Article written by: Jane Zaleschuk, CPA, CGA
I recently attended a Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan production and was reminded of the importance of fund development for not-for-profit organizations. As with any business, job or life it is so easy to become reactionary and focus only on the fires or the nuts and bolts of operations. So easy, to let fund development slide into an afterthought.
Your non-profit does wonderful and important things. You have great donors, volunteers and members. You are busy fulfilling your mission and vision. So where is this article going… how exactly can my accountant help with fund development?
Understand your finances
- What is the difference between cash basis and accrual basis accounting? What do those numbers on the statement of financial position mean? Why does it appear that we have money in the bank but are always tight for cash? Your accountant can help you understand what is happening with your money and what your cash flow needs are.
Create a plan
- You have a vision and a mission, but do you have a strategic plan? Where does your organization want to be in five years and what is your plan to get there? Your accountant can facilitate and/or attend strategic planning sessions. They can lend insight into potential financial and compliance issues.
Create a budget
- Once you have an idea of where you want to go, you can figure out how much in funds you need. Depending on your plan, it is unlikely you can get there with operating grants alone. You probably need donation dollars. Your accountant can help you create a budget, walk you through it, explain the details and the potential implications.
Fund development plan and budget
- Included in that budget should be targets for fund raising. Your fund development plan should be directly tied to the organization’s strategic plan and all members of the organization (staff and board) should be involved with the implementation and execution. Don’t forget to include action plans to reach those targets.
Now that you have a plan, you have a path to follow which makes your strategies much more attainable. We all know fund development is important and just like having a budget; having a plan for fund development with goals, responsibilities and strategies helps your organization move ever closer to your short and long-term goals.
We have individuals who specialize in not for profit organization accounting, assurance and tax. We also provide services such as governance training, strategic planning, budgeting, and business and process improvement. We can help your organization meet its goals.
Jane Zaleschuk, CPA, CGA