Help Desk FAQ: New to Nonprofit Finance? Start Here
The majority of nonprofits in Maine are very small, and it’s rare to have a staff person fully dedicated to finance. Even if you do have people (staff, board members, or consultants) dedicated to financial management, financial leadership requires people across the organization to understand the organization’s financial story.
If you’re feeling like your understanding of nonprofit finances is a little shaky, the following resources can help you and your organization build a stronger foundation for effective financial leadership.
- MANP’s Guiding Principles + Practices for Nonprofit Excellence tools outline required and recommended practices across all areas of nonprofit management, including financial management. (Free to all!)
- Our colleagues in Washington have developed an easy-to-digest, on-demand, free toolkit called Finance Unlocked for Nonprofits. This collection of videos and accompanying tools provides an excellent baseline.
- MANP partners with colleages across the country to offer members discounted access to financial management programs several times each year. Keep an eye on our upcoming events calendar for future financial management-related trainings. (A Financial Leadership for Nonprofits and Financial Leadership for Boards series are both coming up in April!)
- Browse MANP’s webinar library, which includes a wide range of topics, including financial management. (Free and exclusive for MANP members. You must be logged in to see the options.)
- Propel Nonprofits has a Nonprofit Accounting Helpline.
- Propel Nonprofits also offers “Financial Insights Coaching.” Get one-on-one coaching over 12 months (a full fiscal cycle) to review your accounting reports, answer questions, and help ensure your financial records are accurate. The goal: make sure your financial tools effectively tell your organization’s story and build skills, efficiencies, and confidence within your organization.
- Spectrum Nonprofit Services offers support for financial strategy through one-on-one consulting and cohort-based programs.
- MANP members can tap into some limited pro bono accounting assistance for targeted questions.
- If you want to bring in project-based support or outsource certain finance functions more permanently, you can find bookkeepers and financial consultants in MANP’s Business Finder (use the filters to narrow down).
Tools + Resources
Looking for more information on specific financial management topics, such as business planning, budgeting, internal controls, audits, cost allocation, cash flow management, etc.?
- Nonprofit Financial Commons is a relatively new website offering a broad resource library, online discussion board, and free training. This hub is a collaboration of Propel Nonprofits, NonprofitQuarterly, and BDO FMA.
- Nonprofit Finance Fund has a collection of Fundamentals for Nonprofits.
- Book: Money Matters for Nonprofits: How Board Members Can Harness the Power of Financial Statements by Understanding Basic Accounting
- MANP’s own free, searchable resource library has a wide variety of guides, tools, and templates on financial management curated from reliable sources.