is a bookkeeper or CPA. I’m not saying that everyone needs to LOVE pouring over the fine details of the organization’s finances, but I do believe if you know what to look for and how to read them, you will see how your finances tell an important story and will make you a more effective board member.
I cook A LOT. Cooking as much as I do means that grease eventually accumulates on every surface of my kitchen. That being said, I’m pretty good about keeping my house clean. I wipe down surfaces frequently and enlist my children to do their fair share of keeping up with daily housekeeping.
But then this morning I looked at the vents on my over-the-range microwave. I wish I had taken a before picture to show you how gross they were, but it didn’t hit me until after I finished cleaning them. So here is something to give you the idea of what they looked like.
Photo courtesy of www.serenabakesimplyfromscratch.com
Once you are done reading this post, you can head on over to Serena’s blog and learn how to clean yours as well! http://bit.ly/cleanyourvents101
The reason I didn’t take a picture was because I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time. You may be thinking, of course you knew what you were doing, you were cleaning.
But I wasn’t cleaning and this is why you should be totally judging me.
As a financial professional, the first day of every month is pretty crazy. This is because the last month’s bank statement is most likely available for me to start working on my month end closing activities. My day is spent completing bank reconciliations, auditing transactions and drafting financial statements.
Now, you might be wondering why I want to talk to you about the 3rd week of the month.
Donor management or client relationship management, best known as CRM, is something you need to know about. (I promise to never use an acronym in a post without first saying what it is. I can’t tell you how annoying that is when people assume you know what it stands for!)
CRM is quite the buzzword, err, buzz acronym. Rightfully so. It is this magical concept of practices and strategies used to manage and analyze your donor data throughout the relationship, with the goal of using that data to raise more money, be more effective and execute your mission. To many small nonprofit organizations, it really does seem magical, because it’s hard to harness and implement effectively when you have very little money to spend on administration and fundraising.
I’m going to share with you some tips on how to use your accounting platform to start collecting and storing critical donor data until you can budget time and money for a donor CRM platform.
We live in a world where things move fast and wearing multiple hats is a reality for many small nonprofit volunteers and staff members. In the mix of executing your mission, internal controls may get overlooked. And who can blame you? When faced with working on programs or doing mundane tasks related to risk management, it can be far more gratifying to serve food to the homeless rather than evaluate policies and procedures.
Here’s the harsh reality though, it will eventually catch up with you and affect your ability to do the gratifying mission based work.
So much of what we do is now online, including bill payments and purchases. Unfortunately, with that increased online activity comes with it increased risk in having your financial information comprised. Recently I’ve had a few of nonprofit clients ask me if they should get a credit card for their organization or if they should just use the debit card linked to their bank account. Before I go into best practices, lets summarize the differences.
Raffles are one of the most common fundraising tools used by nonprofits. Whether they are part of a larger fundraising event or by themselves, raffles are typically easy to run, a great way to spread the word about your organization and most supporters will play a game of chance for a good cause they support.