Service Options

Profitability, Cost Allocation, & Nonprofit Accounting

Nonprofit Finance

Behind every enduring program or innovative initiative there exists a bank account from which nonprofits can draw to fund activities and maintain impact. Challenges can occur when program costs don’t quite match up to the dollar amount in that bank account. Unstable financial situations draw nonprofits’ attention away from accomplishing their mission, introducing stress and anxiety into an otherwise empathetic and compassionate workplace.

To help ensure that nonprofits remain financially viable and can continue carrying out the good work associated with their missions and intended impacts, organizations must take proactive steps to cultivate shared leadership over the finances of the organization. Drawing on financial best-practices, Spectrum’s services provide nonprofit staff and boards with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they need to contribute positively to the organization’s overall sustainability.

Connecting Your Mission to Your Money

Designed for program associates, directors, or officers, the following sessions highlight the deep interconnectedness between an organization’s finances and the intended impact it is hoping to accomplish. You’ll be introduced to and apply various finance concepts with the goal of increasing financial literacy.

How Much Do Programs Cost? Categorizing Expenses & Allocating Costs

There is rampant discussion in the nonprofit sector today about overhead rates. Determining overhead, however, starts with the detail-oriented but important task of coding expenses. In this session, we will peal the onion of expenses by classifying and allocating costs, defining for participants the differences between direct expenses and shared or common costs, a challenging subject for even the most experienced nonprofit professional and especially important for those agencies that receive government funding. This workshop covers the most common cost allocation techniques including full time equivalents and square footage. We’ll walk through a case study in how to use a cost allocation plan.

Participants will be able to:

  • Differentiate among program, shared, and supporting costs (direct expenses, common costs, and administrative costs).
  • Evaluate allocation techniques to determine an appropriate plan for your organization.
  • Split cost and allocate revenue to determine the profitability of programs.
  • Use cost allocation information to inform strategic revenue choices.

Beyond Cutting Expenses: Strategic Decision Making in Turbulent Times

Your organization has already cut expenses across the board to try and rein in costs. You’ve asked your staff to take a pay cut. You’ve eliminated positions. But, how do you begin to restructure? How can you create an organization that has impact while being financially viable? This session takes a look at the dual-bottom line of nonprofits – understanding the true cost and mission impact of each of your programs in order to make difficult decisions for sustainability.

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify the components of the true cost of each program including direct, shared, and administrative costs.
  • Calculate the subsidy or surplus that each program generates.
  • Visualize your organization as a portfolio of activities that each contribute to the mission and financial well-being of the organization along with the strategic imperatives associated with different types of activities.
  • Implement systemic strategies to advance your organization for programmatic and financial sustainability.

Accounting Fundamentals

Targeted specifically toward accountants and bookkeepers, the most technical aspect of our finance training drills down on the specific skills required to facilitate legal and sustainable nonprofit organizations.

Nuts and Bolts of Nonprofit Accounting

This builds the foundation for financial management within all nonprofits by introducing participants to the fundamental concepts that go into creating financial statements. We’ll review different types of nonprofit accounting, tactics to account for nonprofit revenue, and mechanisms to classify and allocate common costs.

Participants will be able to:

  • Define foundational financial vocabulary.
  • Identify the type of accounting your organization uses and explain the most appropriate type for your organization.
  • Read and communicate main messages of nonprofit financial statements.
  • Identify, evaluate, and/or develop the most appropriate internal controls for your organization.

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