Showing posts from July, 2023

Setting Priorities

Let’s face it, there is never enough money; therefore, it’s about setting your priorities.   A common theme during my public sector career and now with nonprofits, is not having enough money. Many politicians, bureaucrats, and servants of the public have grand ideas of what they want to do including the services they want to provide; but it all costs money, and often more than we have.   The reality check: there will never be enough money to do everything you want to; you can only do what you have money for. Once you and your funders accept that, you can focus your efforts accordingly. Unfortunately, instead of accepting this reality, funders continue to push service providers to deliver regardless, and service providers bend over backwards to oblige. However, there comes a point where all parties have to face reality.   It is not that simple? Sure, it is.   Five step approach to allocating funding:   ·               List the objectives you want to achieve; ·              

Funder reports

  Reporting results is my favorite part of working on the nonprofit sector… no, it’s not actually… in fact, it’s my pet peeve.   The joy of multiple programs is multiple funders each with their own reporting requirements including level of detail, frequency, templates, portals, and restrictions. As the Director of Finance for a mid sized nonprofit, I have thirty programs funded by over ten major sponsors to contend with, and sometimes even the same funder has different requirements for each of their programs. Unfortunately, there are situations where certain funders assume they are the only program we are running; probably because they themselves despite having multiple deliverers, are only running one program. The result of this can sometimes lead to angst and increases administration costs of program delivery.   Before we get into the details of funder reporting, let’s have a discussion on why we are reporting in the first place.   When you tender a requirement for a contracted

Send me more money!

  Sound ridiculous? But what about when the funder is also the decision maker for the salaries of your unionized employees?  Being in the social services field, many of our contracts are for delivering services on behalf of the government, both provincial and federal. In our particular jurisdiction many of the employees of nonprofit entities have become members of the same bargaining agent as government workers which means our funders have also become the negotiator of how much we may in salaries and benefits. Unfortunately, these salary decisions extend to our other programs, regardless of who funds them. This incestuous relationship came to a head this year where employees were given a pay raise which included retroactive pay for the prior year as well as current, the compounded effect being 14%. Having to pay the raises was a contractual obligation on behalf of the nonprofits; unfortunately recovering these funds from the decision makers was the next challenge, and although they eve