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A Quick Guide to Building Your Nonprofit Budget

As a nonprofit, one of the hardest obstacles you will face is not receiving enough funding to do the things you want to do. But, if you have a solid budget that you stick to, you can get through the low points until funding picks up again.

Unlike a business, you aren’t trying to increase profit margins or meet sales goals. Your bottom line isn’t about making money. It’s about calculating the costs it will take for your organization to achieve its goals.

That’s why practicing good budgeting techniques is crucial to accomplishing your mission with any level of funding.

With this article, we’ll address why you need a budget, what the benefits are, how you should build your plan, and decide on which type of budget works for your nonprofit.

How your nonprofit can find a rockstar accountant

How your nonprofit can find a rockstar accountant

As we gear up for one of the most stressful times of the year for personal and business finance, one of the last things we want to worry about is whether the accounting professional that we’ve put our nonprofit’s faith into will be able to deliver on their promises.

Especially for smaller organizations who may be looking for an external partner to ensure compliance with IRS regulations as well as properly stewarding their donors in a new environment around charitable deductions, finding the right nonprofit accounting specialist is vital to long term growth.

Where can your organization start their search for an accounting professional who can help chart the path to growing your mission’s capacity? Let’s unpack a few strategies to help guide your organization through this common issue.

Establishing Your Chart of Accounts

Setting up your chart of accounts from scratch can seem daunting. There’s a lot of planning and organization involved and figuring out the best way to set things up can feel overwhelming.

The good news is that constructing a chart of accounts isn’t all that difficult. However, the most crucial step is the initial setup because if set up correctly, your chart of accounts can be extremely effective.

So, to set up your chart of accounts the right way, we’ll dive into what a chart of accounts is, why your organization needs one, and how you can set one up that will be sure to benefit your business or nonprofit.

4 Simple Steps to Increase Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising

4 Simple Steps to Maximize Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Efforts

Fundraising through events comes with many challenges. For one, you never know if the turnout to an event will meet your expectations. For smaller nonprofits, you don’t have the time or resources to keep hosting events which means every event is crucial for bringing in enough funding.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of 4 steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your fundraising efforts. With this step-by-step plan, you spend a little time understanding your donors and trying to find ways to retain them. You can increase your nonprofit’s funds while having enough time to stick to your cause and do what you do best within your community.

How Business Intelligence is Guiding Nonprofits

How Business Intelligence is Guiding Nonprofits

Data has become an extremely powerful tool in the information age. Every day you rely on the data you get from platforms like Facebook, Google Analytics, and CRMs to tell you all about your donors, potential supporters, volunteers—essentially everything you need to know. Without that information, you’d be disconnected from your base.

But because that data is gathered through individual programs, your scope of viewing the information is often limited. If you want to combine all that data, it can take a lot of effort and be outdated by the time it’s prepared.

That’s why many businesses have been turning to business intelligence, or BI. Business intelligence takes the data from all your platforms and combines it into one customizable dashboard that’s simplified and easy to read. With your data collected in one platform, you begin to see it build into a narrative that points out your nonprofit’s successes as well as its failures. That way you can begin to understand your organization’s needs and start to make improvements.

Here are three ways in which BI can help your nonprofit thrive.

3 Conferences Every Nonprofit Must Attend in 2019

There are over 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. alone. Yet, the success rate for a nonprofit is typically low. Like with any business, there are many factors at play working against you. Oftentimes, it’s due to a lack of vision, a lack of trust from donors, and not having enough well-established relationships with clients. All great nonprofits have had to overcome these adversities.

That’s why conferences are vital for growing nonprofits. They’re a place where you can get advice from other nonprofits who face similar issues. They give you a chance to network more with other causes. You can find nonprofits like your own to exchange ideas with and hopefully increase your passion to change the world.

However, attending every conference would be expensive and nearly impossible. You need to know which ones are the most important in guiding your nonprofit in the right direction. So, we compiled a list of the three conferences your organization can’t afford to miss in 2019. We also added some places you should visit to keep you entertained if you happen to catch a break.

So, let’s begin.

Automated Bank Reconciliation

Automated Bank Reconciliation

Most organizations still rely on balancing their spreadsheets with a highlighter, cautiously marking as they go along. When it comes to reconciling bank accounts, they do the same. For anyone that’s performed a bank reconciliation, you’re all too familiar with how grueling the process is.

Don’t get me wrong, reconciliations are both beneficial and necessary. However, look at it from this standpoint: on the one hand, you balance your accounts. That’s good. On the other hand, money is spent doing it. Since most organizations reconcile once a month, that cash adds up.

4 Pro Tips for Preparing Your Year-end Financial Close

It takes 60 seconds for the ball in New York’s Times Square to drop 141 feet and officially ring in the New Year. That’s not a lot of time to consider all the goals you want to accomplish in the next 365 days, let alone the ones you didn’t achieve the previous year.

Nevertheless, as you’re contemplating your upcoming quarter-one goals, it’s important to not overlook the things you could have done better last year, including your year-end financial close. With the end of the year closing in, we’re giving you our top four pro tips for ensuring your books are closed well before that ball drops.

Tips for Charitable Giving this Holiday Season

Tips for Charitable Giving this Holiday Season

December is already here, if you can believe it, and for nonprofits around the country that means it’s the giving season. Some donors give because the holiday spirit moves them while others are looking for a last-minute tax break. Either way, this is a critical time for these organizations. Our friends at NeonCRM did some fundraising research about the giving season and found that nearly one-third of annual giving occurs this month. Their study found some other interesting statistics as well: 28% of nonprofits raise up to half of their annual funds from their year-end donation campaigns. And most surprising to me was that while more than half of nonprofits start planning their year-end appeal in October, nearly two-thirds of donors do zero research before giving. So, while many people plan on giving this month, they aren’t looking into the groups they donate to. The research can be a little overwhelming if you aren’t familiar with nonprofit operations, but there are a few tips you can use to ensure your donation goes to a worthy cause.

Why Some Nonprofits are Calling Themselves Community Benefit Organizations

The language we use to name things has become increasingly important. Not so much because of definitions, but because of perception. Sometimes just changing a few words gives people an entirely different perception of whatever it is those words represent. Some nonprofits are finding that calling themselves community benefit organizations is changing the public perception and promoting their mission.