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Streetsmart Financial Basics for Nonprofit Managers, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-41499-6
280 pages
April 2009
Streetsmart Financial Basics for Nonprofit Managers, 3rd Edition (0470414995) cover image


Praise for Streetsmart Financial Basics for Nonprofit Managers, Third Edition

"Tom McLaughlin is a proven master at making the daunting concepts of nonprofit financial management clear and engaging. This book is a superb introduction for new nonprofit executives, board members, and students. It is also an excellent refresher and reference for those of us who have been around the nonprofit sector for a while. It is well written, concise, and thought provoking."
J. Gregory Dees, Professor of the Practice of Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Management at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and coauthor of Enterprising Nonprofits and Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs

"A very practical guide to understanding and managing the finances of a nonprofit organization. As nonprofits strive for greater accountability, Tom McLaughlin's real-world examples and accessible style make this book indispensable for nonprofit executives, managers, and board members at organizations of any size."
Gordon J. Campbell, President and CEO, United Way of New York City

"Tom McLaughlin's powerful book is far more than a useful tool. It provides the philosophical approach to instill strong stewardship and future viability to those in the world of nonprofits. He takes apart the complex issues of nonprofit stewardship just as Einstein translated relativity into a simple equation. Purely masterful."
Jim Mellor, Senior VP, Chief Financial Officer, YMCA of the USA

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

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Table of Contents


Note to Reader.


CHAPTER 1 Organizational Structure: Programs and Corporations.

Types of Nonprofit Organizations.

Structure of Nonprofit Organizations.

Loss of Tax-Exempt Status—The Monster Within.

CHAPTER 2 Mission: Managing Your Two Bottom Lines.

The Role of a Value System.

The Nonprofit’s Dilemma and How to Solve It.

CHAPTER 3 Accounting as a Second Language—A Nine-Point Program.

The Entity Principle.

Money Measurement.

Conservatism Principle.

The Cost Concept.

The Materiality Principle.

Going Concern.

Dual Aspect.

Realization Principle.

Matching Principle.

CHAPTER 4 Assets Are for Boards, Activities Are for Managers.

Concepts versus Details.

Boards Invest, Managers Spend.

If It Has to Be Decided Today, It’s Probably the Wrong Question.

Boards Own the Controls, Managers Implement Them.

CHAPTER 5 Balance Sheets: How They Get That Way.

Current Assets.

Noncurrent Assets.

Current Liabilities.

Noncurrent Liabilities.

Making the Balance Sheet Dance.

Transparency, Thy Name Is IRS Form 990.

Sweeping Change.

What to Do.

CHAPTER 6 Financial Analysis: A Few Diagnostic Tools.

Financial Statement Analysis for Math Phobics.

Current Ratio.

Days’ Cash.

Days’ Receivables.

Cash Flow to Total Debt.

Debt to Net Assets.

Total Margin.

Operating Margin.

Accounting Age of Plant/Equipment (or Land, Buildings, and Equipment).

A Footnote.


CHAPTER 7 Nonprofit Accounting: Acknowledging the Strings Attached.

Net Asset Categories.

Other Provisions.

What It All Means.

CHAPTER 8 Cost Accounting: How Much Does It Cost?

A Form of Management Accounting.

Indirect Costs.

Certain Support Costs Get Assigned to Other Support Costs.

Breakeven Analysis—Another Use for Cost Data.

Cost Accounting versus Cost Reporting.

CHAPTER 9 Auditing: Choosing and Using an Auditor.

Audit, Review, and Compilation.

The Auditor Market.

Getting Value from the Audit.



CHAPTER 10 Cash Flow Management: Why Cash Is King.

Up the Balance Sheet.

How Much Cash Is Enough?


CHAPTER 11 Capital: Why Capital Is Not a Four-Letter Word.

The Mechanics of Capital Financing.

The Present Value of Money.

Sources of Capital.

The Great Divide among Nonprofits.

Future Access to Capital Markets.

The Role of Net Assets.

Strategic Capital Management.

CHAPTER 12 Budgeting: Taming the Budget Beast.

Playing Revenues Like a Symphony.


Indirect (General and Administrative) Costs.


CHAPTER 13 Indirect Costs and Other Despised Items.

Still, It’s Low That Counts.

Secret of the Indirect Cost Game.

CHAPTER 14 Pricing: How Much Should It Cost?

Pricing Methodologies.

Going the Other Way—Contractual Adjustments and Subsidies.

Pricing Strategies.

How to Price.

CHAPTER 15 Profit: Why and How Much?

Profit Defined.

Uses of Profit.

Profit—How to Get It.

What Can Be Done.

CHAPTER 16 To Raise More Money, Think Cows.


Bequests—Cow to Charity.

Charitable Remainder Trusts—Milk to Beneficiaries, Cow to Charity.

Pooled Income Funds—Donors Put Their Cows in a Herd, Keep Rights to Milk.

CHAPTER 17 Insurance: The Maddeningly Complicated Art of Covering Your Assets.

To Insure or Self-Insure?

Risk Management.

CHAPTER 18 Internal Controls for External Goals.

The Elements of Internal Control.

How to Monitor the System.

Maintaining the System.


CHAPTER 19 Enron Spawn.

Some Predictions.

The New Industry of Charity Watching.

CHAPTER 20 Management Controls: Toward Accountability for Performance.

Management Controls Circa 1980.

Beyond Management Controls in the Twenty-First Century: How to Do It.


How to Prepare—The CFO of the Future.

Appendix A A Financial Management Cultural Primer.

Appendix B Budget Bloopers.

Appendix C Using the Web Site.


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Author Information

Thomas A. McLaughlin is Director of Consulting Services, Nonprofit Finance Fund, and member of the faculty at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He is also the author of Nonprofit Strategic Positioning: Decide Where to Be, Plan What to Do and Nonprofit Mergers and Alliances, both published by Wiley. His email address is tommclaughlin@aol.com.
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Talking Red Flag, Yellow Flag 8.72 MB Click to Download
Red Flag, Yellow Flag 427.00 KB Click to Download
Talking Financial Analysis using calculations 5.21 MB Click to Download
Financial Analysis using calculations 371.00 KB Click to Download
Audit equation self test 25.00 KB Click to Download
Break-even analysis 24.00 KB Click to Download
Budget report 25.50 KB Click to Download
Cash flow forecast 27.50 KB Click to Download
Cash flow projection 27.00 KB Click to Download
Cost allocation 23.00 KB Click to Download
Economic size self-test 28.50 KB Click to Download
Financial analysis tools 26.50 KB Click to Download
Financial definitions 33.00 KB Click to Download
Financial ratio formulas 22.50 KB Click to Download
Financial tasks 19.50 KB Click to Download
Fringe benefits rate calculation 19.50 KB Click to Download
Internal controls self-test 22.50 KB Click to Download
Messages from the balance sheet 44.00 KB Click to Download
Profit planning 21.50 KB Click to Download
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