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Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations: Policies and Practices

John Zietlow, Jo Ann Hankin, Alan Seidner

ISBN: 978-0-471-74166-4 January 2007 624 Pages

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Indispensable for all types and sizes of nonprofit organizations, this important book imparts a clear sense of the technical expertise and proficiency needed as a nonprofit financial officer and includes real-world case studies, checklists, tables, and sample policies to clarify and explain financial concepts.

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About the Authors.



1 Understanding Nonprofit Organization Finances.

1.1 Definition of Nonprofit Organizations.

1.2 Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations.

1.3 Understanding the Language of the Nonprofit Organization.

1.4 Financial Policies.

1.5 Financial Practices.

1.6 Primary Financial Objective.

1.7 Conclusion.

2 Liquidity Management.

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Donative Nonprofit Organizations.

2.3 Evidence on Liquidity Management in the Nonprofit Sector.

2.4 Facets of Liquidity Management.

2.5 Importance of Liquidity Management.

2.6 What Is the Appropriate Level of Liquidity?

2.7 Conclusion.

3 Managing Mission and Strategy.

3.1 Value of Strategic Planning.

3.2 What Is Strategic Planning?

3.3 What Are theOrganization’sMission, Vision, andGoals/Objectives?

3.4 Strategic Management Process.

3.5 Implementing the Strategic Plan.

3.6 Performance Management Systems.

3.7 Strategic Planning Practices: What Does the Evidence Show?

3.8 Conclusion.

4 Managing Structure, Accountability, and Ethics.

4.1 Financial Tools and Support Structure.

4.2 Organizational Structure and Governance.

4.3 Accountability Structure.

4.4 Ethics.

4.5 Structure, Accountability, and Ethics in Practice.

4.6 Conclusion.

5 Developing Financial Policies.

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 Financial Policies.

5.3 Putting Policies into Place.

5.4 Establishing Procedures.

5.5 Financial Policies and Procedures in Practice.

5.6 Additional Resources.

6 Understanding Accounting Basics and Financial Statements.

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Accounting Basics.

6.3 Three Financial Statements.

6.4 The Audit and the Audit Committee.

6.5 Financial Statement Users and Uses in Practice.

6.6 Social Accounting.

6.7 Additional Resources.

7 Developing Financial Reports and Ratios.

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Major Differences from For-Profit Business Reports.

7.3 Objectives of Financial Reports.

7.4 Reporting System Design.

7.5 Major Reports.

7.6 Internal Reports.

7.7 External Reports.

7.8 Conclusion.

8 Developing Operating and Cash Budgets.

8.1 Introduction.

8.2 Overview of the Budgeting Process.

8.3 Are Nonprofit Organizations Doing Their Budgeting Properly?

8.4 Developing and Improving Your Budgeting Process.

8.5 Setting the Budgetary Amounts.

8.6 Budget Technique Refinements.

8.7 Cash Budget.

8.8 Managing Off the Budget.

8.9 Conclusion.

9 Long-Range Financial Planning and Capital Budgeting.

9.1 Introduction.

9.2 Planning for the Future.

9.3 Financial Evaluation of New and Existing Programs.

9.4 Capital Budgeting: Financial Evaluation of Projects that Arise from Existing Programs.

9.5 Financial Evaluation of Mergers, Joint Ventures, and Strategic Alliances.

9.6 Financial Planning and Capital Budgeting in Practice.

9.7 Conclusion.

10 Managing Your Organization’s Liabilities.

10.1 Managing the Balance Sheet.

10.2 Payables.

10.3 Short-Term Borrowing.

10.4 Strategic Financing Plan.

10.5 Steps to Successful Borrowing.

10.6 Matching Financial Sources to Strategic Objectives.

10.7 Preparing the Financing Proposal.

10.8 Making the Presentation.

10.9 Other Factors in Borrowing/Lending Decisions.

10.10 Municipal and Taxable Bonds.

10.11 Leasing and Nontraditional Financing Sources.

10.12 Developing a Debt and Hedging Policy.

10.13 Liability Management in Practice.

10.14 Conclusion.

11 Cash Management and Banking Relations.

11.1 Introduction.

11.2 What Is Cash Management?

11.3 Collection Systems: Managing and Accelerating Receipt of Funds.

11.4 Disbursements.

11.5 Structuring a Funds Management System.

11.6 Monitoring Bank Balances and Transactions.

11.7 Cash Forecasting.

11.8 Short-Term Borrowing.

11.9 Short-Term Investing.

11.10 Benchmarking Treasury Functions.

11.11 Upgrading the Caliber of Treasury Professionals.

11.12 Security and Risk Management Issues.

11.13 Trends in Treasury Management.

12 Investment Policy and Guidelines.

12.1 Investment Policy.

12.2 Investment Guidelines.

12.3 Checklist of Elements for Long-Term Endowment Investment Policy and Guidelines.

12.4 Investment Policy Summary.

13 Information Technology and Knowledge Management.

13.1 Introduction.

13.2 How Much Technology and Which to Choose?

13.3 Knowledge Management and Information Technology.

13.4 Information Technology in Today’s Nonprofits.

13.5 What Should I Know/Do before Investing in Technology Tools?

13.6 Software: Design Internally or Purchase?

13.7 Disclosure, the Law, and Security.

13.8 Needs Assessment and Analysis.

13.9 Policies and Practices in Knowledge Management and Information Technology.

14 Managing Risk, Legal Issues, and Human Resources.

14.1 What Is Risk Management?

14.2 Identifying Risk.

14.3 Primary Financial Risk: Illiquidity.

14.4 Legal Environment.

14.5 Safeguarding People.

14.6 Directors’ and Officers’ Liability.

14.7 Safeguarding Your Financial and Physical Assets.

14.8 Risk Management and Human Resource Management Practices.

15 Evaluating Your Policies and Progress.

15.1 Introduction.

15.2 Evaluation.

15.3 Evaluating Your Decisions and Ethics.

15.4 Evaluating Your Communications.

15.5 Evaluating Your Mentoring and Supervisory Skills.

15.6 Testing Your Supervisory and Managerial Skills.

15.7 Evaluating the Strategic Nature of Your Role.

15.8 Evaluating the Financial Health of Your Organization.

15.9 Evaluating Your Financial Policies in Five Key Areas.

15.10 Evaluating Quality and Outcomes.

15.11 Using External Consultants and Data Sources.

15.12 Conclusion.


  • AUTHOR PLATFORM: John Zietlow is a respected financial professional who is active on the presentation and lecture circuit, focusing on financial issues as they relate to nonprofit organizations.
  • CASE STUDIES: Extensive use of real-world case studies to help explain financial concepts described in this book.
  • POLICIES AND PRACTICES: Offers dozens of sample policies that can be implemented by any nonprofit to help them practice sound financial management.
  • ANCILLARY MATERIALS: Includes tables to summarize "dense" information, especially with regard to cash management techniques, investment instruments and their attributes, and legal information.  Also includes checklists on short-term investment policy, long-term investment policy, risk management, internal controls, and check fraud prevention.
"This book is written from a corporate finance perspective - with a specific focus on cash management. In addition to content on core financial management processes, there are also chapters on managing mission and strategy; structure, accountability, and ethics; and information technology and knowledge management. This text is well organized. Each chapter begins with a detailed table of contents; there is also an extensive index and a few glossaries defining key technical terms. In conclusion, it is a thorough, well-organized guide to nonprofit finance." (Journal of Administration in Social Work, Vol 34, Issue 1)