Our members gathered recently to learn more about how to get a clear grasp of financial information provided by nonprofits. “Unpacking a Nonprofit’s Financial Story,” led by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, was focused on equipping funders with the language, tools, and resources for assessing a nonprofit’s financial health in a holistic manner.
Throughout the day, participants were encouraged to reflect on the ways in which equity, access, and capacity can impact a nonprofit’s financial performance on paper. Furthermore, funders were challenged to think of creative questions to ask nonprofits as they build a comprehensive picture of a grantee’s financial story. Keller Anne Ruble, Associate Investment Director at Gary Community Investments, reflected, “We came away with a common language and tools to continue pushing the conversation within our foundations and with our grantees. I particularly appreciated the time to exercise the analytic skills both individually and with a group.”
Nonprofit Finance Fund consultants, Jihye Gyde and Chance Craig, imparted new wisdom after walking through some of the basics of financial literacy. One of the major takeaways was to assess the full-picture of a nonprofit’s financial health which includes often overlooked considerations: unfunded expenses, like sweat equity, are often not captured on an income statements, but, if funded, could help a nonprofit operate effectively. CAF members learned more about nonprofit surpluses and how breaking even may not be enough.