A national recession and a less generous mindset that appears to be prevalent has caused many nonprofits to keep trying to do more and more with even less.
Kelly Frank and Craig Golding, CPAs and partners at accounting firm JH Cohen, in the firm’s in New Jersey and San Diego offices respectively, offer four tips to help organizations deal with continuing financial pressures. They also urge that responsibility for this preparation must become ingrained in an organization’s culture.
* Review best practices. As with many for-profits, nonprofits are increasingly influenced by members or donors calling for more board oversight and governance. This is commonly achieved by the implementation of certain best practices. For example, consider establishing a separate finance committee that has a charter to review financial forecasts and possible variations within them.
* Don’t just budget; continually plan. One in five chief financial officers report that by the time a new year begins their budgets are already outdated. Utilize a continuous planning model.
* Embrace nontraditional, low-cost means of communication and staffing. Don’t hesitate to use the Internet to cut costs. Non-traditional and free means of communication such as Twitter and Facebook can significantly increase public awareness and understanding of a nonprofit’s cause.
* Consider strategic partnership or mergers. Great opportunities can present themselves this way.